Instant Pot Beefaroni Recipe

Meaty, saucy and comforting Instant Pot Beefaroni is a crossover between pasta Bolognese, goulash and mac’n’cheese. Three family favorites in one dish homemade with simple pantry ingredients, ground beef and elbow macaroni pasta. Takes 30 minutes to put this beauty on the table!


The BEST Instant Pot Beefaroni Recipe

This quick and easy Instant Pot beefaroni recipe is hands done one of our favorite comfort foods. Using fresh ingredients and pantry staples, this homemade version of the childhood classic is SO much tastier and healthier than the canned version. Kids and adults will love this flavorful one-pan dish.

 

WHAT IS BEEFARONI?

You might be familiar with the canned version of beefaroni – elbow pasta in tomato meat sauce. Chef Boyardee Beefaroni is an old-school classic brand served as convenience food. You could eat it cold out of a can or quickly heat it in a microwave.

And while we can’t compete with the speed of dishing something out of a can, we can give you a homemade Instant pot beefaroni recipe that wins in flavor, nutrition, texture and presentation. Forget overcooked soft noodles and preserved meat sauce with questionable quality of beef and too much salt and sugar. Make your own – it’s super easy, quite affordable and family-friendly!

 

INGREDIENTS FOR BEEFARONI

  • Macaroni pasta – For authentic beefaroni, elbow macaroni noodles are best.
  • Ground beef – We recommend using lean ground beef for this recipe (85/15 or 90/10) to avoid the dish from becoming too oily.
  • Tomato sauce – You can your favorite tomato pasta sauce such as marinara or Napolitana. We think a tomato sauce that has basil in it works particularly well. You will also need some tomato paste to enhance the flavor.
  • Cheese – the final touch is grated cheese to melt over the finished beefaroni pasta. Cheddar, Parmesan, Jack – they all work!

beefaroni ingredinets - ground beef, tomato sauce, elbow pasta and grated cheese

  • Herbs & spices – You will get a lot of flavor from garlic, onion powder, paprika, a little cumin, Italian herbs or dried oregano and salt.
  • Butter – this is our secret ingredient! A little bit of cubed salted butter is added to the sauce, which makes it luxuriously rich, creamy and delicious.

Herbs and spices and other seasonings for beefaroni recipe

 

HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT BEEFARONI

You will find the full list of ingredients, recipe and nutritional breakdown in the recipe card below. Here are step-by-step photos to guide along. We used Instant Pot Duo classic 6-quart model. 

  • Step 1. Saute ground beef for 4-5 minutes until the meat changes color. Make sure to break the meat apart as much as possible.
  • Step 2. Add garlic, herbs and spices and stir through. Cancel the Saute process.
  • Step 3. Add 2 cups of water and stir through, scraping the bottom of the pot with a spatula. This will help to avoid the Burn error.

How to make beefaroni in Instant Pot steps 1

  • Step 4. Once the meat and liquid are well stirred, add the elbow pasta on top, spread but don’t stir. Again, this helps to prevent the Burn error as pasta can sometimes stick to the bottom. Don’t worry, it will still cook!
  • Step 5. Spread tomato sauce and tomato paste on top, do not stir!
  • Step 6. Scatter cubes of butter on top of the tomato sauce and lock the lid.
  • Step 7. Pressure cook on Manual/Pressure Cook function for 4 minutes on HIGH pressure. Then, once done, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes (leave the pot alone!). Then use the top valve to release the remaining pressure manually (quick release).

How to make beefaroni pasta steps for Instant Pot 2

  • Step 8. Open the lid and stir the contents of the pot.
  • Step 9. Leave the pot on Keep Warm setting. Add the grated cheese and cover with a regular glass lid for 5 minutes.
  • Serve once the cheese has melted, you can also stir it in or transfer the beefaroni to a casserole dish and melt the cheese under broil in the oven. 

Final steps for making beefaroni once it's cooked in the Instant Pot

Serve beefaroni with parsley or scallions on top. You can add more grated Parmesan or other cheese once in bowls. A lovely green salad or some steamed veggies will complement the dish well. 

