Pressure Cooker Baked Ziti

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You need this recipe in your life! Pressure Cooker Baked Ziti is a simple instant pot pasta recipe made with penne pasta and taken to the next level with creamy and flavorful cheese. 

I know I just shared a slow cooker spaghetti and meatball recipe with you, but I have been planning on sharing this pressure cooker baked ziti recipe with you since I got my fabulous Instant Pot and I just couldn’t wait any longer.

Pressure cooker baked ziti served in a large rimmed white bowl.
A picture showing the cover images for all three cookbooks written by Aileen Clark.

This recipe was inspired by my favorite dish to order at Olive Garden – Five Cheese Ziti Al Forno! I did reduce the cheese to three kinds of cheese just because I write this blog for busy moms, and well, I didn’t want to send you hunting down five different kinds of cheese.

Especially when sharing an instant pot pasta recipe, it’s supposed to save you time! This recipe for pressure cooker baked ziti is super good and cheesy. If you have an electric pressure cooker, then you need to add this recipe to your list. It’s yummy, filling, and totally kid friendly!

The Best Part about this Pressure Cooker Baked Ziti

There is a secret ingredient in this instant pot pasta recipe, too. Well, three secret ingredients: cheese, cheese, and more cheese! Okay, not so secret, baked ziti is usually about the cheese. Let’s just say it’s my favorite ingredient.

You may also like: Instant Pot Roast Beef or baked zucchini pasta

Instant Penne Pasta shown served as baked ziti with two slices of garlic bread.

It’s as close as I could get to baked ziti in the instant pot electric pressure cooker without actually baking anything. The cheese makes the sauce so flavorful.

I used penne pasta for this instant pot baked ziti recipe, but you can use any tube-shaped pasta. You just want to avoid the long and skinny pasta varieties (like spaghetti), because I have heard they can clog your Instant Pot. That would be tragic.

How to Make Pressure Cooker Baked Ziti

  1. To make pressure cooker baked ziti, you start by browning ground beef in the bowl of your pressure cooker set to saute. Next, drain the fat and add your water, pasta, and sauce.
  2. Cook on high for 4 minutes and quick pressure release (QPR). Open the lid and mix in the cheesy goodness.
  3. Serve immediately with your favorite garlic bread (or try this cheesy garlic bread recipe.)

So easy and so good. This is a great beginner instant pot recipe.

Instant Pot baked ziti in a white bowl next to a wooden cutting board full of garlic bread.

Do you want more instant pot recipes? Join our Instant Pot Recipes for Families group on Facebook!

Instant Pot Pasta with cheesy meat sauce. This was the closest I could get to pressure cooker baked ziti with out actually turning on my oven.

Pressure Cooker Baked Ziti

Aileen Clark
Pressure Cooker Baked Ziti is a simple instant pot penne pasta recipe taken to the next level with creamy and flavorful cheese. 
4.47 from 15 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 14 minutes
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 472 kcal


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 3 cups water
  • 32 oz. jar marinara sauce
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese


  • Set pressure cooker to saute and brown ground beef. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remove browned ground beef and drain fat.
  • Add in pasta, water, meat, and marinara sauce (in that order).
  • Close lid and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes.
  • Quick Pressure Release. (QPR).
  • Stir in the cheddar, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses.
  • Serve.


Calories: 472kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Other Amazing Pressure Cooker Recipes:

We love making baking ziti with penne pasta in our pressure cooker. We hope you enjoy it, too. Have a question or comment? Let us know below.

4.47 from 15 votes (14 ratings without comment)

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  1. 2 stars
    Following this recipe was the first time I had to trash my food. Idk why but it never pressurized barely cooked.. just clumped up. My pressure cooker is in working condition, I didn’t miss a step. I just wasted food, time and money and now have nothing for dinner.

  2. I love this dish! Comes out perfect every time. We are having a baby in a couple months and we will have two under two. I’m thinking about making and then freezing to reheat for an even easier dinner. Do you think this will freeze well?

    1. Hi Lindsey. Yes! This recipe freezes really well! I have a whole bunch of other freezer-friendly dishes, too. Just search “freezer friendly” and they should come up. Congratulations on the new baby. I’m sure the freezer meals will help a lot in the transition.

  3. If you make this ahead of time and leave it on warm, will it still taste ok? Didn’t know if it would dry out the past-?

  4. If you value your instant pot, please do not use this recipe. There isn’t enough liquid. All the pasta was burnt the to the bottom of the pot. I got a “burn” message but it was too late. I’ve had my pot for less than a month and it is now essentially ruined.

    1. Hi Monica. First off, I want to say I am so sorry this happened to you! I can only imagine how frustrated and disappointed you must be feeling.
      I have tested this recipe approximately 6 times with this pasta to liquid ratio. I’m not sure why it happened to you. ☹️
      I did want to recommend soaking your inner pot with hot soapy water to try to release some of the stuck-on pasta. I have also read that you can bring water and vinegar to Pressure in your pot to remove caked on food. You can read more about it in this post:

      1. I just made this and it came out perfect and delicious 😋 Thank you! I did add a 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes 🍅 also!