What’s Inside: This Instant Pot Greek Spaghetti recipe is easy to make and comes together in under 30-minutes thanks to the electric pressure cooker. And we’ve included gluten-free, Paleo, and AIP options!
What Is Greek Spaghetti, Exactly?
Greek Spaghetti, aka “Macaronia Me Kima” in Greek, is a traditional recipe of fresh tomatoes, cinnamon, and ground lamb or beef tossed and served with pasta. And if cinnamon in your spaghetti sauce scares you, trust me when I say it’s SO GOOD you’ll likely want it this way from here on out.
Can’t do tomatoes/nightshades? Now, I know what you’re thinking … But tomatoes are not AIP-friendly! That’s why I’ve included tips and tricks to make this Instant Pot Greek Spaghetti not only compliant with the AIP diet, but Paleo and gluten-free, as well. (You know I got your back!)
My husband is Greek, and I’ve been fortunate enough to dine on this dish cooked by his family in Greece. Making this Greek Spaghetti recipe at home with my own family brings me back to those sweet memories. Plus, it’s super simple to throw together with less mess than a stovetop version and yields plenty of leftovers to enjoy throughout the week or freeze for later as meal-prep!
Olive Oil: I like extra virgin, but you could use any light-tasting oil you like. Avocado would also work well here.
Ground Lamb: I prefer the taste of lamb for this spaghetti recipe, especially with it being Greek spaghetti, but ground beef, turkey, pork, or chicken would also work.
Sea Salt: I prefer this to table salt for the nutritional benefits and natural origins, but use what you’ve got.
Onion Powder and Garlic Powder: To amp up the flavor of the ground lamb!
Black Pepper: I like freshly cracked, but you can omit for AIP.
Tomato Puree: You can use sweet potato puree or Nomato sauce for AIP.
Balsamic Vinegar: This is a star ingredient and takes the flavors of the Greek spaghetti sauce to the next level. Works beautifully with the cinnamon, too.
Ground Cinnamon: Ceylon cinnamon, if possible, but regular will work fine.
Dry Spaghetti Noodles: Use gluten-free like brown rice or cassava-based noodles to keep it Paleo and AIP.
Garnish: I like using chopped fresh parsley and grated parmesan or Kefolotiri, but you could also use nutritional yeast for a Paleo/AIP option.
There’s no sugar in this Paleo spaghetti sauce! Cooks often add refined sugar to offset the bitterness of the tomatoes, but the cinnamon and other spices in this Instant Pot Greek Spaghetti recipe cover that!
Make the Paleo Spaghetti Sauce: Turn Instant Pot to sauté, add the olive oil, and cook meat with dry seasonings until cooked through (about 5-8 minutes). Turn off the sauté function, and add 1 cup of the water to the pot. Scrape the bottom of the pot to remove any stuck pieces, and add the tomato puree, balsamic vinegar, and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
Add Spaghetti and Cook: Break the spaghetti in half and spread them in one or two layers over the ground meat sauce mixture. Do not stir! Pour the remaining water over the pasta, and let sit as is. Set the Instant Pot to HIGH for 8 minutes and seal.
Quick-release and Stir. Carefully push the release valve open as soon as the 8 minutes cook time is up to keep the pasta from getting soggy. Then, open the lid and stir the cooked spaghetti around with the meat sauce. Turn off the Instant Pot and serve spaghetti immediately. Garnish as desired, and enjoy!
Make it spicy with some chili powder, smoked paprika, or red pepper flakes!
Add more spices like dried or fresh oregano, basil, rosemary, and even freshly grated nutmeg to amp up those flavors.
Omit pasta entirely and just pour the meat sauce over heart of palm noodles, zoodles, or any grain-free pasta alternative. Adjust cooking times as needed.
Storage, Freezing, and Reheating Instructions
Store cooled leftover Greek Spaghetti in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Freeze completely cooled spaghetti sauce in an airtight, freezer-safe container or plastic bag for up to 3 months. Don’t freeze the noodles, as they’ll likely fall apart in the thawing and reheating process. It’s worth it to just make them fresh before serving.
Reheat thawed leftovers in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, stirring halfway, or until warmed through. You can also warm in a pot on the stove until bubbling around the edges.
More Recipes To Try
If you enjoyed this traditional Greek Spaghetti, then you’ll love these other Greek recipes:
8ozdry gluten-free spaghetti(Use brown rice or cassava for Paleo/AIP)
finely chopped parsley and grated cheese(Dairy: Parmesan or Kefolotiri; non-dairy for Paleo/AIP: nutritional yeast flakes/powder)
Sauté the ground meat. Turn Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker) on to sauté. Once heated, add the olive oil and ground meat. Break the meat up into large pieces with a wooden spoon and season with the salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. Cook, stirring and breaking the beef into smaller and smaller pieces, until cooked through and no longer pink and most juices have reabsorbed, about 5-8 minutes.
Make the sauce and spaghetti. Turn off the sauté function and add 1 cup of the water to the pot. Scrape the bottom of the pot to remove any stuck pieces. Then add the tomato puree, balsamic vinegar, and cinnamon. Stir to combine well.
Break the spaghetti in half and spread them in one or two layers over the ground meat sauce mixture. Do not stir from this point on.
Pour the remaining 1 ½ cups water over the pasta and let sit, no stirring.
Set the Instant Pot to HIGH for 8 minutes and seal. It will take the cooker approx. 8-10 minutes to come up to pressure before it cooks for the 8-minutes.
Quick-release and stir. Carefully using a kitchen towel and wooden spoon (or similar), push the release valve open as soon as the 8 minutes cook time is up (so your pasta isn’t soggy). Once the quick release is done, open the lid and stir the cooked spaghetti around with the meat sauce. Turn off the Instant Pot and serve spaghetti immediately. Optionally garnish with chopped parsley, grated cheese (dairy or non-dairy notes above)! Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days.