How to make Instant Pot beefaroni - what it looks like when ready

 

MORE INSTANT POT PASTA RECIPES

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The BEST Instant Pot Beefaroni Recipe

Instant Pot Beefaroni

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This quick and easy Instant Pot beefaroni recipe is hands done one of our favorite comfort foods. Using fresh ingredients and pantry staples, this homemade version of the childhood classic is SO much tastier and healthier than the canned version. Kids and adults will love this flavorful one-pan dish.


Ingredients

Scale

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 lb / 450-500 g ground beef (lean, 85/10 or 90/10 fat to meat ratio is ideal)

3 cloves of garlic, diced or minced

1 tablespoon onion powder

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

2 teaspoons Italian herbs or dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups water

1 lb / 16 oz (450 g) dry elbow macaroni pasta

2 cups tomato sauce (we used tomato basil sauce)

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1.5 oz butter (salted or unsalted, about 45 g), cubed

2 cups grated cheese (Cheddar, Jack, Parmesan or mixed)

Scallions for garnish


Instructions

  • Press the Saute button and once the pot is hot, add the olive oil and ground beef. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the meat changes color. Make sure to break the meat apart as much as possible. 
  • Add garlic, herbs and spices and stir through. 
  • Add 2 cups of water and stir through, scraping the bottom of the pot with a spatula. This will help to avoid the Burn error. Press Cancel to stop the Saute process.
  • Add the elbow pasta on top, spread but don’t stir. Again, this helps to prevent the Burn error as pasta can sometimes stick to the bottom.
  • Spread tomato sauce and tomato paste on top, do not stir! Scatter cubes of butter on top of the tomato sauce and lock the lid.
  • Pressure cook on Manual/Pressure Cook function for 4 minutes on HIGH pressure. Then, once done, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes (leave the pot alone!). Then use the top valve to release the remaining pressure manually (quick release).
  • Open the lid and stir the contents of the pot.
  • Leave the pot on Keep Warm setting. Add the cheese and cover with a regular glass lid for 5 minutes. Serve once the cheese has melted, you can also stir it in or transfer the beefaroni to a casserole dish and melt the cheese under broil in the oven.
  • Serve with parsley or scallions on top. 

Notes

  • Ground beef can be replaced with ground chicken, pork or lamb meat.
  • You can use any type of your favorite pasta sauce but we really like the one that has some basil in it. If you don’t have pasta sauce, use canned crushed tomatoes and add some extra salt to the dish.
  • Elbow pasta is the traditional shape for beefaroni but you could use penne or fusilli here.
  • Store leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days. This pasta tastes delicious once reheated.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 scoops
  • Calories: 558
  • Sugar: 4.4 g
  • Sodium: 762 mg
  • Fat: 25.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 46 g
  • Fiber: 2.5 g
  • Protein: 27.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 80.8 mg

Keywords: Instant Pot, pasta, ground beef, beef, dinner, one-pot, family dinner

 

Beefaroni recipe in the Instant Pot

By Instant Pot Eats

About us: We are a team of Instant Pot enthusiasts, who love good food and cooking. Our blog is dedicated to delicious recipes you can make using your trusted pressure cooker.

PS. This post may contain Amazon affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission for purchases made through these links. 

More about us here »

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Comments

12 Comments
  1. This made way too much for my small family. Can I half all ingredients and get same outcome?

    1. Yes, the timings are all pretty much the same 🙂 It keeps well in the fridge too and can be frozen if you have too much leftovers.

  2. Another great recipe for my Instant Pot! Enjoyed this for dinner last night and it was a hit all around the table! The perfect meal for a busy weeknight!

  3. Love Instant Pot recipes, especially because it is so easy to make such delicious fusion Mac & Cheese Bolognese recipes.

  4. Was a hit for dinner! Only comment I received was that it needed more sauce. Personal preference of course, otherwise delish!

    1. Thanks, Roxanne. Yes, definitely a personal preference. You can absolutely add more tomato sauce or even a little stock to have more liquid.

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