Instant Pot Baked Ziti – easy pasta with Italian sausage, tomato sauce and ricotta cheese. Creamy and cheesy pasta dish cooked in your pressure cooker.
When you are craving comfort food, need something easy that everyone will love or simply it’s pasta night at your house, this Instant Pot Baked Ziti will fit the bill. It’s super easy and packed with flavor. You will make it once and it will stay in your weekly menu for a long time. This pasta can be adjusted to your likings by using different meat or skipping it entirely for a vegetarian meal. Just don’t forget the ricotta and more cheese on top! This dish is bound to be a hit!
- ziti pasta
- Italian sausage (mild or spicy)
- olive oil
- Italian seasoning
- dried oregano
- salt and pepper
- crushed tomatoes
- tomato paste
- shredded mozzarella cheese
- ricotta cheese
- On “saute” setting, add oil to insert and saute onion and garlic. Add seasoning and saute for 1 minutes. I like to saute seasoning at this point because it in a way “activates” the spices and makes them more fragrant.
- Add sausage and cook until done.
- Press “cancel/off” button. Add 1/4 cup of water and using a wooden spoon, scrape all of the browned bits from the bottom of the insert. They have a lot of flavor but also, it will prevent the dish from burning at the bottom.
- Now add pasta and water and stir everything together.
- Add diced tomatoes, paste, and crushed tomatoes and do not stir.
- Cook on “manual” or “pressure cook” setting for 6 minutes.
- When done, carefully switch the valve to “venting” position. Carefully open the lid away from your face. Stir pasta.
- Add ricotta and stir again. Top pasta with grated mozzarella or Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley or basil.
Can I freeze this dish?
Yes! Like any cooked pasta dish, you can freeze this Instant Pot Baked Ziti. Cool it completely after cooking and freeze for up to 3 months. I do not like to add ricotta before freezing but stir it in before serving.
Can I use pasta sauce in a jar in this recipe?
You can use any pasta sauce you like to make this dish. Just make sure to use 24 ounces total. If it already has seasoning, you may need to adjust the amount of Italian seasoning you add to the pasta.
You can play with this recipe and use ingredients depending on what you like or what you have on hand.
- meat: Instead of Italian sausage, you can use ground beef, turkey or even chicken.
- no meat: You can also keep it vegetarian and skip the meat but add spinach, mushrooms, peppers, etc.
- pasta: You can also use penne, macaroni pasta or bow tie pasta in place of ziti.
More pasta recipes
- Instant Pot Spaghetti
- Instant Pot Pasta Carbonara
- Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken Pasta
- Instant Pot Chili Mac
Check out my Instant Pot Guide for Beginners, filled with all the info you need to get started with your new appliance! Seeing BURN message on your IP? Read my Instant Pot Burn Message post to learn why and how to save your dish.
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Instant Pot Baked Ziti
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb mild or spicy Italian sausage casings removed
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 24 oz. crushed tomatoes
- 1 15. oz can diced tomatoes with juices
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 lb ziti pasta
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¾ cup ricotta cheese
- Make sure the stainless steel insert is in your Instant Pot.
- Press "saute" setting. Add oil to insert and heat up. Add garlic and chopped onion and saute until the onion is almost translucent. Add Italian seasoning and dried oregano, stir well.
- Place Italian sausage (casings removed) in Instant Pot and cook, breaking it down with a wooden spoon. Cook until no longer pink and there are brown bits on the bottom of the IP insert. Press "cancel/off" button. Add ¼ cup of water to sausage and stir well, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the insert.
- Add ziti and 2 cups of water and stir well.
- Pour diced tomatoes (with juices) over pasta, add tomato paste and crushed tomatoes. Do not stir.
- Close lid of the Instant Pot, switch the valve to "sealing" position.
- Press "manual" setting and adjust timer to 6 minutes. The Instant Pot will beep and start coming to pressure.
- When the timer is done, the Instant Pot will beep. Press "off/cancel" button. Switch the valve to “venting” and quickly release the pressure. When the done, carefully open the lid.
- Add mozzarella cheese and ricotta cheese and stir well.
- Serve ziti garnished with fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese.
- Please note, that the nutrition value can vary depending on what product you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use calorie counter you are familiar with.
- You can use penne pasta in place of ziti.
- Use ground beef or Italian sausage with your preferred level of spiciness.
This recipe was originally published on August 20th, 2018 and updated on November 17th, 2019.