This quick and easy dinner is packed with Italian flavor and can be made right in your pressure cooker. Enjoy Instant Pot Baked Ziti With Meat as a weeknight meal or for a Sunday feast!
Baked ziti is a classic Italian comfort food dish. It's made with layers of cheese, meat, and creamy tomato sauce. It's hearty, filling, and delicious. While it's typically baked, thanks to the Instant Pot, you can make this favorite dish in no time at all!
A pressure cooker is a kitchen gadget that uses built-up pressure to cook food quickly and evenly. It's perfect for dishes like instant pot baked ziti with Meat because it cuts down on cook time while still producing delicious results.
This instant pot baked ziti couldn't be easier to make! Simply brown the meat using the saute function, then add in the sauce and pasta. Let it pressure cook to perfection before adding the cheese and mix in until it's melted. Serve alongside a piece of toasted garlic bread, and you've got an easy meal that the whole family will love!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Everything is made in just one pot, making clean-up super easy!
- No need to boil the ziti! The pressure cooker uses steam to cook the pasta perfectly.
- It's a hearty meal packed with Italian flavor.
- The entire meal takes just 30 minutes from start to finish.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Ground Beef - This hearty protein adds a beefy flavor throughout the dish, along with satisfying protein.
- Olive Oil - Used to saute the beef, onions, and garlic to brown and cook them properly.
- Onion & Garlic - Infuses this dinner recipe with bold garlic and onion flavor that pairs well with the beef.
- Italian Seasoning - This mix of dried herbs is classic in Italian cooking and adds a depth of flavor.
- Dried Seasonings - A mix of salt, ground black pepper, and crushed red pepper enhance the flavor of the salt.
- Chicken Broth - Adds a flavorful liquid to the pot that helps steam the ingredients to cook them properly.
- Diced Tomatoes - Helps create the rich tomato sauce and adds liquid.
- Ziti - These wide pasta shapes help soak up the sauce and flavors of the dish. You can also use penne pasta.
- Spaghetti Sauce - A simple red sauce is used to create that classic Italian flavor.
- Mozzarella Cheese - Adds a creamy and cheesy flavor to the dish when mixed in and melted.
How To Make Baked Ziti In The Instant Pot
Brown the ground beef: Turn your Instant pot to saute mode; once hot, add olive oil, ground beef, onion, and garlic. Stir occasionally and cook until meat is browned and onions are soft.
Layer the ingredients: Add salt, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and chicken broth. Stir until well combined. Add diced tomatoes and spread them out evenly on the ground beef. Pour noodles on the diced tomatoes and press them down into the liquid. Evenly pour spaghetti sauce over noodles.
Pressure cook the baked ziti: Place the lid on Instant Pot and set the valve to sealing. Select pressure cook on high for two minutes.
Add the cheese: When the pasta is finished cooking, turn the Instant Pot off and allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. Then, open the valve to release pressure. Wait until the valve drops, carefully remove the lid and stir well. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and place the lid back on for 2 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Enjoy!
- When layering the ingredients, ensure that the pasta is fully submerged in the liquid, as this will help it cook evenly.
- If your instant pot baked, ziti comes out a bit too dry, thin it out with a little more chicken broth or tomato sauce before serving.
- Do not pressure cook for longer than two minutes as the pasta will become mushy and will fall apart easily.
- More cheese can be added on top after melting some inside to create a cheesy top layer.
- If you don't have chicken broth on hand, water or vegetable broth can be used as substitutes.
- Use other meats: Instead of ground beef, try using ground chicken or turkey, Italian sausage, or even chorizo.
- Add more veggies: For a vegetarian version of this instant pot baked ziti, add in some finely chopped zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, or kale.
- Switch up the cheese: Try using provolone cheese instead of mozzarella for a delicious twist.
- Make it vegetarian: Use crumbled tofu or tempeh in place of ground beef for a vegan option.
- Make it gluten-free: For a gluten-free instant pot baked ziti, use gluten-free pasta and gluten-free chicken broth.
- Add heavy cream: For an even more rich baked ziti, stir in some heavy cream after the cheese.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Once cooled, portion out the baked ziti and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Freezing: Place portions of instant pot baked ziti in an airtight freezer bag or wrap tightly with plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge and bake in a preheated 350°F oven until heated through.
Any instant pot that is 6 quarts or larger will work for this recipe.
No, you can use any type of pasta that you prefer. Penne, macaroni, and rigatoni will all work well in this recipe.
The main difference between the two is that baked ziti has ridges in the shape of a tube, while penne is shaped like cylinders. Both are great for baking and have a delicious, cheesy texture.
Instant Pot Baked Ziti with Sausage
- Turn your Instant pot to saute; once hot add olive oil, ground beef, onion, and garlic. Stir occasionally and cook until meat is browned and onions are soft.
- Add salt, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and chicken broth. Stir until well combined.
- Add diced tomatoes and spread them out evenly on top of sausage.
- Pour noodles on the diced tomatoes and press them down into the liquid. Evenly pour spaghetti sauce over noodles.
- Place the lid on Instant Pot and set the valve to sealing. Select pressure cook high, high pressure. Set a time to cook for 3 minutes.
- When the pasta is finished cooking, turn the Instant Pot off and allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. Then, open the valve to release pressure. Wait until the valve drops, and carefully remove the lid.
- Remove the lid and stir well. Top with cheese and place the lid back on for 2 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
*All nutrition information provided is automatically calculated and is an estimate and will vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact numbers on your ingredients, I would recommend calculating them with your prefered nutrition calculator.