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Instant Pot Lazy Lasagna

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Say hello to the easiest lasagna ever with this Instant Pot Lazy Lasagna! Made with layers of meat, noodles, sauce, and two types of cheese, it’s a quick and easy one-pot meal!

This Lazy Lasagna recipe is adapted from our reader favourite Instant Pot Lasagna Soup. Be sure to check it out too!

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Lazy Lasagna in an Instant Pot garnished with parsley, viewed from overhead.

My family absolutely loves my lasagna soup recipe, but sometimes we want a heartier version of it that eats more like a pasta dish than a soup. This Instant Pot Lazy Lasagna recipe satisfies that craving and is so delicious. It has all the flavour of lasagna, but with way less effort and you only need one pot to make it!

Ingredients and Variations

Below is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make pressure cooker lazy lasagna. See the recipe card below for all the details!

  • Lean ground beef or Italian sausage – really any type of ground meat will work! We often use ground turkey.
  • Onion and garlic – for flavour
  • Broth – to produce steam for pressure cooking and cook the pasta. You can sub water and adjust the added salt to taste.
  • Marinara sauce – or any tomato-based pasta sauce that you like
  • Diced tomatoes – adds volume to the sauce. We tried it without, but found the result too dry. If you don’t like diced tomatoes, I suggest adding a bit more sauce.
  • Seasonings – we use our own blend of seasoning, but you can also use a tablespoon of Italian seasoning instead of the suggested mix.
  • Short Mafalda pasta – these look like mini lasagna noodles and are so perfect for this dish, but if you can’t find them you can substitute 12 ounces of any short pasta. Simply follow the tips in the Notes section of the recipe card below to adjust the cook time.
  • Cheeses – we stir in ricotta and top with mozzarella. If you’re not a fan of ricotta, you can substitute cottage cheese.

How to make it

First, use the Sauté function to brown the meat. When it’s almost cooked, add the onion and garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is softened.

Process photos of how to make Instant Pot Lazy Lasagna, showing sautéing and layering steps before cooking.

Next, use a small amount of broth to deglaze the insert (scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom), then pour in the rest of the broth. Layer on the sauce, diced tomatoes, seasoning and pasta. Push the pasta into the liquid. It’s okay if it’s not fully submerged, it just needs to be an even layer.

Pressure cook on High for 4 minutes, then do a controlled quick release of the pressure. Give everything a stir, then mix in the ricotta cheese.

Process photos of how to make Instant Pot Lazy Lasagna, showing mixing in ricotta cheese and topping with mozzarella.

Top it with mozzarella and set the lid askew on the pot to melt it, then serve! You can also reserve the mozzarella and sprinkle it onto individual servings instead.

Tips for Success

Layer the ingredients and don’t stir. This will prevent a burn warning. You don’t want the tomato-based products or pasta at the bottom.

Choose your level of sauciness. Use 10 ounces of Mafalda if you prefer a saucier lasagna, or use 12 ounces to get the sauciness pictured in the photos. When we know we’ll have leftovers, we make the saucier version because the pasta will continue to absorb the sauce when it’s stored in the refrigerator.

Use short pasta. If you substitute a different pasta, I highly recommend using a short variety like rotini. Longer noodles like spaghetti require a bit of a different method and are more likely to stick together.

Substitute pasta by weight. You want to have 4 ounces of pasta for every cup of thin liquid (broth in this case). This is why I don’t give the pasta measurements in cups – different pasta shapes will result in different volume measures.

Don’t skip the seasonings. We need to bump up the flavour because Instant Pot pasta is cooked in a sealed environment. You don’t get a concentration of flavour from evaporation like you would on the stovetop.

Instant Pot Lazy Lasagna being scooped with a wooden spoon, showing the nicely melted mozzarella cheese.

How to reheat

Microwave: Reheat individual portions for 1-2 minutes, stirring partway for even heating.

Stovetop: Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat until warmed thoroughly. Gently stir for even heating and add a splash of broth as needed to reconstitute the sauce.

For both methods, it’s a good idea to check that the internal temperature reaches 165 °F for food safety.

Lazy Lasagna in a white pasta bowl garnished with fresh parsley.

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Lazy Lasagna in an Instant Pot garnished with parsley, viewed from overhead.

Instant Pot Lazy Lasagna

Laura Lawless, BASc
The easiest lasagna ever! Made with layers of meat, noodles, sauce, and two types of cheese, it's a quick and easy one-pot meal.
Servings 6
Calories 463
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 4 mins
Inactive time 20 mins
Total Time 34 mins

Ingredients

  • olive oil (optional, to sauté very lean ground beef)
  • 1 lb lean ground beef or ground Italian sausage
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • a few turns freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth (can sub water and adjust salt to taste)
  • 22 oz jar marinara sauce (650 ml / 2 ¾ cups)
  • 1 15oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 10-12 oz short Mafalda pasta (mini lasagna noodles) (use 10oz for saucier texture, 12oz for less; see note 1 for substituting different pasta)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese (can sub cottage cheese)
  • 1 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Turn on the Sauté function on the Instant Pot. When the screen says "hot" add the beef and season it with salt and pepper. Sauté until almost cooked through, breaking the beef into smaller pieces, then add the onion and garlic. Continue to cook until the beef is browned and the onion is softened. Drain grease, if needed (I use kitchen tongs and a paper towel to soak up grease, so I don't need to remove the food from the pot).
  • Turn off the Sauté function and add a small amount of broth. Use a flat-bottomed spatula to deglaze the bottom of the insert (scrape up any bits of food that are stuck to the bottom).
  • Add the remaining broth, then layer on the marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, basil, parsley, onion powder, oregano and red pepper flakes. Evenly layer the pasta on top and push them down into the liquid (it doesn't need to be fully submerged). Do not stir.
  • Close the lid and set the vent to sealing. Pressure cook on Manual High pressure for 4 minutes (your Instant Pot model may have a "Pressure Cook" button rather than a "Manual" button). It will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure. See note 2 for how to calculate cook time for different pasta.
  • At the end of cooking time, do a controlled quick release of the pressure (let pressure out a bit at a time to reduce splatter). Open the lid and give it a stir, then mix in the ricotta cheese and top with grated mozzarella. Set the lid askew on the pot for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
  • Serve immediately with a fresh parsley garnish, if desired. Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator and eat within 4 days.

Notes

  1. Pasta substitution: you can substitute 12 ounces of any short pasta. Do not use 10 ounces. Mafalda noodles absorb more of the liquid than other short pastas, so if you only use 10 ounces of another short pasta, you will end up with a soupy result. 
  2. Pasta cook time calculation: the lowest cook time on the package divided by 2. If it’s an odd number, round down and divide by 2. For example, 7 minutes would round to to 6, then divide by two for a 3 minute pressure cook time. 
  3. This recipe was tested in both 6-quart and 8-quart Instant Pot models.
  4. Recipe adapted from my Instant Pot Lasagna Soup.

Equipment

Instant Pot (6qt)
Measuring Spoons
Liquid Measure

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 463kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 884mg | Potassium: 917mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 789IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 230mg | Iron: 4mg
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Portrait of Laura Lawless in a green sweater standing in front of white shelving filled with food photography props.

Hey, I’m Laura!

Creator of The Recipe Well


I love food and cooking, but hate doing the dishes. I use my nutrition degree to create easy, approachable recipes that will help you find your happy place in the kitchen.

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