I began to try perfecting this recipe for an Instant Pot Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce as soon as I got my Instant Pot, and I have been so pleasantly surprised by the results, I've never turned back. Now, this is the only way spaghetti with marinara gets cooked in our home. And since it's Jay's number one favorite food, that is pretty much all the time.
There are just five ingredients in my marinara sauce, and to make this a true one-pot meal, I added some protein in the form of meaty vegan crumbles. These are the kind you can buy from the frozen aisle at the supermarket, and the brand I usually get is Gardein, but you can also just use TVP or soy granules. If you don't want to use the crumbles, you can make this with a plain marinara and the spaghetti is just as delicious.
What I love about the recipe is that I can prep as I go. Not that there is a whole lot to prep. I just need to chop some garlic, open a can of San Marzano tomatoes, and a pack of crumbles. That really doesn't need to take more than five minutes, does it?
What I also love is how much deliciousness I get out of these few ingredients. When the marinara and spaghetti cook together, the sauce permeates the pasta, making it even tastier. This recipe cooks up the pasta perfectly al dente, so don't worry about serving -- or eating -- mushy pasta.
Like I said, this recipe is very kid-friendly, and a great addition to your little one's -- or not-so-little one's -- lunch box. Check this post for this and other easy vegan lunch box ideas.
Instant Pot Spaghetti with 'Meaty' Marinara recipe:
Instant Pot Spaghetti with Marinara
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil (if you want to make the pasta oil-free, use 2 tbsp of water or vegetable stock)
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed and thinly sliced
- 12 oz veggie meatless crumbles or soy crumbles or TVP (optional)
- 1 28-oz can San Marzano tomatoes. Place the tomatoes in a bowl and crush them with your fingers.
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp dry oregano or basil
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 12 oz dry spaghetti
- Place the olive oil (or water) in the inner lining of the Instant Pot and set to saute. Add the garlic and, if using oil, stir-fry the garlic until it starts to turn lightly blonde. If you're using water, saute until the water evaporates.
- Add the veggie crumbles and saute for a minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, red pepper flakes, oregano or basil, and spaghetti. I like to break up the spaghetti into 3-inch pieces so it steeps in the liquid.
- Add 2 ½ cups of water, salt and pepper to taste. Click in the lid of the Instant Pot and set it to pressure cook at high for 8 minutes.
- Once the pressure cooking is done, wait 10 minutes, then let any remaining steam escape by turning the venting knob or steam release knob to the venting position. Open the lid and immediately, using a fork, stir the pasta and the sauce. This will keep the pasta strands from sticking together as they cool, so it's an important step.
- Check seasoning and serve hot.