clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
A picture of Instant Pot Pasta with Meatballs

Instant Pot Pasta with Meatballs

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4-5 servings 1x


The most SOS recipe there ever was – Instant Pot Pasta and Meatballs! Bites of pasta, tender meatballs, caramelizey tomato sauce, and some herbed lemon ricotta on top.


Units Scale

Pasta and Meatballs

  • 12 tablespoons olive oil (2 especially if your sauce doesn’t have much oil it in)
  • 1/2 to 1lb. frozen chicken meatballs (or other pre-made meatballs – I used ones that were already cooked) – about 2 cups if you’re eyeballing
  • one 32-ounce jar of your favorite tomato pasta sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups small pasta – I like to use ditalini
  • salt and pepper to taste

Herbed Lemon Ricotta

  • 1 pound fresh ricotta – mascarpone is a bit more creamy / melty and also delicious!
  • juice of 1 lemon + a little bit of zest
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped mixed chives, parsley, basil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place meatballs in the Instant Pot; drizzle with olive oil. Sauté for a couple minutes to get the meatballs a bit browned on the outside – they don’t need to be fully thawed.
  2. Add in this order: pasta, sauce, chicken broth. Do not stir. Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes. 
  3. Release steam right away (so your pasta doesn’t overcook and get mushy). Stir to incorporate. A small amount of sticking is normal, but with a few gentle stirs it will lift up and come together perfectly. It will be saucy at first; if you let it rest a few minutes, the sauce will absorb into the pasta and it’ll get a little less saucy. It’s delicious to eat either way!
  4. Mix your herbed ricotta ingredients together while the pasta cooks.
  5. Serve the hot pasta in bowls with dollops of the ricotta over the top. Mwah!


Stovetop instructions: Just cook the pasta as directed. Add the meatballs and sauce to another skillet; add cooked pasta and combine (you likely won’t need any broth). You’re good to go.

An amazing shortcut for the herbed lemon ricotta is garlic and herb spreadable cheese like Boursin or Alouette! I like to add lemon zest to those shortcuts too just so you get the nice lemony flavor in there.

A previous version of this recipe had the tomato sauce added first and stirred before cooking; I’ve never gotten a burn warning with that method, but just to be extra sure, I retested and reordered the ingredients so the tomato sauce goes on top of the pasta and meatballs to avoid burn warnings. 

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: instant pot pasta, pasta and meatballs, spaghetti o's, ricotta cheese, easy dinner, shortcut dinner, weeknight dinner