Instant Pot Rigatoni with Meat Sauce

This is my first time making an Italian pasta dinner in my Instant Pot, but it certainly won’t be my last! With this recipe you cook it all up quickly in one pot, so no need to prepare the meat and sauce separately while you are waiting for the pasta water to boil. The older I get, the less I enjoy making meals that require dirtying multiple pots and pans.

Instant pot rigatoni pasta with meat sauce topped with sliced basil.

Rigatoni and meat sauce garnished with sliced basil

How Many Calories and WW Points in this Instant Pot Pasta?

According to my calculations, each 1-½ cup serving has about 325 calories.

To see your WW PersonalPoints for this recipe and track it in the WW app or site, Click here!

How to Make Instant Pot Rigatoni and Meat Sauce

Step 1: Gather and prepare all ingredients.

Rigatoni with meat sauce ingredients, including marinara, mushrooms, ground turkey, pasta, parmesan, red bell peppers and fennel seeds.

Ready to make the pasta and meat sauce

Step 2: Press the sauté function on the pressure cooker and add the olive oil and onion to the inner pot. Cook until onion softens and becomes translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring as needed to prevent onion from burning.

Step 3: Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute more.

Sauteeing onions and garlic in instant pot.

Cooking the garlic with the onions

Step 4: Add the ground turkey, breaking up the meat into crumbles with a wooden spoon (affiliate link) or spatula, and cook until almost cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Sauteeing onions, garlic and ground turkey in instant pot.

Cook the ground turkey until almost done

Step 5: Turn off Instant Pot (affiliate link) and stir in the fennel seed, black pepper, marinara sauce and ¾ cup of water until thoroughly combined.

Cooking marinara sauce with ground turkey and onions in instant pot.

Stirring in the spices, marinara, tomatoes and water

Step 6: Add the rigatoni,

Adding uncooked rigatoni to meat sauce in instant pot.

First add the rigatoni

then layer with tomatoes, mushrooms and bell peppers, making sure the pasta is completely covered. Do not stir the ingredients.

Uncooked rigatoni meat sauce mushrooms and peppers in Instant pot

Layer the tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers on top of the pasta

Step 7: Place the lid on the pot in the lock position and move the steam release handle to Sealing position. Press manual button and cook on HIGH pressure for 6 minutes.

Step 8: Once the cooking cycle is complete, move the steam release handle to Venting position and quickly release the steam, being careful to not get burned. (I like to cover the steam release valve with a dish towel before releasing the steam.)

Step 9: Once the pressure has been released, unlock and remove the lid. Stir the ingredients with a wooden spoon and allow to sit, uncovered, for about 2 minutes then and the grated cheese and stir.

Stirring rigatoni and meat sauce in instant pot with wooden spoon.

After cooking completes, remove the lid and stir to combine

Step 10: Divide evenly among 6 pasta bowls and serve with additional grated cheese and sliced basil or chopped parsley, if desired.

Instant pot rigatoni and meat sauce in ceramic bowl.

Instant Pot Rigatoni with meat sauce

Step 11: Store any leftover pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes, Variations & Substitutions

I like this pasta with ground turkey, a great WW friendly choice, but feel free to substitute lean ground beef or even pork. Although I haven’t tried this yet, I think it would also work well with meatless crumbles if you wanted to keep this vegetarian friendly.

Here in the U.S., many ground meats come pre-packed in 16 ounce containers. If you elect to use all 16 ounces (instead of the 12 ounces called for in the recipe), you’ll probably want to add a little more marinara and water. I added 16 ounces of ground turkey and kept the remaining ingredient quantities the same and my Instant Pot (affiliate link) wouldn’t come up to pressure.

Apparently, the machine is smart enough to know if there is not enough liquid—so I added a bit more marinara and water and then it pressurized and cooked as expected.

When making any ingredient changes, be sure to add them to WW Recipe Builder to get the correct Points for your recipe, if that’s a consideration.

Your cooker should come up to pressure rather quickly since it’s all warmed up after sautéing the onions, garlic and meat.

Instant Pot Rigatoni pasta and meat sauce in two bowls, one plane and one topped with basil and Parmesan

Pasta with meat sauce

Serving Suggestions

Serve with thinly sliced fresh basil, chopped parsley and shredded Parmesan cheese. Spice it up a little with some crushed red pepper flakes, Tabasco or your favorite hot sauce.

