Instant Pot Meatballs. Savory, made from scratch meatballs in a delicious tomato sauce, cooked in an Instant Pot. No baking or simmering needed! The ultimate easy and delicious meatball recipe.
Do you see those meatballs in that sub roll? I made them in an Instant Pot. I don’t mean I baked them and then placed them in there. And I don’t mean I fried them or did anything else to them before I put them in there. I literally rolled meat into balls, put the balls in some sauce, and turned on the pot. I still can’t believe it worked.
Meal Prep Party
A couple of weeks ago I had a freezer meal prep party with some friends from my church. I came up with the recipes, and wanted to have things that were relatively quick to make, but still homemade with lots of delicious flavor. Due to the number of people in my house, time constraints, and the number of meals we each wanted to make, I had to make some adjustments. Meaning, instead of making homemade meatballs in pasta sauce, we purchased frozen meatballs. It turned out well, but got me craving homemade meatballs.
Instant Pot Meatballs Development
One night a week I work late, so that day I try to have dinner prepared in the morning so that my husband and kids will have it when they get home. The day I was craving homemade meatballs, it was one of my late days, and I wondered if the meatballs would cook in my Instant Pot. I wasn’t positive it would work, so decided to try it out in the morning so that if it failed, I could turn it into a ground beef spaghetti sauce, and no one would even know.
But good news friends, I didn’t have to make spaghetti sauce, because this worked! I did run into one problem: I sauted the onion and garlic in the Instant Pot before I put in the tomato sauce. Since the bottom of the pot was still so hot when I put in the tomato sauce, when I tried to turn on pressure mode, the pot turned off with the ‘burn’ light warning. And the warning was correct – I had tomatoes burnt to the bottom of the pot. I decided to consult the internet to see if anyone had any advice on cooking tomato sauce in an Instant Pot without burning it. Fortunately, I found this post where someone else made Instant Pot meatballs and had some great advice: spray the bottom with cooking spray!
I sprayed the bottom of a my second, clean, non-hot pot with cooking spray, and then spread some of my sauce over the sprayed bottom before pouring in the meatballs. It turned out PERFECTLY. Because of my first mishap, I recommend that you don’t saute in the pot, or use a different pot to cook on pressure mode. I also recommend that you spray the bottom of the pot with cooking spray, and that you stir together the sauce in a separate bowl so not to scrape up the cooking spray.
A New Nick-Name
These meatballs were not only ridiculously easy to make, but they’re delicious. My 18 month old daughter was the biggest fan. The night I left them for my husband and kids, my husband told me that she ate more meatballs than him and my son. So, if you read my Sweet and Salty Pork Chops post, you’ll be pleased to know that my daughter’s nickname has now changed to ‘meatball’.
Instant Pot Meatballs
- 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground sausage
- 1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2/ teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion chopped finely
- 2 cloves garlic
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 28 oz can tomato sauce
- 12 oz can tomato paste
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tbsp dried basil
- 1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- With Instant Pot on saute mode, heat olive oil. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened. Remove from heat and turn off Instant Pot. Clean bottom of pot the used to saute.
- Spray bottom of pot with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, stir together the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar, oregano, basil, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Once well combined, stir in onion and garlic and transfer mixture to Instant Pot.
- In a large bowl pour milk over breadcrumbs. Let sit for 3-4 minutes. Then, add beef, sausage, cheese, Italian seasoning, egg, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Mix together until well combined. I find it easiest to wear disposable gloves and do the mixing with my hands.
- Form meat mixture into ~1 tbsp sized balls. I use a cookie scoop for this. As you make the balls, drop them into the sauce.
- Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. Let natural release for 10 minutes. Serve over spaghetti noodles or on hoagie rolls.
If you enjoyed these Instant Pot Meatballs, you should try these other SugarSpicesLife recipes: