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Instant Pot Baked Ziti

The Best Instant Pot Baked Ziti is so easy and made all in one pot! Ground beef, ziti pasta, spaghetti sauce and melted mozzarella cheese!

AN INSTANT POT PASTA RECIPE

Honestly, there is no better weeknight meal (to me) than pasta and a meal that can all be cooked in one pot with minimal dirty dishes! This Instant Pot Baked Ziti recipe can be made and ready to eat with minimal effort, one pot, and easy to find ingredients.

baked ziti shown served on white round plates with a glass of lemon water in the background.

TIPS FOR MAKING THIS PRESSURE COOKER MEAL:

  • Substitute ricotta cheese for the cottage cheese, if desired.
  • Ground Italian sausage can be substituted for the ground beef.
  • Add ¼ cup of parmesan cheese in with the cottage cheese, if desired.
  • Add more mozzarella cheese if you prefer an even cheesier version.
  • Add red pepper flakes for a spicier version.
Instant Pot Baked Ziti recipe from The Country Cook, a scoop of cooked baked ziti shown on a serving spoon.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)

ground beef
olive oil
diced onions
garlic
Italian seasoning
marinara spaghetti sauce
ziti pasta
water
small curd cottage cheese (or ricotta cheese)
shredded mozzarella cheese

ingredients for instant pot baked ziti: ground beef, olive oil, onions, garlic, Italian seasoning, marinara spaghetti sauce, ziti noodles, water, small curd cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese.

HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT BAKED ZITI:

Add the olive oil, ground beef, onions and garlic into the Instant Pot and set it on sauté mode. Season the mixture with Italian seasoning.

ground beef, chopped onions and garlic in the bottom of the pressure cooker.

Brown and crumble the beef until it is no longer pink and the onion has softened. Drain any excess grease. Make sure to scrape off any brown bits that may be in the bottom of your pot. They will burn when you go to pressure cook and you don’t want to get a burn notice. Turn the Instant Pot off. 

fully cooked and crumbled ground beef and cooked onion in the bottom of an instant pot.

Add the marinara in with the beef mixture and stir to combine.

marinara sauce added to ground beef mixture.

Add the uncooked ziti noodles onto the top of the sauce mixture, but DO NOT STIR IN.

uncooked ziti noodles added to the top of the marinara sauce.

Pour the 2 cups of water over top of the uncooked pasta. Again, DO NOT stir

pouring water to the top of the ziti pasta noodles in an electric pressure cooker.

Place the top on the Instant Pot, seal and set manual setting on HIGH pressure for 7 minutes. When the timer goes off, to a quick release of the pressure immediately and turn the IP off. Open the top and add 1 cup of cottage cheese and stir into the pasta and tomato sauce mixture.

cottage cheese added to the baked ziti mixture.

Cover the top of the ziti with mozzarella cheese as a topping. DO NOT stir.

shredded mozzarella cheese added to the top of the ziti and sauce mixture shown inside the instant pot.

Place the lid back on and let it sit for at least 5 minutes to let the cheese melt. Serve immediately.

Instant Pot Baked Ziti, fully cooked with melted mozzarella on top.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

silver spoon with a serving of baked ziti being scooped up out of instant pot.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

Instant Pot Baked Ziti recipe from The Country Cook

Instant Pot Baked Ziti

The Best Instant Pot Baked Ziti is so easy and made all in one pot! Ground beef, ziti pasta, spaghetti sauce and melted mozzarella cheese!
5 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Pressurization Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ cup diced onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 23 ounce jar marinara sauce
  • 16 oz box ziti pasta noodles, uncooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup small curd cottage cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • parmesan cheese, optional
  • red pepper flakes, optional

Instructions

  • Add the olive oil, ground beef, onions and garlic into the Instant Pot and set it on sauté mode. Season mixture with Italian seasoning.
  • Brown and crumble the beef until it is no longer pink and the onion has softened. Drain any excess grease. Make sure you don't have any brown bits left in the bottom of the pot – you don't want them to burn later as the pot is coming to pressure. Place drained beef back into the pot.
  • Turn the Instant Pot off the sauté mode.
  • Add the marinara in with the beef mixture and stir to combine.
  • Add the uncooked ziti noodles onto the top of the sauce mixture, but DO NOT STIR IN.
  • Pour the 2 cups of water over top of the uncooked pasta. Again, DO NOT stir.
  • Place the top on the Instant Pot, seal and set manual setting on HIGH pressure for 7 minutes.
  • When the timer goes off, do a quick release of the pressure immediately and turn the IP off
  • Open the top and add 1 cup of cottage cheese and stir into the pasta and tomato sauce mixture.
  • Cover the top of the ziti with mozzarella cheese as a topping. DO NOT stir again
  • Place the lid back on and let it sit for at least 5 minutes to let the cheese melt.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Substitute ricotta cheese for the cottage cheese, if desired.
  • Ground Italian sausage can be substituted for the ground beef.
  • Add ¼ cup of parmesan cheese in with the cottage cheese, if desired.
  • Add more mozzarella cheese if you prefer an even cheesier version.
  • Add red pepper flakes for a spicier version.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 346kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 14g | Sodium: 183mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating




9 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I also got the burn notice two times. I added more water than called for so I’m not sure what happened. After the second notice the noodles were soft enough so we just ate it. It tasted delicious! I just need to figure out what I’m doing wrong so I don’t get the burn notice.

  2. 5 stars
    I thought i scraped the bottom clean after sautéing the meat, so I’m not sure what happened. But having said that, I did double the meat, half ground beef and half sausage and used a 28 oz can of crushed tomato. Maybe it was the crushed tomato? But i was able to resolve it…the noodles were pretty cooked, bout half way…so I stirred in sauce and then put on slow cook high for 15ish minutes and it was done! And so delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  3. There wasn’t enough water to the recipe as written and I got a burn notice. I had to add 2 more cups of water and then I had to season the sauce so it wouldn’t be watered down. Not a fan.

    1. What size pot did you use? I make this recipe at least twice a month and have never gotten a burn notice. Hmmm…did you scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan from the ground beef? If there’s any left, they will burn when you go to set it to pressure cook. Also, no stirring the noodles in as well. If they are close to the bottom, they will burn. Obviously I’m not in the the kitchen with folks to know everything that could possibly go wrong but I’ve thoroughly tested this recipe and others have made it with no issue. So sorry you had issues! 🙁

      1. Yes I get a burn notice when doing this in a smaller 3 quart pot. From everything I’ve read for a smaller pot, I’m thinking it would be best to have the meat, add the pasta, pour in the water, then put the sauce on top. The sauce being on the bottom increases the likely hood of a burn notice because the water gets absorbed into the sauce.

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you! I do like to make big batches of recipes to freeze, so I made two portions of the recipe and cooked in two different Instant Pots. I have made it a couple of times already. I now push the noodles down a bit when I add them and make sure water has hit every noodle when pouring it in as some of the noodles on top were too dried out cooking, but this resolved it. I had no problems with the recipe at all. I doubled the meat and used half ground beef and half Italian sausage as we like the extra protein. I did mix in some parmesan cheese and dried parsley into the cottage cheese and I used a 24 oz container split between both Instant Pots, so this is extra. I also stirred in the mozzarella and then added extra on top with some more parmesan cheese. We like extra cheese as well. I personally cannot eat gluten or dairy, but my husband and kids gobble this up and LOVE it. Thank you!