A simple green salad makes a nice accompaniment to this hearty pasta dish.

Rigatoni and meat sauce garnished with fresh basil and shredded Parmesan cheese.

Instant Pot pasta and meat sauce topped with basil and Parmesan

Ways to Use Leftover IP Rigatoni & Meat Sauce

Reheat leftovers in the microwave (affiliate link) for a simple lunch or dinner or freeze them in portion-size containers for future quick and easy meals. 

Turn this into a pasta soup by adding leftovers to a large sauce pan with chicken or vegetable broth (affiliate link) and a little more marinara, until you reach the desired consistency. Once the soup is heated, divide between soup bowls and garnish with basil, parsley and/or grated Parmesan.

You can also use leftovers to make stuffed peppers. Find larger red bell peppers, cut in half and remove the seeds. Lay peppers in a baking dish and top with leftover rigatoni and meat sauce and heat in the oven. For a melty cheese topping, add grated Parmesan or mozzarella when they are almost done. You’ll only need a few minutes in a hot oven to melt the cheese!

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5 from 1 vote

Instant Pot Rigatoni with Meat Sauce

A hearty, delicious and healthy pasta dinner that cooks quickly in the Instant Pot and doesn’t require multiple pots and pans. Is there anything more satisfying?

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time25 mins

Pressurize:5 mins

Total Time40 mins

Servings (adjustable): 6

Calories: 325

Author: Peter | Simple Nourished Living

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Press the saute function on the pressure cooker and add the olive oil and onion to the inner pot. Cook until onion softens and becomes translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring as needed to prevent onion from burning.

  • Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute more.

  • Add the ground turkey, breaking up the meat into crumbles with a wooden spoon, and cook until almost cooked through, about 5 minutes.

  • Turn off instant pot and stir in the fennel seed, black pepper, marinara sauce and ¾ cup water until thoroughly combined.

  • Add the rigatoni, then layer with tomatoes, mushrooms and bell peppers making sure the pasta is completely covered. Do not stir the ingredients.

  • Place the lid on the pot in the lock position and move the steam release handle to Sealing position. Press manual button and cook on HIGH pressure for 6 minutes.

  • Once the cooking cycle is complete, move the steam release handle to Venting position to quickly release the steam, being careful not to get burned. (I like to cover the steam release valve with a dish towel before releasing the steam.)

  • Once the pressure has been released, unlock and remove the lid. Stir the ingredients with a wooden spoon and allow to sit, uncovered for 2 minutes before stirring in the grated cheese.

  • Divide evenly among 6 pasta bowls and serve with additional grated cheese and sliced basil or chopped parsley, if desired.

Recipe Notes

I like this pasta with ground turkey, but feel free to substitute lean ground beef or even pork. Although I haven’t tried this yet, I think it would also work with meatless crumbles if you wanted to keep this vegetarian friendly.
Here in the U.S., many ground meats come pre-packed in 16 ounce containers. If you elect to use all 16 ounces (instead of the 12 ounces called for in the recipe), you’ll probably want to add a little more marinara and water. I added 16 ounces of ground turkey and kept the remaining ingredient quantities the same and my Instant Pot wouldn’t come up to pressure.
Apparently, the machine is smart enough to know if there is not enough liquid—so I added a bit more marinara and water and then it pressurized and cooked as expected.
When making any ingredient changes, be sure to add them to WW Recipe Builder to get the correct Points for your recipe.
Your cooker should come up to pressure rather quickly since it’s all warmed up after sautéing the onions, garlic and meat.
Serving size: about 1-½ cups
Click here to see your WW PersonalPoints for this recipe and track it in the WW app or site.
8 *PointsPlus (Old plan)

Nutrition Facts

Instant Pot Rigatoni with Meat Sauce

Amount Per Serving (1 -½ cups)

Calories 325 Calories from Fat 68

% Daily Value*

Fat 7.5g12%

Carbohydrates 45g15%

Fiber 5g20%

Protein 21g42%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Italian

Keyword: instant pot pasta, pasta with meat sauce

Recipe source: Eat What You Love Everyday (affiliate link) by Marlene Koch

*PersonalPoints® calculated by WW. *PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT each plan’s ZeroPoint Foods (Green plan, Blue plan, Purple plan) using the WW Recipe Builder.

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