Easy Instant Pot Meatballs – From Fresh Or Frozen

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You have landed on the best Instant Pot Meatballs Recipe the internet can give you. They are quick and easy to make with minimum prep and a few minutes of cooking in the Instant Pot. A great make-ahead freezer meal.

Suitable for Low Carb, Keto, Paleo, and Gluten-Free diets. Post includes Weight Watchers points.

pressure cooker meatballs in a bowl

These are the BEST Instant Pot Meatballs EVER. I know I can say this since I have worked my way through a gazillion different versions of Instant Pot meatballs recipes to make sure I really bring you THE BEST version.

Allow me to demonstrate just how easy this recipe is. Flavorful and juicy meatballs in a herby tomato sauce all cooked up in the Instant Pot in just 5 minutes. It truly doesn’t get much better – or easier – than Instant Pot recipes like this!

You don’t have to fry or bake the meatballs first, you don’t have to simmer the tomato sauce away. Nope, not for this recipe. To cook meatballs, you just add the ingredients, press start, and let the Instant Pot do the work for you. #instantpotforthewin

Yeap, these Instant Pot meatballs are all about simple, good quality, pantry staple ingredients that you can throw together in a heartbeat for an easy yet impressive meal.

If you like this easy pressure cooker meatball recipe, you’ll definitely want to learn How to Cook Frozen Meatballs. And while you’re at it, check out my effortless recipes for Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs and Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs (that’s right, grape jelly!).

Instant Pot Meatballs In a bowl with a spoon

Effortless Instant pot cooking is just one of the things that makes this recipe for tender meatballs a great option for weeknight suppers, busy life moments, and whenever you are short on time. You are very welcome!!!

Instant pot quick start guide image

Why Make This Meatball Recipe

  • Make Ahead – batch cooking these Instant Pot Meatballs and marinara sauce, then refrigerating and reheating meatballs is so easy
  • Freezer Friendly – freeze meatballs, then thaw and use them to make all sorts of delicious meals.
  • Meatballs for a crowd – double or triple this recipe to feed a crowd.
  • Meal Planning Friendly – use these juicy meatballs for the basis of a whole week’s worth of meal planning. See some ideas below.
  • Family Friendly – seriously the whole family will love them.
  • Immensely adaptable – add herbs and spices to your taste.
  • Diet Friendly – low carb, keto, and gluten free.

Recipe Tools

KITCHEN TOOLS, UTENSILS & APPLIANCES  NEEDED

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, check out my disclosure.

Here are some of the items you will need to make this recipe.

Ingredients Notes

  • Ground Beef – can also use pork, turkey, or a combination.
  • Water – or use beef broth for added flavor.
  • Green onions – finely chopped.
  • Eggs – to bind the meatballs.
  • Almond flour – keeps these meatballs keto, paleo, and gluten free.
  • Grated Parmesan cheese – optional but adds great flavor.
  • Herbs – parsley, dried oregano, garlic purée for classic Italian meatball flair.
  • Salt – add to taste.
  • Olive oil – or swap for no-calorie cooking spray.
  • Diced tomatoes – or crushed tomatoes. Make sure to they are sugar free.
  • Red Wine vinegar – gives the marinara sauce a nice depth of flavor.
  • Italian seasoning – add more or less to the sauce, as desired.

So are you ready to learn how easy it is to cook the best meatballs in Instant Pot? Then gather all your ingredients and let me show you…..

How To Make Instant Pot Meatballs

  1. Combine the ground beef with the rest of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Form the meat mixture into balls using your hands or a small ice cream scoop.
  3. Oil the Instant Pot insert, then add the meat balls (you can layer them if needed)
  4. Add the tomatoes, water, vinegar, and herbs.
  5. Cover the Instant Pot, turn the valve to sealing, and set to manual pressure/ high pressure for 5 minutes.
  6. Allow for a 10-minute natural pressure release, followed by a quick pressure release of any remaining pressure.
instant pot meatballs collage of four step by step process shots inside instant pot

How To Cook Frozen Meatballs

  1. Oil the Instant Pot insert, then add in the frozen meatballs (it’s okay to layer them if needed).
  2. Pour the tomatoes, water, vinegar, and herbs over the meatballs in the inner pot.
  3. Cover the Instant Pot, turn the valve to the sealing position, and set to manual pressure/high pressure for 5 minutes.
  4. When done, allow 10 minutes of natural pressure release, and then quick release the rest.

