Rigatoni and meatballs in an Instant Pot garnished with Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.

Easy Instant Pot Rigatoni and Meatballs

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Rigatoni and meatballs made in the Instant Pot – homemade Italian seasoned meatballs (or frozen, if you’re in a hurry!), rigatoni pasta, and pasta sauce seasoned to perfection and quickly cooked for a savory, filling meal that everyone will love.

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Rigatoni and meatballs in an Instant Pot garnished with Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.

One thing that I love about pasta dishes is that almost everyone enjoys them.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that I’ve met anyone who doesn’t like pasta! This meatball & rigatoni meal is one of the very first recipes that I made in my Instant Pot, and it did not disappoint.  

These homemade meatballs are packed with Italian seasonings and breadcrumbs, making them a delicious centerpiece of this Instant Pot pasta dinner.  If you want to do this quickly, you can also use frozen meatballs, but once you’ve made them homemade, you’ll be hooked!  Top this mixture with your favorite jar of pasta sauce and shredded Parmesan cheese, and this meatball rigatoni recipe is sure to become one of your new favorites.

Why You’ll Love This Instant Pot Meatballs and Rigatoni Pasta Recipe

  • It’s a perfect combination of Italian flavors.
  • It’s hearty and filling.
  • Even your picky eaters will enjoy this rigatoni and meatballs dish.
  • It’s made in the Instant Pot! 
  • It can also be made with frozen meatballs, and calls for a jar of pasta sauce, meaning it can also be made on those busy weeknights!

Equipment For your Instant Pot Meatballs and Rigatoni Pasta

  • Instant Pot
  • Large Mixing Bowl
Instant Pot rigatoni and meatballs in a white bowl with Parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top.

Ingredients You’ll Need To Make This Easy Instant Pot Rigatoni and Meatballs

  • Chicken Broth
  • Rigatoni Pasta
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Herbs & Spices: The combination salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, oregano, and basil is what makes this recipe so good.
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Ground Beef
  • Eggs
  • Bread Crumbs

How to Make Instant Pot Rigatoni and Meatballs

Homemade Meatballs (skip if using frozen)

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add all meatball ingredients, mix with your hands until just combined. Do not over mix.
  2. Wet hands and form into uniform 1½ inch meatballs. Set aside.

Pasta

  1. Add chicken broth, pasta sauce, salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning to the Instant Pot. Stir until well combined. Add pasta to the sauce and stir until pasta is completely covered.
  2. Add meatballs on top of the pasta. Put the lid on Instant Pot and set the valve to sealing. Select pressure cook high, high pressure. Set a time to cook for 5 minutes.
  3. When pasta is done cooking, use the quick pressure release method. Turn off the Instant Pot and open the valve to release pressure. Wait until the valve drops. Carefully remove the lid.
  4. Serve hot and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Storing & Reheating Instant Pot Rigatoni and Meatballs

These Instant Pot Meatballs & Pasta can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.  Make sure to put them in a sealed, air-tight container so that they can maintain their freshness.  You can also freeze them in the same type of container for up to 6 weeks.  Make sure that the pasta and meatballs are completely cooled before freezing them or refrigerating them.  To reheat, thaw completely, then reheat in the oven at 350 F for 10 minutes or until warm.  You can also microwave them for 2-3 minutes, but the texture is definitely better if you use the oven.

Tips For Making the Perfect Instant Pot Meatballs and Rigatoni Pasta Recipe

Don’t forget to wet your hands before rolling the meatballs!  This will help keep the mixture from sticking to your hands.

Substitutions and Variations

  • I like to use Italian Seasoned breadcrumbs, but you can also use Panko crumbs if you want a little “crunch”.
  • If you are looking for a healthy substitution, try using wheat or veggie rigatoni pasta.  You can also use ground turkey instead of ground beef in the meatballs.  If you are using frozen meatballs, you could also use plant-based or chicken meatballs.
Two bowls of homemade meatballs over rigatoni pasta.

What To Serve/Pair With Your Instant Pot Meatballs and Rigatoni Pasta

I like to serve my meatballs and rigatoni with warm, buttery garlic bread homemade bread sticks and an Italian or Caesar salad.  If you want to add a veggie, this pasta is delicious paired with long, steamed green beans.

My favorite dessert to pair with this meatball dish is traditional Italian cannoli.  These are fun to make homemade as a family, or you can buy them store-bought.  The sweetness really complements the flavors of the pasta sauce.

Instant Pot Meatballs and Rigatoni Pasta FAQs

What kind of pasta sauce should I use?

You can use whichever kind of jarred sauce that you prefer.  My personal favorite is four cheese, but my family likes traditional or garden style.  Changing the sauce each time you make it is a good way to mix up this recipe week after week.

I set my Instant Pot cook time to 5 minutes – why is it taking longer?

Keep in mind that Instant Pots need a few minutes to build up pressure before they start cooking.  Once it has built up enough pressure, the cook time will start.

What can I do to keep the pasta and meatballs from sticking to my Instant Pot?

I’ve never had an issue with the pasta or meatballs sticking to my Instant Pot, but you could drizzle a little olive oil into the mixture if this is a concern.

Do I stir the meatballs into the pasta before starting the Instant Pot?

No, you want your foods to be in the correct layers to make sure that they cook properly and that nothing sticks.  Be sure to follow the steps of the recipe in the proper order for your rigatoni and meatballs to have the best consistency (and taste!).

Close up of a homade meatball on a fork.

More Easy Instant Pot Recipes

Make Sure You Come Back And Let Me Know How Your Instant Pot Meatballs and Rigatoni Pasta Recipe Turned Out!

Rigatoni and meatballs in an Instant Pot garnished with Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.

Easy Instant Pot Rigatoni and Meatballs

Rigatoni and meatballs made in the Instant Pot – homemade Italian seasoned meatballs (or frozen, if you’re in a hurry!), rigatoni pasta, and pasta sauce seasoned to perfection and quickly cooked for a savory, filling meal that everyone will love.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Pressurize Instant Pot 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course, pasta
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 lb rigatoni pasta
  • 1 (24 ounce) jar pasta sauce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese (finely grated)

Homemade Meatballs (or you can use frozen ones)

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese (finely grated to garnish when done cooking)

Instructions
 

Homemade Meatballs (skip if using frozen)

  • In a large mixing bowl add all meatball ingredients, mix with your hands until just combined. Do not over mix.
  • Wet hands and form into uniform 1½ inch meatballs. Set aside.

Pasta

  • Add chicken broth, pasta sauce, salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning to the Instant Pot. Stir until well combined. Add pasta to the sauce and stir until pasta is completely covered.
  • Add meatballs on top of the pasta. Put the lid on Instant Pot and set the valve to sealing. Select pressure cook high, high pressure. Set a time to cook for 5 minutes.
  • When pasta is done cooking use the quick pressure release method. Turn off the Instant Pot and open the valve to release pressure. Wait until the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
  • Serve hot and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
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