Instant Pot Cheesy Ziti (Johnny Marzetti)

Instant Pot Cheesy Ziti (Johnny Marzetti)

A delicious cheesy ziti that is made in the Instant Pot that easily comes together in under an hour for a quick weeknight meal. This pasta features a flavorful meat-packed sauce with both Italian Sausage and ground beef paired up with your favorite jar sauce that’s finished with cheese. This is perfect paired with Instant Pot Green Beans with Onions, or followed up by my Instant Pot Monkey Crack Bread!

History of Ziti and Johnny Marzetti

The smells of a perfectly baked ziti wafting through the house on Sunday afternoon makes for a delightful family meal. According to The Pasta Project this dish is Neapolitan in origin and is a traditional Southern Italian dish where the pasta is actually broken by hand. This dish was normally served at weddings, holidays, and celebrations where family was important so breaking the pasta by hand was an activity everyone in the family could take part in.

Who is Johnny Marzetti anyhow? He was the brother-in-law of Teresa Marzetti who immigrated to Columbus, Ohio from Italy then opened a restaurant with a famous dish of ground beef, pasta sauce, cheese, and pasta that is know today simply as Johnny Marzetti. A popular and much loved dish of Ohio State University students this became popular across the mid-West for how easy it was to prepare and how flavorful it was.

Prep the ingredients for cheesy ziti

Dice one onion and one green pepper then put the Instant Pot on saute. Cook until softened, about two-three minutes. I like to put a little salt and pepper on them. Next, add the minced garlic to saute for about a minute. Then add the Italian sausage and ground beef to cook until no longer pink. Add the oregano, pepper, salt, and hot red pepper flakes to the meat while it cooks.

Next pour in the beef broth, add the ziti pasta on top but do not stir, the cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce. Again do not stir anything, and be sure to dot the top of the pasta with the cream cheese then pour the sauce on top. I added a pinch of sugar to the spaghetti sauce while it was in the jar then shook with the lid closed to cut down on the acidity of the tomato sauce.

Cook the cheesy ziti

At this point, seal the lid and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes then follow with a quick release. Remember since this is pasta you’ll want to release in short bursts in order to prevent any sort of mess from the pasta water if there is any.

Once the pressure is fully released remove the lid, and now give the contents a good stir. Next set to saute, and add all the yummy cheeses. I used mozzarella, parmesan, and a six-cheese Italian blend for a total of 2 1/2 cups of cheese but you can use any of your favorite Italian cheeses. It should only take a few minutes to melt the cheese so stir constantly to keep from sticking. Also, if the heat is to much you can always cancel then turn back on if needed! 🙂

You can serve immediately, however, I do suggest a rest time of five minutes. The leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week.

overhead shot of ziti in bowl

If you enjoyed this you might also like Instant Pot Sweet Heat BBQ Meatballs, Creamy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese, or Instant Pot Omelette Bites!

Instant Pot Cheesy Ziti (Johnny Marzetti)

A creamy Instant Pot Ziti recipe with a meat sauce loaded with sausage and ground beef this traditionally baked cheesy pasta dish will amaze you with how easy this is to make in the pressure cooker. Crank up your Instant Pot for a quick weeknight meal that's on the table within the hour! A great pasta recipe the whole family will love to eat over and over again!
4.2 from 15 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: cheesy ziti, easy pasta recipe, easy ziti recipe, instant pot ziti, johnny marzetti, pressure cooker ziti
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 501kcal
Author: Tina


  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound Italian sausage not in casing
  • 3 tbsp oregano
  • 3 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp hot red pepper flakes can be increased to one
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 24 ounces spaghetti sauce
  • 3 cups beef broth I used unsalted
  • 1 pound rigatoni or any 12 minute pasta
  • 2 cups mozzarella or combination of Italian cheeses
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese


  • Set Instant Pot to saute then add the diced onion and green pepper then cook until softened. Add the garlic and saute about a minute. Add the ground beef, Italian sausage, oregano, pepper, salt, and hot red pepper flakes. Cook until the meat is no longer pink.
  • Turn off the saute function, add the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce. top with pasta but do not stir. Cube the cream cheese and dot the top of the pasta. Pour the spaghetti sauce on top. Do not stir. Close the lid and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes then follow with a quick release in short bursts.
  • Set pot to saute then add cheese and stir until melted. Rest for a few minutes if desired then serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to one week.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 501kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 1152mg | Potassium: 590mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 607IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 206mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @MondayisMeatloaf or tag #mondayismeatloaf! I would love to see your amazing creations!

13 thoughts on “Instant Pot Cheesy Ziti (Johnny Marzetti)”

  • 5 stars
    Nothing beats a quick an easy noodle recipe for dinner any night of the week. This looks like something my family would enjoy for sure. So much better than takeout. I will pass this along to my daughter, she has an Instant Pot.

  • 5 stars
    Wow, this sounds like comfort food at it’s best. I love that you can make this in the Instant pot too! I can’t wait to tuck into a big bowl of this on the next drizzly night!

  • 5 stars
    You’re so right- Sunday afternoon the smell of a delicious pasta dish, there’s nothing better! I just love all of hear flavors. And that it’s a easy instant pot meal! My family will love it!!

  • 5 stars
    Anything easy for a weeknight grabs my attention. I’m always looking for new ideas that I can get on the table after a long day of work. I think the kiddos will just love this. I’m pinning to remember for the fall when we crave comfort food like this.

  • 5 stars
    I made this last week. My husband is not a big fan of pasta, but he LOVED this recipe! I had enough leftover to freeze for two more evenings of dinners. We had one of the frozen ones last night and this reheats in the oven very well. I set it at 425 degrees F, put the frozen meal in covered with foil, and baked it for about 45 minutes. The flavors were even more pronounced the second time around!

    • Sorry to hear it was to spicy for you. I would recommend reducing the pepper in half, or omitting the hot red pepper flakes if you were to make this again.

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