Instant Pot Baked Ziti can be ready in under 10 minutes for a one pot meal your family will love for dinner. Quick and easy dinner idea any day of the week.

A serving of baked ziti on a spoon

Instant Pot Baked Ziti Recipe:

Instant Pot Baked Ziti takes the traditional baked ziti and it is all made in the instant pot. This is one of our favorite recipes for crazy busy nights. I love that I can give my family a really tasty dinner without hardly any work at all.

Baked Ziti is a crowd pleaser and now you can make it in the instant pot for a fraction of the time. The flavor is just as amazing as the baked version and dinner is a breeze.

This is such an easy one pot meal. Not only is it delicious but it really cuts down on clean up too. No need for multiple pans for the meat, the sauce and another to boil the noodles. It all goes in the instant pot.

Close up image of baked ziti on a white plate.

How Long Does it take to Cook Pasta in the Instant Pot?

Cooking pasta in the Instant Pot doesn’t take long. Make sure that the broth or water covers the uncooked pasta before closing the lid to cook. It takes about 3 minutes to cook the pasta on high pressure.

Pasta cooked in the instant pot is so easy to do and there is no reason to dirty up any additional pans.

Ingredients needed - beef, onion, garlic, salt, italian seasoning, crushed tomatoes, beef broth, ziti pasta, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese

Ingredients:

  • Ground Beef (You can also use ground sausage or ground turkey)
  • Onion finely chopped
  • Minced Garlic
  • Salt
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Crushed Tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • Beef Broth
  • Ziti Pasta
  • Ricotta Cheese
  • Mozzarella Cheese (shredded)
  • Parmesan Cheese (shredded)
Baked Ziti in the instant pot

How to Make Baked Ziti in the Instant Pot:

  • Brown ground beef in the Instant Pot – On the sauté setting, cook ground beef and onion until browned. Break up the meat as it cooks. Make to scrape the bottom of the pot as you are cooking.
  • Continue Cooking – Once the beef is cooked, turn off the sauté setting.
  • Combine Ingredients – Mix in crushed tomatoes, minced garlic, salt, Italian seasoning and beef broth. Stir to combine all the ingredients together.
The process of making baked ziti in the instant pot
  • Add in uncooked pasta – Stir in the pasta. 
  • Cook on High Pressure – Add the lid and set to sealing setting. Pressure cook on high for 3 minutes. Do a quick release to release the pressure. 
  • Combine Cheeses – In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese and parmesan cheese.
  • Add Ricotta Cheese – Stir in the ricotta mixture. 
  • Add Mozzarella Cheese – Top with the mozzarella cheese. Cover and allow the cheese to melt for about 5 minutes (but do not turn back on).
  • Serve and Enjoy – Then the ziti is ready to serve and enjoy.

Tips for Instant Pot Ziti:

  • Cooking Pasta – Since we are cooking pasta right in the instant pot, make sure you add broth with the sauce. And that it covers the pasta. This will prevent the burn notice appearing on your instant pot.
  • Serve Immediately – Cooking pasta in the instant pot for about 3 minutes allows it to get al dente. If left in to long then the pasta continues to cook absorbing all the liquid. Cook time could vary depending on your instant pot.
  • Cook on the Stovetop – If you prefer or do not have an instant pot, you can make this recipe on your stovetop. It will take a little longer but still will come out so flavorful.
  • I recommend buying block mozzarella cheese and grating it by hand for this recipe. It will melt better and will not be as greasy. The cheese melts smoother and all around tastes better.
Close up image of baked ziti on a white plate.

What to Serve with Baked Ziti:

  • Simple Side Salad – Since this meal is hearty and filling, we like to serve lighter sides. A simple side is the perfect side and allows you to get your vegetables in.
  • Steamed Broccoli – Makes some easy steamed broccoli for an tasty side.
  • Garlic Bread – Make some easy garlic bread and add some cheese. Salad, bread and baked ziti is the perfect meal to come home to.
  • Bakery Bread – Feel free to grab a loaf of bread from the bakery. Fresh bakery bread pairs well with this recipe.
Close up image of baked ziti on a white plate.

Can I use a Different Pasta?

Yes, you can use different pasta. You can easily substitute any type of pasta you prefer or already have in your pantry. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Elbow
  • Bow Tie
  • Rigatoni
  • Whole Wheat Pasta

What to Substitute for Ricotta cheese:

Cottage cheese is a really good substitute for ricotta in dishes like this. In fact, I often combine the 2 and they make a really creamy and delicious mixture for the pasta dish.

I have used Ricotta and cottage cheese can’t tell much difference. So just use what you have or you prefer. They are both great and make this meal delicious.

