Instant Pot spaghetti with meat sauce comes together quickly and with ease–less cleaning, less standing over the stove, but with all the flavor and comfort of a pasta dinner. Flanken ribs, ground meat, marinara (from a jar, if you wish), white wine, garlic, and noodles are about all it takes.
Jewish food and the Instant Pot are a natural fit. So many traditional Jewish dishes are soups and stews—prepared before Friday night and kept warm throughout Shabbat, when observant Jews aren’t allowed to cook—and that’s the sweet spot of a pressure cooker. For decades, Jewish families have relied on slow cookers to achieve the soft, flavor-filled stews of their ancestors, but they lamented the time required.–Paula Shoyer
Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
- 6-to 8-quart Instant Pot or pressure cooker
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1 medium (7 oz) onion chopped into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces
- 4 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 pound deboned flanken* or short ribs, cut into 1/3-inch (8 mm) pieces
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more if needed
- 1 pound dried spaghetti
- 3 cups store-bought or homemade marinara sauce
- 3 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt plus more if needed
- On the display of your Instant Pot, press Sauté. When display reads “Hot,” add 2 tablespoons oil, the onion, and garlic to the inner pot. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add ground beef and flanken, or short ribs, and cook until meat is browned, pressing the meat pieces into the bottom of the pan, and stirring occasionally to brown on all sides, 8 to10 minutes. Pour in wine and cook for 3 minutes. Sprinkle in 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Press Cancel.
- Grab half of the spaghetti. Break strands in half, rinse under cold water, then place into the pot placing strands in different directions. This will prevent the spaghetti from clumping together. Repeat with remaining spaghetti.
- Drizzle remaining tablespoon of oil on top of spaghetti strands. Pour sauce and water over pasta. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- Secure Instant Pot lid, ensuring the steam release handle is in the Sealing position. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
- When cooking time is complete, turn the steam release handle to the Venting position to release any remaining pressure. Press Cancel and remove lid.
- Use two forks to separate the spaghetti strands, mix pasta and meat together. Taste pasta. If it is a bit hard, return cover to the pot and let it warm for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir again to thoroughly combine and serve immediately.
*What is flanken?Short ribs, cut from a beef rib section of 3 to 4 ribs, can be cut in 2 different ways–either flanken or English style. This section of rib contains a lot of meat, interspersed with muscle, fat, and tendon. It has a lot of beefy flavor but needs to be cooked properly to be tender. Flanken is cut across the bones, in a thickness of about 1/2-inch thick. Each piece contains a few thin pieces of bone across the top. English-style, on the other hand, are short ribs that are cut between the ribs to separate them, leaving a thick piece of beef on top of one piece of bone. A hybrid style of short rib is also becoming increasingly popular, where the ribs are cut in the flanken style but much thicker, like English-style ribs. Because flanken is cut thinner, they’re best cooked quickly over high heat, whereas English-style short ribs require a low and slow cooking time.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Instant Pot recipes either overcomplicate the simplest of dishes or shorten the amount of time it takes to make recipes that usually take hours. This Instant Pot spaghetti with meat sauce recipe is a mash-up of both and I am definitely adding it to our monthly rotation.
I love that it’s one pot, even though it’s not exactly a 30-minute meal. So with a little planning to account for bringing the pot up to pressure, you’ve got a hearty meal that easily feeds 6, maybe even 8. I made it very kid-friendly with a jar of basic marinara, but there’s nothing stopping you from spicing it up. Adding short ribs adds to the slow-cooked flavor of the sauce and makes pantry staples feel a little more special.
I loved the convenience and ease of this Instant Pot spaghetti and meat sauce. Just one pot to cook everything? Yes, please! This makes a simple, family-pleasing meal of spaghetti and rich meat sauce, and the addition of the short ribs gives it a flavor boost.
It can definitely be adjusted to suit your tastes and next time I make this, I’ll definitely use a spicy tomato sauce and add some extra herbs to the sauce, but that’s a personal preference. Overall, an easy one-pot meal that everyone enjoyed.
Originally published October 3, 2021