“Cheater” Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

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I have a confession to make. I mean, we are all friends here, right? Sometimes, well sometimes….. I cheat. I mean, I LOVE homemade everything but sometimes I take an easier path. If you can relate…read on! If you are a food snob, you might just want to skip this one. I’ll wait….

Now that we are alone, I can tell you…sometimes…I get my spaghetti sauce from a jar. Here is the tale of one of those times.

First, I turned the Instant Pot on Saute on the medium heat setting and waited until it said, “Hot.” Then I added a pound of ground chuck and a lid of Tastefully Simple Garlic Garlic to the pan and broke it up and stirred it until it was brown.  (Excuse the gray picture–it was kind of steamy!)

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Next I broke a half package of spaghetti in half and stacked a third one way, a third another way and a third back the first way.  This just keeps it from sticking together.

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Next I dumped on a can of diced tomatoes.
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Then a jar of marinara sauce and a most of a jar of water.
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I sprinkled on some basil and oregano. No measuring when you are cheating!
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I closed and sealed the lid and set on manual for 7 minutes. I walked away singing “Your Cheating Heart” and sat down and kicked my feet up while the magic pot did all the work.   I heard the pot beep, beep, beep a while later and waited until I got good and ready (probably about 10 minutes) before I went back to the kitchen to see the results of my lack of work.
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I gave it a quick stir and dinner was DONE!
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I served it up with some of the last corn of the cob of the season.  Just a side-note for those of you taking the time to read–corn on the cob is amazing in the magic pot too.  Just put a cup of water in the bottom, put the corn on top of the trivet, choose STEAM and use the +/- buttons to set the time to zero.  When the pot starts to beep, release steam and it’s PERFECT!
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Oh, and the biscuits–those are cheaters too–Pillsbury Grands.  And the cheese?  Yeah, pre-shredded.  Cheater all the way!
What’s your favorite “cheat” when you cook or bake?  I’m always looking for new ideas!

“Cheater” Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

1 pound ground chuck
1/2 pound spaghetti noodles
1 can diced tomatoes
1 jar marinara sauce
3/4 jar of water
basil, oregano and garlic to taste

Select SAUTE and wait until the pot says “HOT” and then add ground beef and garlic and stir until broken up.  Continue stirring until beef is brown.  Select CANCEL and then break spaghetti in half.  Pile dry spaghetti noodles in alternate directions so that it doesn’t clump together.  Dump in diced tomatoes, jar of sauce, water and seasonings to taste.  When the cycle has ended, let pressure release naturally for 5-10 minutes or allow it to release completely.  Stir well.  If it is still a little too soupy, continue stirring for a few minutes and the noodles will continue to absorb.

Note:  You can do this same recipe with sausage instead of beef.  Add some onions and/or green peppers if you would like.  It is very adaptable and always YUM!

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