Instant Pot Spaghetti Meat Sauce

A spaghetti sauce simmering for a longer period of time on the stovetop always makes it more delicious. Luckily the Instant Pot makes things a little easier and faster.

This is a recipe I’ve been making for some time for spaghetti sauce. I usually don’t measure when I cook which can be erratic, writing this recipe down definitely has helped with some consistency. 

Please note, this recipe does not include cooking the noodles in the instant pot. This is for sauce only.

Chop onion and garlic. I chopped my onions pretty large here, probably a bit smaller would be better.

Set Instant Pot to sauté and add 2 tbsp olive oil. Once heated, add onions. After a few minutes, add garlic and continue cooking another minute or two.

Add ground beef or other ground meat of choice. 

Continue cooking until meat is mostly browned.

At this point, add all the other ingredients. 14.5 oz diced tomato, 14.5 oz stewed tomato, 14.5 oz tomato sauce (or a variation), 2 bay leaf, 2 tsp dried oregano, 2 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp fennel seed, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper.

Close lid and hit “Cancel” if needed, then cook on high / manual for 10 minutes. Allow to natural release for at least 15 minutes.

Serve over noodles of choice. This is really great for freezing, as well, either with or without noodles.

Instant Pot Spaghetti Meat Sauce

A tomato based sauce cooked with ground beef in the Instant Pot gives it a delicious, simmered for hours flavor!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword spaghetti sauce, spaghetti sauce only
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Natural Release 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 people


  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef sub ground pork or Italian sausage
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup white onion
  • 4 tbsp garlic minced
  • 14.5 oz diced tomatoes or stewed
  • 14.5 oz stewed tomatoes or diced
  • 14.5 oz tomato sauce
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp pepper or to taste


  1. Chop onion into small pieces to your preference, 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick cubed.

  2. Turn Instant Pot on to sauté mode. Once heated, add olive oil and onions. Sauté a few minutes until onions begin to turn translucent. Add garlic and sauté another minute or two.

  3. Add ground beef or other ground meat of choice. Continue cooking until beef is mostly browned.

  4. Add all other ingredients– tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, herbs and spices.

  5. Place lid on Instant Pot and lock in place. Select “Cancel” if needed and then cook on manual or high pressure for 10 minutes. Allow to natural release for at least 15 minutes. You can quick release after 15 minutes.

  6. Serve with noodle of your choice!

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