Instant Pot Beef Lasagna has classic layers of beef, cheese, and noodles with a quick homemade sauce and the simplest preparation – all in one pot!
Lasagna Soup and Skillet Lasagna give you the flavors of a Meat Lasagna Recipe in a quick, easy one pan meal. This pressure cooker lasagna recipe is another way to make the Italian comfort food for Dinner fast, plus you get the classic layers of meaty, cheesy goodness!
As delicious as homemade classic lasagna is, it’s definitely a labor of love to make. First there’s the prep time to cook the meat layer, boil noodles, and combine the cheese mixture, then you have to assemble it. Now you wait at least an hour to even enjoy it, while there’s at least 3 dishes to clean. Again, there’s so much to love about a traditional lasagna, but spending all night making it is definitely not one of them!
Well, what if you could make an entire lasagna in one pot and it was ready in just a fraction of the time? This easy, amazing Instant Pot Lasagna recipe cuts away extra steps and dishes you don’t like but you still get a delicious lasagna you love! With the lowest cook time of just 8 minutes once assembled, now homemade lasagna for dinner can happen any night of the week.
What sets this lazy lasagna recipe apart is that it still has a meat and cheese layer between layer after layer of lasagna noodles. It’s not a hodge podge of broken no-boil lasagna noodles mixed with meat and cheese, not that recipes like that aren’t delicious too. But let’s be honest, one of the best parts of homemade lasagna is biting into meaty, cheesy goodness stuffed between tender pasta. This pressure cooked lasagna might skip steps but you still have that layered deliciousness complete with the melty cheese topping.
One of the great features of an Instant Pot is the saute function, which allows you to brown beef prior to pressure cooking without using an extra skillet. There’s also no cheese mixture to whip up, it’s just shredded mozzarella but trust us, you won’t miss the ricotta or cleaning another bowl! The other perk of making Instant Pot Beef Lasagna is that your oven is now free for delicious side dishes like toasty Garlic Bread. Toss together a fresh salad with Italian Salad Dressing and enjoy an Italian comfort food feast in less than an hour!
How to Make Instant Pot Beef Lasagna
- Beef: Turn on the Saute function and add the oil. Once the oil is shimmering, brown the beef for a couple minutes. Drain most of the fat then add onions and cook until translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, then transfer meat mixture to a plate.
- Assemble: Mix the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, sugar and black pepper in a bowl. Add ⅓ of the lasagna sheets and the water to the pot. Top with half the beef and sauce. Cover with ⅓ of the cheese. Repeat with the remaining layers, ending with sauce and then cheese on top.
- Cook: Secure the lid and set the pressure valve to sealing. Cook on Manual High Pressure for 8 minutes. Let pressure release naturally then carefully remove the lid. Allow to rest for a few minutes so it firms up and is cools a bit, then cut and serve!
FAQs for Instant Pot Beef Lasagna
This exact recipe has been designed to cook specifically in an electric pressure cooker, from the pasta cook time calculation, to the extra liquid content, to the quantity of ingredients used. You could try it in a slow cooker however it has not been tested yet so there’s no guarantee it would come out the same.
The actual cook time of the assembled lasagna is 8 minutes, however you should also factor in about 10-15 minutes for the pressure to release, and 3-5 minutes to cook the meat mixture. Altogether, the total cooking time is about 25-30 minutes which is still a fraction of the time of the original oven-baked version!
This Instant Pot Lasagna recipe is made for regular lasagna noodles, not the oven-ready lasagna noodles or no-boil noodles. The 2 cups of water and pasta cook time calculation haven’t been tested for no-boil noodles so it’s not recommended to swap them for regular noodles.
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- Noodles: No need to get special oven-ready lasagna noodles or pre-cook pasta for this easy recipe! Two cups of water plus the crushed tomatoes might seem like a lot of liquid, but it gives you perfectly tender pasta using regular noodles.
- Beef: The meat mixture is your classic ground beef mixed with aromatics like onion and garlic. You brown beef in the Instant pot using the saute feature so it adds a lot of delicious flavor with half the work.
- Cheese: You’ll notice that the cheese layer is just mozzarella cheese, no egg and ricotta cheese mixture needed. Don’t worry, this amazing lasagna will still have lots of gooey, melty cheese between the pasta layers. It saves you ingredients, calories, the extra step, and best of all it’s one less dish to wash!
- Sauce: This recipe calls for a quick homemade tomato sauce made with crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, sugar, salt, and pepper. It’s a bit thinner than our favorite Marinara Sauce and less sweet, but the extra liquid will be absorbed by the noodles so you can use regular lasagna noodles without cooking them first.
Can Instant Pot Beef Lasagna be made ahead of time?
Like any classic lasagna, Instant Pot Beef Lasagna will freeze exceptionally well! You can even use the Instant Pot to reheat it. The trick is to transfer leftover lasagna into a round, glass storage container that would fit back inside the instant pot insert with the trivet inside. You can freeze it this way, then when you are ready to reheat, simply remove the container’s lid and replace it with foil, place it on top of the trivet insert in the Instant Pot with one cup of water at the bottom, seal the lid, and cook on Steam mode HIGH for 18-20 minutes. Keep in mind it will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure, and you’ll want to naturally release for an additional 10 minutes afterward.
- Meat: Replace the ground beef with ground chicken or turkey breast for a lighter version of lasagna, or use ground Italian sausage.
- Cheese: For an extra cheesy lasagna, add 1 cup of ricotta (in dollops with the first two layers of mozzarella) and ¼ of grated Parmesan on the very top layer while assembling.
- Veggies: To include veggies in your lasagna, saute 2 cups of diced mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, or bell peppers (or any combination) in the Instant Pot after you’ve browned and removed the beef mixture. This will cook out most of the vegetables’ liquid so your lasagna isn’t watery. Layer veggies with the beef and sauce when assembling.
- Sauce: If you want to use a jar of marinara sauce, you’ll need to add another ½ cup water to cook the pasta correctly. You will still want to add Italian seasoning and black pepper for extra flavor, but skip the addition of sugar and salt.
How to Store
- Serve: Instant Pot Beef Lasagna can be kept warm in the Instant Pot for up to 4 hours or at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
- Store: Transfer to an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 4 days. You can reheat it in the oven or pop it in the Instant pot for a minute or two on the Steam mode, then quick release it and enjoy!
- Freeze: Wrap tightly in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, place in the fridge overnight and reheat in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes, or use the pressure cooker reheating instructions described in the make ahead section.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef (85/15)
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 2 cups water
- 12 sheets lasagna noodles broken in half
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
- Set your instant pot to sauté mode and add olive oil until hot and oil spreads around the pot easily.
- Cook the ground beef, breaking it apart as you cook, about 3-4 minutes.
- When mostly browned drain most of the fat and add in the onion, cooking another 3-4 minutes until the onions are translucent.
- Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Remove the beef mixture from the pot.
- In a large measuring cup or bowl mix the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, sugar and black pepper.
- Add the water to the pot along with ⅓ of the lasagna sheets.
- Add ½ the beef and ½ the tomato sauce.
- Top with ⅓ of the cheese.
- Layer with ⅓ of the lasagna sheets, remaining meat, ⅓ of the cheese.
- Add remaining noodles, remaining ½ of the sauce and remaining cheese.
- Close, lock lid and seal vent.
- Cook on high for 8 minutes, then release the pressure naturally.
- Lasagna will be loose right when opened but will firm as it sits (just as any lasagna would).