Variation Ideas:

  • Changing the Meat – Ground beef, ground turkey or ground Italian sausage will work in this recipe. You can use the one you prefer. I have even mixed some of these together.
  • Tomato sauce –  If you prefer a thinner consistency add a can of tomato sauce to the recipe. You could also used diced tomatoes.
  • Add in Vegetables –  Bell peppers add even more flavor. You can add it to the meat as it browns or just toss them in the slow cooker. We like to add in spinach or mushrooms for added flavor.
  • Change the Pasta –  You don’t have to use penne pasta. Anything will work. Some ideas include: elbow, bow tie, rigatoni or whole wheat pasta.
  • Use Pasta Sauce – If you have pasta sauce, use that instead of tomatoes. This cuts out a few ingredients, so it saves time and money.
  • Cottage cheese is a really good substitute for ricotta in dishes like this. In fact, I often combine the 2 and they make a really creamy and delicious mixture for the pasta dish.
  • Change the Cheese – You can use different types of cheese. If you want it to have a kick to the meal, use pepper jack cheese.
  • Skip the Meat – This meal can be made without meat and it still is delicious.

Can I make Baked Ziti in the Slow Cooker?

Yes, this baked ziti cooks great in the slow cooker. We cook the ground beef separately but once cooked, then all the ingredients are added to the crock pot to bake. Even though the pasta cooks right in the crock pot.

Crock Pot Baked Ziti is a great way to make this recipe, even if you don’t have an instant pot.

Close up image of baked ziti on a white plate.

How to Store Leftovers:

This is a great meal to have leftovers. We like to double the recipe so that we can have leftovers during the week. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days and it becomes an easy second meal.

When you are ready to serve, I like to reheat on the stovetop as it heats better. But you can easily reheat in the microwave in 30 second intervals.

Can I Freeze Baked Ziti?

We do no recommend freezing the baked ziti. The pasta doesn’t hold up and it will turn mushy when thawed. You can easily freeze the pasta sauce without the noodles if you prefer.

Why we Love this Instant Pot Baked Ziti:

This meal is faster than getting take out and tastes better too. You can serve you family an amazing meal in minutes thanks to the pressure cooker.

  • Quick and Easy Dinner Idea – When you forget to something out for dinner, make this baked ziti. I like to have these simple ingredients in my pantry for a quick dinner idea.
  • Simple Ingredients – The ingredients are simple and can easily be changed to what you have on hand.
  • Crowd Pleaser – My family loves any Italian Recipes. Cooking pasta recipes keeps my growing boys full which makes me happy.
  • Great Recipe – This is just a great recipe. Plus making it in the instant pot makes it super easy.

Print this Instant pot baked ziti recipe below:

Instant Pot Baked Ziti Recipe

5 from 5 votes
Instant pot baked ziti can be ready in under 10 minutes for a one pot meal your family will love.This meal is faster than take out and tastes better too.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 8
Cuisine Italian
Course Main Course
Calories 492
Author Eating on a Dime

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef (You can also use ground sausage or ground turkey)
  • 1/2 onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 3 cans crushed tomatoes (14.5 oz each)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 16 oz Ziti Pasta
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (shredded)

Instructions

  • On the saute setting, cook ground beef and onion until browned. Break up the meat as it cooks.
  • Once the beef is cooked, turn off the sauté setting. Drain off any excess grease and make sure that there are not any pieces stuck to the bottom of the instant pot insert.
  • Mix in crushed tomatoes, minced garlic, salt, Italian seasoning and beef broth. Stir to combine all the ingredients together.
  • Stir in the pasta. 
  • Set the pressure for 5 minutes.
  • Add the lid and set to sealing setting. Pressure cook on high for 3 minutes. Do a quick release to release the pressure. Make sure to release the pressure immediately after the cook time so that the pasta does not get over cooked.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese and parmesan cheese. Stir in the ricotta mixture into the ingredients in the instant pot.
  • Top with the mozzarella cheese. Cover (but do not turn back on) and allow the cheese to melt for about 5 minutes. 
  • Serve and enjoy

Recipe Notes

You can use ½ ground beef and ½ sausage to change up the flavor if you prefer. 
*Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.  

Nutrition Facts

Calories 492kcal, Carbohydrates 56g, Protein 26g, Fat 19g, Saturated Fat 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 7g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 61mg, Sodium 798mg, Potassium 798mg, Fiber 5g, Sugar 9g, Vitamin A 530IU, Vitamin C 15mg, Calcium 229mg, Iron 4mg

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Instant pot baked ziti can be ready fast for a one pot meal your family will love.This meal is faster than take out and tastes better too. This Instant Pot Ziti with beef and ricotta cheese is an easy pasta recipe that the entire family will love! #eatingonadime #instantpotrecipes #pastarecipes #Italianrecipes
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Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families.

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  1. This got a 5 star and a request to be made frequently by my Ziti loving husband! It is now a every 2-3 week meal!!

  2. Recommend adding a whole can of broth. Kept getting a burn notice. Also tack on 2 minutes of cooking time. Pasta was not done after only 3 minutes.