Instant Pot Spaghetti


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Skip the stovetop and make Instant Pot Spaghetti in your pressure cooker for a fun, easy dinner. Marinara sauce thickens and coats the noodles and tender chicken that all comes together fast with just one pot to clean.

side image of Instant Pot chicken spaghetti in a white bowl with a silver fork

Talk about, winner, winner chicken dinner (plus spaghetti!). This one pot, total comfort food, Instant Pot pasta method produces springy noodles with tender bites of chicken. It’s a great way to feed a crowd or have leftovers for the entire week. Instant pot spaghetti really is the king of weeknight dinner.

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How to Make It

  1. Layer ingredients in the Instant Pot – In the bowl of an Instant Pot, layer, 2 cups chicken stock, then 20-ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs, one pound of dry spaghetti, two (25-ounce) jars of store-bought marinara, and finally 2 more cups of chicken stock. Do not stir the pasta. This will help prevent the burn notice caused when tomato sauce sticks to the bottom of the pot.
  2. Close and lock lid – Close and lock the lid. Set the valve to Sealing.
  3. Cook 4 minutes – Cook on manual / high pressure for 4 minutes.
  4. Natural release 5 minutes – Let the pressure naturally release for 5 minutes. Then quick release any remaining pressure.
  5. Shred chicken – Take the chicken out and chop or shred it.
  6. Stir well – Stir the pasta really well (about 20 times) to break about any pasta that might still be stuck together. Add the chicken back in and stir the chicken pasta well.
  7. Serve with chopped basil and shredded parmesan on top.
  8. Enjoy!

Recipe Tip

As described above, don’t stir the pasta before cooking. The pasta sauce can burn on the bottom of the pan, but keeping each of the ingredients in layers will insure it will cook well without giving you the burn notice.

pouring marinara sauce over spaghetti in an instant pot

Why Cook Pasta and Sauce Together

A special type of pasta magic happens when you cook pasta and sauce together in one pot. As it cooks, the pasta releases starch into the sauce, giving the sauce a creamy texture and rich flavor.

The Instant Pot / pressure cooker is great for this one pot spaghetti and sauce method. Pressure cooking pasta means the spaghetti comes out al dente (tender but still springy), and the sauce thickens and coats the noodles as it all cooks. It produces a great one-pot meal for busy weeknights.

Check out my post on how to cook any pasta in the instant pot for even more ways to use this great technique.

spaghetti on a fork over an Instant Pot


  • Chicken Thighs – Use boneless, skinless thighs which will stay more tender as they cook. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts will work just fine, but may be a bit more dry.
  • Spaghetti – This recipe was tested with spaghetti, so results and cook times may vary if you use another type of pasta.
  • Marinara Sauce – Use any type of store-bought marinara sauce / pasta sauce. This dish calls for two 25-ounce jars. I love trying different flavors and varieties, so get whichever flavor sounds good to you!
  • Chicken Stock – You get the most flavor and a rich sauce by using chicken stock, but in a pinch you could also just use water as the cooking liquid.
  • Chopped Basil and Parmesan Cheese (optional) – Great for topping your finished dish, but totally optional.

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What to Serve with Instant Pot Spaghetti

overhead image of white bowl with chicken spaghetti and an instant pot in the background


  • Make it creamy – Stir in heavy cream or some cubed cream cheese after cooking to make a creamy sauce. The cream cheese works really well to add body to the sauce. It’s the same technique I use in Creamy Cauliflower Baked Ziti.
  • Add seasoning – A good marinara sauce should have plenty of flavor, but if you find it a bit lacking, try adding chopped garlic or garlic powder. Sun-dried tomatoes also add great flavor to the sauce.
  • Add vegetables – Try adding vegetables to the pasta to make this a complete meal. Steamed vegetables like green beans can be stirred in after cooking and will heat right in the sauce.
  • Make it spicy – Add some red pepper flakes for a kick of spice.

More Instant Pot Pasta Recipes

fork twirling instant pot spaghetti in a white bowl

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square image of instant pot chicken spaghetti in a white bowl with a silver fork
3.83 from 51 votes

Instant Pot Chicken Spaghetti Recipe

This entire meal cooks together for tender saucy noodles and shredded chicken in every bite.
Note: Be sure to layer the ingredients as listed below with chicken stock below the marinara sauce. This will prevent the burn error from occurring as the pasta cooks.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Total: 18 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 6-quart Instant Pot / pressure cooker


  • 4 cups Chicken Stock, divided
  • 20 ounces Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs, uncooked
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 25 ounce jars Marinara Sauce (see note)
  • 16 ounces Dried Spaghetti
  • Chopped Fresh Basil, for serving (optional)
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese, for serving


