This is an easier and less messier version of my Instant Pot stuffed shells recipe. I would highly suggest trying this version out first because the other one will make a mess of your kitchen with double the time.


Pretty much the same ingredients; with the exception of the ground beef. That part can totally be optional and even subbed with veggies like eggplant, squash, and the likes.


As usual, ground the meat in the IP, then add the onions and garlic.


I’m like a broken record at this point. Season then add tomato sauce…


…Simmer then drop in the dry pasta on top…


…Add water and high pressure cook for 6 minutes…


…Release, mix (note how much the pasta comes to life after a little stir from left to right!)…


…Season and dollop some ricotta…


…Quick stir and there you have it.


Granted it’s not exactly the same as real baked ziti (with a layer of ricotta mixture baked in), but the flavors are there in less time. Def don’t recommend pressure cooking with ricotta – I read online that it curdles.


Easy and tasty weeknight meal option.



  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 small onions or 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 or so garlic cloves, chopped
  • 28 oz tomato sauce (or pasta sauce)
  • 1 lb ziti or penne pasta
  • 8 oz ricotta chese
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded\
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • seasonings – about a half tablespoon each of salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasonings – all to taste



  1. Pour a drizzle of vegetable oil in the Instant Pot and set to saute on high. Add the beef and start to break into pieces with a wooden spoon. Stir, but not too frequently, for about 5 minutes when juices begin running. Add chopped onion and garlic, and continue to cook just a few minutes more.
  2. Add tomato sauce and pick up any fond on the bottom of the pot with the spoon. Turn saute off.
  3. Gently pour the entire pound of pasta on top of the sauce, but do NOT mix it in.
  4. Pour enough water to just reach the top of the pasta (about 2 cups or so, but be gradual). Still, do NOT mix.
  5. Turn pressure cook on high for 6 minutes after properly sealing the lid. Once done, wait one minute then quick release. Mix pasta around so the sauce and meat is evenly coated. Season with spices listed above, and adjust to taste if need be.
  6. Add the ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella cheese to the top of the pasta and just gently fold over a few times. You don’t want it fully homogeneous; some chunkiness is nice. Serve while still warm and cheese is melted.
Posted by:Talei Rukstad

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