These Instant Pot Meatballs are the easiest way to make meatballs EVER. No browning or sautéing. Just throw them in the sauce uncooked and let the Instant Pot do the rest!
Try this Instant Pot Meatballs recipe with some of our favorite side dishes or salads. If it’s bread you are looking for, you can never go wrong with Hot & Cheesy Garlic Bread, Breadtwists, or our Parmesan Pull Apart bread.
Instant Pot Meatballs
Meatballs in the Instant Pot are THE way to go when it comes to meatballs. They really couldn’t be easier! When cooking meatballs in a pan they can crumble and fall apart. Baking them can dry them out. Cooking them in the Instant Pot is easier AND tastes better. By cooking them in the sauce the meaty flavor infuses the sauce and makes it so much more flavorful. Instant Pot Meatballs can be shaped, thrown in and cooked without falling apart AT ALL. The meatballs stay tightly packed and don’t crumble in the sauce!
Put them straight in the Pot!
See? Uncooked! Crazy right? The first time I made these, I was a little worried. I thought that the meatballs wouldn’t keep their shape and I would end up having meat sauce, which happens to me more than I would care to admit when I am sauteing meatballs in a skillet. I don’t know why they don’t fall apart in the Instant Pot. It’s like magic.
Any Kind Of Pressure Cooker Will Work
I also need to mention that this will work great in ANY kind of pressure cooker. No matter what you use, you will get the same results. Just make sure you have enough liquid in the pot so it will actually seal. You also don’t want to get a burn notice. Which brings me to…
Avoiding The Burn Notice
Tomato based sauces can be tricky in an Instant Pot because tomatoes have a tendency to burn easily. Make sure your sauce is thin enough to create steam and seal the pot. You can thin it out by adding a can of diced tomatoes or even just a little water. If you are worried about it being TOO thin, you can always add tomato paste or tomato sauce to your pasta sauce after the meatballs are done cooking. I like using my homemade canned sauce because the consistency is just right. If it seems too thin afterwards, I will add a few tablespoons of tomato paste and that usually does the trick.
Storing, Freezing, and Reheating Meatballs
To store your meatballs after cooking, allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes and then place them in an airtight container or freezer zip-top bag. Store them in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 3 months. These meatballs are great for meal prep and you can make large batches at one time. To re-heat, place frozen meatballs in the fridge overnight to thaw and re-heat over the stove top or in the microwave until meatballs are cooked through and the marinara sauce is hot.
Tips for Cooking and Serving
- For this recipe I used our own Homemade Canned Spaghetti Sauce but you can use your own recipe or just store-bought spaghetti sauce. No matter what you use, it is going to be awesome. Even store-bought spaghetti sauce will be kicked up a notch because the meatballs will be cooked in it, giving it an incredible flavor.
- Not a huge fan of ground beef? Feel free to try ground pork, ground turkey or ground chicken meatballs too! We will often do a mixture of both ground beef and pork to make them more tender.
- These meatballs can easily be made gluten free if you want to switch out the Panko breadcrumbs for gluten-free breadcrumbs. You can also use gluten free oats if you don’t have breadcrumbs on hand.
- Of course, you will want to serve these meatballs over gluten-free pasta if you have an intolerance to gluten. If GF pasta isn’t your thing, you can also use zoodles (spiralized zucchini) or you can use spaghetti squash.
- Have leftovers? These meatballs make incredible meatball subs! Give them a try! You don’t be sorry!
Want More Instant Pot Recipes?
Strapped for time? We have dozens of delicious dinners that come together in no time! Check out some of our Instant Pot favorites:
- Sunday Pot Roast Instant Pot Recipe
- Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo
- Pressure Cooker Swedish Meatballs
- Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala
- Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage
- Easy Instant Pot Chicken Breasts
- Instant Pot Pork Chops and Gravy
- Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers
How to Make Instant Pot Meatballs
- Combine all ingredients (except spaghetti sauce) until well mixed. Mixing together with your hands works great.Form into balls using hands or small ice cream scoop. You want them to be slightly smaller than a golf ball.
- Spray bottom of Instant Pot with cooking spray and add spaghetti sauce. Place meatballs over the sauce, layering them if necessary. It's OK if they touch, just don't squish them too much.
- Place lid on Instant Pot and switch valve to “sealing”. Press “Manual” and set to high pressure for 7 minutes.
- After you hear the timer go off, allow to slow release for another 5 minutes and then do the quick release (you do this by carefully switching the tab to "venting"). Remove lid from Instant Pot, stir, and serve over cooked pasta noodles.
- 6-Quart Instant Pot Pressure Cooker (See Instant Pot Note Below)