Instant Pot 5-Cheese Baked Ziti

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Make the best Instant Pot 5 Cheese Baked Ziti with marinara and alfredo sauce that’s even better than Olive Garden’s and incredibly easy!

Close-up shot of a spoonful of Five Cheese Ziti, made in an Instant Pot and topped with breadcrumbs and cheese and parsley.

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe: This 5 Cheese Ziti is a family-friendly dinner that’s quick and easy, thanks to your Instant Pot. It uses two kinds of jarred sauce to make things simple and has a crisp bread crumb crust for texture. 

We love Olive Garden’s five cheese ziti. It’s a family favorite because it has the best of both worlds: savory tomato sauce and rich and creamy alfredo. Not to mention all the gooey layers of melted cheese. So we had to make our own version in an Instant Pot. It’s fast and easy and even better than take-out. 

A two-image pinterest pin promoting Instant Pot five cheese baked ziti. The top image shows the pasta in the Instant Pot before cooking, the  bottom image shows a spoonful of the ziti in front of an Instant Pot.

How to Make Instant Pot 5 Cheese Ziti 

This Instant Pot Baked Ziti recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant PotNinja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL

If you have the time, you can also make your own sauces. We have an easy Instant Pot marinara sauce recipe here. And here’s a great recipe for alfredo sauce from Foodie Crush

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

The five cheeses in this recipe are:

  • Mozzarella
  • Provolone
  • Ricotta
  • Parmesan
  • Pecorino romano

Together, this mixture of fresh and aged cheese strikes the right balance between creamy texture and sharp, salty flavor. 

Of course, if you can’t find one of the five, you can substitute it with another cheese. For best results, parmesan and pecorino are good subs for each other. Ricotta is best substituted with whole milk cottage cheese. And mozzarella and provolone can be substituted for one another. 

An overhead shot of the baked ziti topped with breadcrumbs before browning
You can brown the pasta with an air fryer lid or in your broiler.

Can I Use a Different Pasta Shape?

Yes, you can certainly make this recipe with penne or another short pasta shape. See our complete guide to cooking pasta in the Instant Pot. We use this rule of thumb to find the right cooking time:

(The box’s recommended cooking time ÷ 2) – 1 minute

A direct shot of a white bowl of baked ziti with a spoonful of pasta being scooped out, in front of an Instant Pot

Finishing the Baked Ziti

The best part about this dish is the crispy and savory bread crumb topping. You can crisp up the baked ziti using an air fryer lid if you have one. Otherwise, your oven broiler will do the trick.

If you’re using the oven, be sure to keep a close eye on the pasta. All broilers differ, so you may need more or less time to get the perfect golden crust. 

A scoop of Instant Pot ziti coming nout of a white casserole dish, with melty, gooey cheese being stretched from the spoon to the dish

More Instant Pot Pasta Recipes

There are plenty more easy recipes in our pressure cooker pasta recipe archive, including these favorites:

A horizontal shot of a small white bowl filled with cooked ziti and a spoon, sitting in front of an Instant Pot and several rolls

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A horizontal shot of a small white bowl filled with cooked ziti and a spoon, sitting in front of an Instant Pot and several rolls

Instant Pot 5-Cheese Baked Ziti

Yield: 6 Servings
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This 5 Cheese Baked Ziti is an Instant Pot pasta recipe inspired by Olive Garden’s cheesy, crispy baked ziti with alfredo and marinara sauce. 


  • 1 pound ziti
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 jar (24 oz) marinara sauce
  • 1 jar (15 oz) alfredo sauce
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup grated provolone cheese
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Minced basil for serving


  1. Add the ziti and 1 3/4 cups water to the pressure cooking pot. Pour the marinara sauce on top and don't stir it in. Select High Pressure and a 5 minute cook time. When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker and use a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid. 
  2. Select Sauté and stir in the alfredo sauce. Add the mozzarella, provolone, and ricotta, a bit at a time, stirring to melt the cheese fully.
  3. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, if you like. 
  4. In a small bowl, combine the parmesan, pecorino romano, panko, garlic, olive oil, and ½ teaspoon salt.

To Finish in the Oven

  1. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish and preheat the broiler. Transfer the pasta to the baking dish and sprinkle with the seasoned bread crumbs and cheese. Place under the broiler until golden and bubby, keeping a close eye on it. 

To Finish with an Air Fryer Lid

  1. Sprinkle the top with the seasoned breadcrumbs and cheese. Set the temperature to 350°F and bake for 2 to 4 minutes, until browned.

To Serve

  1. Sprinkle with basil and serve hot. 

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 403Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 799mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 20g

Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.


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originally published August 20, 2021 — last updated September 30, 2021
Categories: Pasta