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4.72 from 7 votes

Instant Pot Baked Ziti

This Instant Pot Baked Ziti is the perfect weeknight meal and the ultimate Italian-American comfort food! A savory meat sauce, with perfectly melted cheese and a creamy finish - you'll be giving yourself a pat on the back for this one!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Waiting for IP15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 8
Calories: 590kcal


  • 1 pound ground beef extra lean
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pepper or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 pound ziti uncooked, or other pasta such as rigatoni, or penne
  • 3 cup chicken broth low sodium or no sodium added
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cup passata or crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 2 tablespoon fresh basil chopped


  • Preheat: Set the Instant Pot to "saute" setting and spray the insert with cooking spray.
  • Prepare beef: Add in the ground beef and cook until it begins to brown - breaking it into crumbles with a wooden spoon.
  • Create sauce: Add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, brown sugar, and Italian seasoning; stir well. Next, stir in the chicken broth and heavy cream.
  • Add pasta: Press "cancel" on the Instant Pot. Add the pasta (do not stir!). If the pasta is not submerged in the sauce, add water -up to 1/3 cup- to ensure the pasta is submerged. Finally, pour the passata over the past (do not stir!) and close the lid.
  • Cook: Turn the sealing valve on the Instant Pot to the "seal" position, and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Note: it will take about 10 minutes for the instant pot to come to pressure.
  • Finish: When cooking time is complete, release the steam valve and press "cancel". Once pressure has been released, remove the lid and stir in 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese. Top the ziti with the remaining mozzarella and let it stand for about 10 minutes.
  • Serve: Garnish with fresh basil and serve warm!


  1. Creamy baked ziti will last in the fridge for 3 - 5 days when stored in a sealed airtight container. If you would rather freeze the ziti, do so by storing in a tightly sealed airtight container and it will extend the shelf life for up to 1 month.
  2. When the times comes for reheating, remove from the freezer the night before and let it thaw in the fridge. Reheat in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 F degrees.


Calories: 590kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 566mg | Potassium: 706mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1028IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 213mg | Iron: 4mg