See how easy it is to make these awesome homemade meatballs?

Tips For Success

  • This was designed as a ‘one pan dump everything in and press go’ Instant Pot recipe for busy moments in your life. If you have time and prefer to, then please go ahead and brown the meatballs first. Just brown them using the saute function in batches in the Instant Pot until done.
  • Don’t forget to deglaze the Instant Pot insert before cooking meatballs in the sauce if you brown the meatballs first.
  • If you like a rich tomato sauce, add some tomato paste.
  • To make life even easier feel free to use a pre-made tomato sauce or some store-bought pasta sauce.
  • The total cook time does not include the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come up to pressure or for the pressure to release.
  • You can use regular bread crumbs or panko breadcrumbs if you are not following a low carb or gluten-free diet.
  • I find ground beef with some fat works best when making these beef meatballs. However, if you are trying to reduce the calories, then use lean ground beef, ground chicken, or ground turkey.
instant pot meatballs in the instant pot

Recipe Variations

  • Change the spices and herbs – Feel free to add in Tuscan seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, dried rosemary, red pepper flakes, chipotle paste, etc.
  • Swap in bread crumbs – Instead of almond flour, you can use gluten free breadcrumbs, regular breadcrumbs, or panko breadcrumbs if you prefer.
  • Use broth – Swapping the water for beef broth or chicken broth adds so much flavor.
  • Swap the meat – instead of beef meatballs, make pork, chicken, or turkey meatballs or create a flavorful meat mixture by combining different meats together.
  • Top them with cheese – Transfer Instant Pot meatballs to a broil-safe dish, top with grates parmesan cheese and broil for a few minutes until cheese is melted.
  • Change the sauce – Use bbq sauce instead of tomatoes for a totally different flavor profile.

Prep Ahead And Storage

This pressure cooker meatballs recipe is super freezer-friendly, which means it is ideally suited for meal prep. Simply whip up a batch (or double or even triple) and then store it in the freezer until you’re ready to use.

  • Prep Ahead – Pressure cook these meatballs up to a few days in advance and reheated when needed. 
  • Store – Leftover meatballs cook in pasta sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 
  • Freeze – Follow the handy tips below for how to freeze this;
    • Transfer into these convenient Ziploc freezer bags.
    • Squeeze out all the extra air and seal the bags.
    • Label the bags and then lay them flat on a baking sheet in the freezer.
    • Store in the freezer for 3 months.
    • To make reheating easier, freeze in the right portion sizes that you need for the future.
  • To Thaw – Remove the meatballs from the freezer the night before needed and let thaw in the fridge.
  • Reheat – To reheat, simply let them thaw out in the fridge and then reheat in a saucepan over low heat so that the meatballs stay moist.
instant pot meatballs and sauce in 2 bowls

FAQs

How Long Do You Cook Meatballs in a Pressure Cooker?

Well, 5 minutes is perfect for cooking medium to large-sized meatballs in your pressure cooker. If you have smaller meatballs, you might want to start with 4 minutes and see how cooked they are and go from there. Be sure to not overcook or you may end up with tough meatballs.

What Meat Do You Use For Meatballs?

I find ground beef (or pork) with some fat works best in this recipe. You can also use a mixture of ground beef and ground pork. However, if you are trying to reduce the calories, then by all means, use lean ground beef, turkey, or chicken.

How Do You Brown Meatballs?

Just brown them using the sauté function in batches in the Instant Pot until done. Make sure to deglaze the Instant Pot insert using water or beef broth before cooking the meatballs in spaghetti sauce.

Can You Make The Meatballs Crispy?

You sure can. Remove cooked meatballs from the marinara sauce and broil for a couple of minutes, turning halfway through until they are crispy.

How To Make These Pressure Cooker Meatballs Without Sauce?

It is super easy to make Instant Pot meatballs no sauce. Just add a cup (250ml) of water or beef broth into the Instant Pot Insert, place the meatballs on a steamer basket inside the Instant Pot and cook as directed.

How To Make Instant Pot Meatballs and Spaghetti?

Making spaghetti and meatballs is quick and easy. Cook the meatballs according to the recipe. While the meatballs and marinara sauce are cooking, cook the spaghetti on a stovetop (or in your second Instant Pot), then drain and set the pasta aside. When the meatballs are done, add the spaghetti and serve.

