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Instant Pot Meatballs with Easy Tomato Sauce

Instant Pot Meatballs are tender, juicy and full of Italian flavor. They’re made with ground beef, turkey, pork or veal and cooked in a simple yet robust tomato sauce. This one-pot instant pot dinner recipe is ready in under 30 minutes since no browning or sautéing is required! 

 

Serve this Instant Pot Meatball recipe with our one hour dinner rolls or serve over spaghetti noodles or Zucchini Noodles for a complete meal.

Cooked instant pot meatballs in a white casserole dish next to an instant pot and three slices of french bread.

Instant Pot Meatballs

Meatball recipes are my jam. What’s not to love? They’re rich, filling and tend to be a crowd favorite. Two other popular meatball recipes round these parts are: Buffalo Chicken Meatballs and Easy Swedish Meatballs.

Meatballs in the Instant Pot can be used in so many different ways. Think spaghetti, meatball sliders, meatball pizza, meatball sub and more. The list is endless.

Cooking Meatballs In The Instant Pot

Using the Instant Pot to make meatballs in a painless process. In fact, from start to finish you’re done in just 30 minutes, including the time it takes for your pot to come to pressure. 30 Minute Meals are key on busy weekdays.

 

 For this Instant Pot recipe, we used the popular Instant Pot Duo Plus which has a 6 qt capacity. 

How To Make Instant Pot Meatballs

 

Step 1 – Make the Sauce

While the sauce is cooking, add the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix well with your hands. Add the wet ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix well using your hands. Roll the meatballs into 1” balls.

 

Step 2, 3 & 4 – Make The Meatballs

While the sauce is cooking, add the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix well with your hands. Add the wet ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix well using your hands. Roll the meatballs into 1” balls.

 

Step 5 – Cook the Meatballs

Add the meatballs to the instant pot, making sure each meatball is covered with the tomato sauce. Pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. Confirm the meatballs are a minimum of 145F.

 

Step 6 – Reduce Sauce and Serve

Remove the meatballs from the pot and reduce the tomato sauce until your desired consistency is reached. Top with extra parmesan cheese and enjoy immediately.

raw meatballs in tomato sauce in the inner pot of an instant pot.

How Do You Keep Meatballs From Falling Apart?

These Instant Pot Meatballs have the perfect combination of meat and fillers so they will not fall apart in the instant pot. Any item you omit or add may create a more delicate meatball that does break apart when cooking. Consider yourself warned!

Pressure Cooker Meatballs Recipe Tips:

 

Don’t care for ground beef? Feel free to use ground pork, ground turkey or ground chicken instead.

 

I prefer 85% / 15% ground beef for meatballs to avoid dry meatballs. The lower the % of fat in the meat, the less juicy your meatball will be. At 85% you may have a slight grease slick on top of the sauce when it’s done cooking. You can either stir it back in or dab it with a paper towel to remove. Personal preference.

 

Feel free to use any store bought spaghetti sauce or homemade spaghetti sauce recipe.

 

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs – This recipe has not yet been tested to cook spaghetti in the Instant Pot at the same time as the meatballs. Keep your eyes out for an Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe soon. 

How To Store Leftovers

Allow the leftover meatballs to completely cool. Place on a baking sheet and freeze for at least 30 minutes. Remove the meatballs from the freezer and transfer them to a Ziploc bag. Meatballs will keep for 3-4 months.

Instant Pot Frozen Meatballs

To re-heat previously cooked frozen meatballs using the Instant Pot, pour one cup of water to the bottom of the Instant Pot. Place the frozen meatballs on the metal trivet. Pressure cook on high for 7-8 minutes before quick releasing the pressure (QR).

Wine That Pairs With Italian Meatballs

Chianti, Sangiovese, Tuscan Red Blends or Merlot (super fruity, high acid)

I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a recipe rating, snap a pic and use the hashtag #foodieandwine, after you’ve made the recipe, and post to social media! 

Cooked instant pot meatballs in a white casserole dish next to an instant pot and three slices of french bread.
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Juicy Instant Pot Meatballs and Sauce

Instant Pot Meatballs are tender, juicy and full of Italian flavor. Made with ground beef, turkey, chicken or pork and cooked in a robust spaghetti sauce. This one-pot instant pot dinner recipe is ready in under 30 minutes since no browning or sautéing is required! 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Instant Pot - Come to Pressure10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: 30 Minute Meals, Instant Pot Beef, Instant Pot Dinner, Instant Pot Ground Beef, Instant Pot Meatballs, Meatball Recipes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 327kcal
Author: Darcey Olson
Cost: $12

Ingredients

INSTANT POT MEATBALLS:

  • 1 Lb Ground Beef (*Note 1)
  • 2 strips Bacon, Minced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Extra Large Egg, Beaten (*Note 2)
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Onion, Diced
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 3 tbsp Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese Plus More For Serving

SAUCE:

  • 2 cups Unsalted Beef or Chicken Stock
  • 1 1/3 Cup Tomato Sauce
  • 2/3 Cup Tomato Paste
  • 1 tsp Fresh Basil, Chopped
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt and Black Pepper, To Taste

Instructions

  • Add all the tomato sauce ingredients to your Instant Pot and mix well. The tomato paste should be dissolved into the tomato sauce if mixed enough. Place the lid on the Instant Pot (with the valve in the sealed position) and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes before quick releasing.
  • While the sauce is cooking, add the ground beef, bacon, garlic, egg and Worcestershire Sauce to a large mixing bowl and mix well with your hands. 
  • Add the onion, dried oregano, dried basil, salt, pepper, Panko bread crumbs, milk and cheese to the ground beef mixture and mix well using your hands.
  • Roll meatballs into 1" balls (slightly larger than a golf ball).
  • Once the tomato sauce is done cooking, carefully add the meatballs to the sauce, making sure the meatballs are covered in the sauce. Place the lid on the Instant Pot (with the valve in the sealed position) and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes before quick releasing.
  • Insert a thermometer into the center of a meatball to confirm the temperature is a minimum of 145°F.
  • ** OPTIONAL** For a thicker tomato sauce, transfer the meatballs to a large dish. Turn the Instant Pot on the saute setting and continue cook the sauce until your preferred consistency is reached. Taste and add extra seasonings if desired.
  • Enjoy immediately to ensure the juiciest meatballs.

EQUIPMENT

Notes

Note 1 - you may substitute with ground pork, turkey or veal. 
Note 2 - Make sure to beat the egg before you add it to the mixing bowl.
Adapted from Pressure Cook Recipes.

Nutrition

Calories: 327kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 1067mg | Potassium: 924mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 822IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 4mg

Hi, I'm Darcey!

I’m a fully caffeinated full time food blogger and lover of the outdoors, travel, and wine (not necessarily in that order).

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