I love my Instant Pot. It’s the greatest time-saving, magic-producing, easy-to-use kitchen appliance known to (wo)mankind. I use it almost every day to make everything from eggs to pot roast and – wait for it – cheesecake! Yes, the BEST cheesecake.

But I have to admit the idea of making spaghetti with meat sauce in a single pot, all at the same time, did not sit well with me.

Haven’t we learned that pasta and pressure cooking do not play well together? Pasta will turn to mush, breaking down in ways that make it ... not particularly edible. No wonder I was suspicious.

Still, rave reviews from cooks and food enthusiasts I respect kept haunting me. I had to give it a try, if only to prove once and for all that pasta in a pressure cooker is going to turn into a mushy mess, lacking distinct flavor, texture and visual appeal. Boy, was I wrong!

This method for spaghetti with meat sauce is going to knock your socks off. The pasta turns out perfectly, but more than that, it comes out infused with the flavors from the meat sauce. And the sauce hugs each strand of spaghetti, clinging to it the way it’s supposed to. I find this so much better than preparing the pasta in a separate pot and then pouring the meat sauce over the top to serve.

I’ve been making this for dinner once a week for a couple of months, and I’ve been reheating the leftovers for lunch (it’s even better the next day!). I have to say this is the best thing to come out of my kitchen in a long time. I’ll never make spaghetti and meat sauce any other way. And once you try it, I’m predicting you won’t either.

To make Instant Pot Spaghetti With Meat Sauce, you will need an Instant Pot plus:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound ground beef

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 cups water, divided

24 ounces jarred marinara or spaghetti sauce

8 ounces dry spaghetti (angel hair)

Parmesan cheese for serving

Available in a variety of models and sizes, the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart continues to be the best value with its seven-functions as an electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, saute pan, yogurt maker and warmer.

Here’s the critical issue: You must follow these specific instructions exactly. At one point, the recipe instructs, “Do not stir!” so, please, don’t do it.

Set Instant Pot to “saute,” adding olive oil, ground beef, salt and powders, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or spatula and continue cooking until no longer pink. Turn Instant Pot to “off.” Add 1/2 cup water and all 24 ounces (3 cups) of the spaghetti sauce. Break noodles in half, and lay them on top. Do. Not. Stir. Pour the rest of the water (1 1/2 cups) over the top (or pour that water into the empty sauce jar to rinse, and then pour it in). Don’t stir! Cover, and set Instant Pot to “high pressure” for 8 minutes, followed by “quick release.” It will take 10 to 12 minutes to come to pressure. Stir, and plate. Then top with Parmesan cheese to serve.

Go to https://EverydayCheapskate.com/spaghetti for further instructions, info photos and a printable recipe card.

Would you like more information? Go to EverydayCheapskate.com for links and resources for recommended products and services in this column. Mary invites questions, comments and tips at EverydayCheapskate.com, “Ask Mary.” This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a lifestyle blog, and the author of the book “Debt-Proof Living.”

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