Serving Suggestions

This low carb meatballs and spaghetti sauce recipe is so versatile! Try serving on top of zucchini noodles, turning them into hearty meatball subs, or serve meatballs with toothpicks as a delicious appetizer or game day snack!

Meal Planning Ideas

So the great thing about the best Instant Pot Meatballs is that they can be an awesome base for meal planning.

There are a gazillion ways you can use these for meal planning. I suggest a few ideas of what to serve with your meatballs here, but please don’t be limited by these ideas. They are just a starting point.

close up of pressure cooker meatballs in a bowl

More Recipes You May Like

More Instant Pot Recipes

Weight Watchers Points

If you use calorie-controlled cooking spray instead of olive oil, as well as lean ground turkey, there are 2 Blue Plan SmartPoints in a serving of this.

Thank you for reading my Instant Pot Meatballs recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue to slice, dice, and dream up affordable Air Fryer recipes, Instant Pot Recipes, Southern Recipes, and more. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, food blog.

Originally published August 2018. Republished August 2020. Updated January 2023.

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pressure cooker meatballs in a bowl
Print Recipe
4.76 from 25 votes

Instant Pot Meatballs

These easy meatballs are juicy, effortless, made from pantry staples!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Main
Cuisine: American, Western
Servings: 8
Calories: 333kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy

Ingredients

Instant Pot Meatballs:

  • 1 ½ pounds (675 g) ground beef or turkey fresh or frozen
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 green onions scallions, finely chopped
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese optional
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic purée
  • 2 eggs
  • salt to taste

Meatballs Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 14 ounce (2 x 400g) cans of diced tomatoes sugar free
  • 3 tablespoons water or beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Instructions

  • Combine all meatball ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  • Form the mix into balls using your hands or a small ice cream scoop.
  • Oil the Instant Pot insert then add the meatballs in layers, trying not to squash them.
  • Pour the tomatoes, water (or beef broth), vinegar and herbs over the meatballs.
  • Cover the Instant Pot, turn the valve to sealing, select manual pressure/high pressure and set the time to 5 minutes.
  • When done, allow for a 10-minute natural pressure release and then perform a quick pressure release the rest.
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Notes

  • This was designed as a ‘one pan dump everything in and press go’ recipe for busy moments in your life. If, however, you have time and prefer to, then please go ahead and brown the meatballs first. Just brown them using the sauté function in batches in the Instant Pot until done. Don’t forget to deglaze the pot before cooking the meatballs in tomato sauce if you brown the meatballs first.
  • To make life even easier feel free to use a pre-made tomato sauce or some store-bought pasta sauce.
  • You can absolutely use regular breadcrumbs if you are not following a low carb or gluten-free diet.
  • I find beef (or pork) with some fat works best in this recipe. However, if you are trying to reduce the calories, use lean beef or ground turkey.
  • Storage – keep leftovers in an airtight container inside the fridge for 3 days.
  • If you use calorie-controlled cooking spray instead of olive oil, as well as lean ground turkey, there are just 2 WW Blue Plan SmartPoints per serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 333kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 106mg | Sodium: 311mg | Potassium: 452mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 340IU | Vitamin C: 11.2mg | Calcium: 144mg | Iron: 3.4mg

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Recipe Rating




68 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love having these meatballs frozen and ready for a easy meal. The spices make them so flavorful. Family enjoys everytime.

  2. 5 stars
    Homemade meatballs are my favorite! I can’t wait to try them in the Instant Pot!

  3. If you double or triple the recipe how long would you need to cook them with the sauce? Has anyone tried making larger batches?

  4. Looking forward to trying these. I am Keto and see that it has 6 carbs per serving. I can’t seem to find how many meatballs are in a serving though.

    1. Voiletta, have you figured out if the posted macros are for 8 servings or one meatball?
      Thanks!
      Richard

  5. 5 stars
    HI Bintu! This look and sound so absolutely delicious! Of course the best part is how easy they are to cook. I hope all is well and that you are having a good weekend! 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    I love that you can still enjoy these yummy meatballs on Keto or Weight Watchers. They are easy to make and healthy. I have never tried meatballs in the Instant Pot before, but am excited to try.

  7. 5 stars
    I love it that you used almond flour in this recipe! And of course it’s another vote for instant pot making our lives easier. Just pinned! Great recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    That is so awesome, you don’t have to go through all of the work browning the meatballs and cooking down the sauce forever! I have to give these a try!