  • Pour 2 cups of stock into the bowl of an instant pot. Add the chicken thighs. Season the top with the salt and pepper. (Don't worry if the chicken is completely submerged in liquid, just season over the top of the liquid.)
  • Add the spaghetti, breaking it apart so that it easily fits inside the pot. Pour the jars of marinara sauce over the spaghetti. Pour the remaining 2 cups of stock over the marinara sauce. (Note: Be sure to add the ingredients in the order listed to avoid getting the burn error. Do NOT stir everything together before cooking.)
  • Close and lock lid. Move the pressure valve to Sealing. Cook on manual / high pressure for 4 minutes.
  • Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes. Then manually release any remaining pressure.
  • Remove the lid and transfer the chicken thighs to a cutting board. Roughly chop the chicken. Give the pasta a really good stir about 20 times to break apart any strands of pasta that stuck together. Stir in the chopped chicken.
  • If not serving right away, let the lid of the Instant Pot rest on top to keep the pasta warm. As the pasta sits the sauce will continue to thicken.
  • Serve the pasta with basil and parmesan cheese on top.


Marinara sauce – This recipe has just a few ingredients, so the quality of the sauce will matter. It’s worth buying a higher quality sauce here – it will reward you with great flavor!


Calories: 451kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 513mg | Potassium: 570mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 29IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $8.00
Calories: 451
Keyword: easy chicken recipe, easy pasta dinner, easy, weeknight-friendly, kid-friendly recipe
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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  1. I did it exactly as recipe said. Got burn notification. Never came to pressure. Stired it, not stuck to bottom. But very hot. Reset for 4 mins. Burn again. Took lid off, boiling but no pressure. Noodles are done and so is chicken. Wonder why ot kept burning?

    1. Hi Lisa – that’s so strange! Was there any sign of anything stuck or browning on the bottom of the pot? Tomato sauces do have a tendency to cause the burn error, but there is enough liquid in this recipe that I’ve never had that issue here. You can always give yourself a bit more wiggle room by adding an extra 1/2 cup of water to any recipe that uses tomato sauce or tomatoes. Sometimes the burn sensitivity seems to just vary a bit from machine to machine. One thing you could try is to remove the pot completely and make sure that there aren’t any small particles of food between the bottom of the pot and the mechanism of the machine and wash / dry the outside of the pot well. Maybe there’s something stuck there that’s throwing it off?

  2. I was wondering if I could cube frozen chicken breast so it wouldn’t dry out & still be cooked through.

    1. Yes – that should work great! If the cubes are broken apart and fairly small, I think the cook time should be the same if using chicken straight from frozen.

  3. I’m trying this with Springer Mountain Farms fully cooked frozen grilled chicken breasts…let’s see how this turns out 🤷‍♀️

  4. Can you double this recipe? What does it do to cook time? Thank tou!! My mom asked for it for Mothers Day!!

    1. Hi Christy! I do think you can easily double it, but I haven’t tried it, so I’m not certain about the cook time. My instinct is just to add an extra minute to the cook time to be sure the liquids have enough time to heat up. (You definitely won’t need to double the cook time – once the pressure builds, it will cook fine even with double the ingredients.) Just be sure not to skip steps 4 and 5 to give the pasta a good stir and let it sit before serving. Enjoy and Happy Mother’s Day to your mom!

      1. Thank you for responding. Truly enjoying several of your recipes!! Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!!

  5. Do you think it’s possible to cook whole chicken thighs, bone in, skin on? I have trouble with my hands so cutting up the chicken is difficult for me. Thanks in advance for your response

    1. Hi Amy. The cook time for bone-in chicken thighs will be much longer than listed in this recipe, so I suspect you will end up over-cooking the pasta by the time the chicken is done. Have you ever tried buying chicken tenders / tenderloins? They come in thin strips of chicken breast that should cook in the amount of time listed in this recipe without the need to do any chopping. You got me thinking about other recipes that don’t require chopping. My Instant Pot chickpea curry can be made without any of the aromatics / chopped ingredients – (Also – please check back in to the site in the next week or two. I am coming out with two infographics that include 10 unique Instant Pot recipes that require almost no chopping or prep at all. Each will have options for using ground beef, chickpeas, or chicken breast – those thin chicken tenderloins would work great in those recipes too without the need to chop them.)


    1. Hi Amanda. This will fully cook the chicken- add it raw in bite-sizes pieces and this is more than enough time to fully cook it.

  6. Love this spaghetti. Love the trivia about cooking the pasta and the sauce together to add extra flavor to the sauce. Can’t wait to try this at home.