4 minute pasta and meatballs in the pressure cooker. Perfect weeknight meal - throw it in a pot and pressure for 4 minutes!

I will make an effort to settle down with the pressure cooker recipes. Promise!

I just love this one though and the weird thing is, I only tend to make this when fall comes. The reason I say it’s weird is that I don’t have any kids at home anymore. BUT, this feels like the kind of thing I want to cook on those “school nights”. You know the ones. The ones where you get off of work or the kids have practice and by the time you get home it’s already dark. Yes, it’s still technically the same time as summertime but it feels like you get less time when it gets dark so early.

I feel like that anyway. I don’t even have kids to take to practice or do homework with and I feel that way – like I just want to settle down early and get food on the table. Maybe it’s just me, I don’t know.

But this gets the job done.



1 pound of a nice sturdy pasta
1/2 teaspoon salt
frozen meatballs, number depends on how many people and size of meatballs
1 jar of pasta sauce
1 small can of black/green olives or mushrooms if using


Set your pressure cooker to sauté in order to start heating it up. Add the bag of pasta to the pot. Add salt. Pour water over the pasta just even with the pasta. Put meatballs over the top. I usually use 3-5 meatballs per person, depending on how big they are. Heck, put as many as you want!
Sprinkle the olives and/or mushrooms if using. Spoon or gently pour the jar of sauce over the top of the meatballs. Don’t stir it, just layer it on there.

Turn off the sauté feature. Close your lid and pressure on high for 4-5 minutes. 4 if you have regular pasta but 5 if you have a really thick pasta.

Unplug and quick release when it’s done. If you don’t, your pasta will keep cooking and become a mushy mess. Carefully open the lid and stir.
If you find it too liquidy, maybe the jar of sauce you used was thinner, just walk away from it for about five minutes after you stir. When you return it should have thickened up nicely.

4 Minute Pasta & Meatballs in the Pressure Cooker! Get dinner on the table in no time!Click To Tweet

**NOTE: Setting your pressure cooker to sauté only serves to start heating it up to reduce coming to pressure time, but honestly, this is so quick to assemble I haven’t noticed a giant difference. I may shave off a few minutes, but it’s not that big of a deal. And by all means, if you make your own sauce, use it. If you make your own meatballs and freeze them, as I like to do, use that too! You don’t have to defrost, just toss those badgers in there.

This post is linked to:
Funtastic Friday, Weekend Potluck, Best of the Weekend, Foodie Friday & Everything Else, Friday @ the Firestation,

4 minute pasta and meatballs in the pressure cooker. Perfect weeknight meal - throw it in a pot and pressure for 4 minutes!4 minute pasta and meatballs in the pressure cooker. Perfect weeknight meal - throw it in a pot and pressure for 4 minutes!

4 minute pasta and meatballs in the pressure cooker. Perfect weeknight meal - throw it in a pot and pressure for 4 minutes!

48 thoughts on “Pressure Cooker Pasta and Meatballs”

  1. ❤️ this recipe. Putting the water in right after the pasta REALLY WORKS MUCH BETTER than adding the water last (like 95% of the other IP/Pressure Cooker recipes instructions say to do)
    Thank you Bearded Hiker! I’m definitely am going to be sharing this with my friends.

  2. Ugh, love penne and meatballs so I tried this using penne. Did everything like the recipe said just substituting penne and for 5 minutes. Pasta was too chewy and sauce was watery, any suggestions please??

    1. Chewy as in too cooked or undercooked? I would decrease to 4 minutes if it was too done. And the watery sauce…well it depends on the sauce you use. If it’s a thinner sauce it may come out a little more watery but what I do is I just leave it for 5 minutes. I make sure the keep warm feature is not on, probably not necessary but I just do and I’ll open the lid and give it a good stir and walk away for 5 minutes. It always thickens up perfectly. The more delicate the pasta, the less time you’ll need. You can’t tell really well from the photo, but the pasta that I always use for this is really really big when it cooks up. I only use that one for this dish because it holds up crazy well to pressure. I’ve never tried penne or any other type in this because this one just works so well.

    1. Oh Sherry, if I could, I would send each and every one of you folks a pressure cooker. It’s just a great addition to your kitchen quiver. My slow cooker, pressure cooker and grill – they are besties. They cannot be separated from me!
      Thanks for the feature, can’t wait to visit!

  3. This looks so yummy! I’m not a great cook, but I think I could do this! Thanks for joining us at the TO GRANDMA’S HOUSE WE GO – LINK PARTY #58 this week! Your project has been pinned. Would love for you to join us again this Wednesday!

    1. I am sure that’s not true Sheri, but even the best cooks need a simple, throw it in a pot recipe. Thanks for coming by and I’ll definitely be back to yours!

    1. I feel you on that Lisa. I struggle with the ball myself. I’ll eat it if i made it, that way I control the texture factor, but I never get it at a restaurant or anything. I hadn’t tried any frozen meatball before trying these at Costco, and they were surprisingly good. Kind of have a grilled flavor.

  4. This recipe looks delicious! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with Full Plate Thursday. Have a great weekend and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen

  5. You’re so right! Evenings just feel so much faster when the sun sets earlier. My kids would definitely love this. Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

    1. You’ll love it. I see people talking about the yogurt situation but I don’t ever do that. I just love the way it turns laborious or squirrelly things into something fast and delicious.

  6. What a brilliant way to use your pressure cooker! I have to admit I only ever use it to cook stock or pulses – you’ve opened my eyes to a whole new world! Thank you for bringing these along to Fiesta Friday!
    Ginger x

    1. Almost anything you do on the stove you can modify for your pressure cooker. Not everything but close. But to this day, I still don’t make stock in it. I have, but I just feel like it doesn’t taste as rich and deep as simmering it on the stove. Beans? Yes ma’am! Thanks for taking a look Ginger!

      1. It’s the beauty of Fiesta Friday that you get to meet all those wonderful bloggers! I get your point about stock, I often add another half hour or more with the lid off, reducing it until I am happy. I’ll definitely give your meatball combo a try!

  7. Thanks for sharing this deliciously easy pressure cooker recipe at Bloggers Pit Stop. It sounds perfect for busy school nights as you suggest. I also like the fact that it has limited number of ingredients.

  8. I love my pressure cooker but never thought about cooking pasta in it. Something to try next week, on a school night 🙂

  9. Looks delicious and comforting! I don’t know much about pressure cooker recipes so this post is great, I need to expand my culinary skills:)

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