If you are using your Instant Pot (or other multi-cooker) for the first time, or if you need a quick and easy weeknight recipe, look no further. This Instant Pot Italian Marinara Pasta recipe is so simple, fast, and tasty! The sausage, onion, and tomato sauce infuses into the pasta to create a flavorful Italian dish great for any night of the week!
My recipe is adapted from 365 Days of Slow and Pressure Cooking’s Instant Pot Cheater Lasagna. To make this recipe, some of the same ingredients used for Lasagna are used in this dish. Since the ingredients are cooked in a pressure cooker rather than the oven, I think the final flavor is more similar to a baked ziti instead of a lasagna.
Instant Pot Italian Pasta Ingredients
This recipe starts with canned spaghetti or tomato sauce which saves time and gives a good base flavor. I use Hunt’s Garlic and Herb spaghetti sauce, but use your favorite spaghetti or marinara sauce. If you want a homemade version, try my recipe for Homemade Marinara Sauce.
Either mild or hot Italian sausage work well in this dish. Personally, I love the spiciness of the hot Italian sausage, but it was almost too spicy for my husband. If you have a low-heat tolerance, or if you are making this for younger palates, I recommend using mild Italian sausage. Feel free to substitute ground beef if you don’t want to use sausage.
When it comes to Italian dishes, I’m definitely team cottage cheese. Feel free to substitute ricotta if that’s your team.
Instant Pot Equipment and Cooking Time
The Instant Pot size I use is the 6 quart, but any multi-cooker can be used. The flavor and convenience pressure cookers provide are worth the investment.
Any pasta can be used in this recipe. Cooking times may need to be adjusted if using a different kind of pasta. To calculate pasta cooking time, divide the recommended boiling time by 2, and then, subtract 1 to determine the number of minutes needed. On average, 4-5 minutes should be enough time to completely cook your pasta.
Let me know if you try this Instant Pot Italian Marinara Pasta recipe, and if you are team cottage cheese or team ricotta!
If you love this Instant Pot Italian Marinara Pasta, be sure to check out my recipe for Spicy Tomato Cream Pasta!
Instant Pot Italian Marinara Pasta
- 1 lb Italian Sausage Mild or Hot
- 1 small Onion, Diced Small
- 2 tbsp Italian Seasoning
- 16 oz Penne Pasta, Dried
- 3 cups Beef Broth
- 24 oz Marinara or Spaghetti Sauce I used Hunts Garlic and Herb
- 1 cup Cottage Cheese or Ricotta
- 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
- Parmesan, Grated Optional
- Parsley Optional
- If necessary, remove sausage from casings.
- Turn on the “Saute” setting on the Instant Pot, and add onion, sausage, and Italian seasoning to inner pot. Cook for about 5-6 minutes until onion is softened and sausage is browned and no longer pink. Drain mixture if there is more than 2-3 tablespoons of grease.
- Add pasta to pot in an even layer on top of the sausage mixture, and cover pasta with beef broth.
- Without stirring(!), add marinara or spaghetti sauce on top of the pasta. (Not stirring in the tomato sauce will prevent receiving the “Burn” notice on the Instant Pot.)
- Close the instant pot with the lid, and turn the steam valve to “Sealing”.
- On the Instant Pot, click “Cancel” (or equivalent) to stop “Saute”. Click the “Manual” button on High Pressure. Set the timer for 5 minutes* and allow the Instant Pot to come to pressure (about 10-15 minutes).
- Turn the steam valve to “Venting” to release the pressure manually.
- Stir in cottage cheese (or ricotta) and mozzarella cheese.
- If desired, top with Parmesan cheese and parsley. Serve hot!