Print
Recipe

Instant Pot Meatballs Recipe

Instant Pot Meatballs 5 different ways: no sauce, with sauce, sweet & sour grape jelly, Korean, and Swedish style!

  • Prep Time:
    25 minutes
  • Total Time:
    45 minutes
  • Makes:
    30 meatballs 1x
  • Prep Time:
    25 minutes
  • Total Time:
    45 minutes
  • Makes:
    30 meatballs 1x
  • Ingredients

    • 1 pound ground beef
    • 1 pound Sweet Italian Sausage, casings removed
    • 2 eggs
    • ⅔ cup Panko bread crumbs
    • ¾ cup grated onion (about 1 medium) 
    • ¼ cup fresh Parmesan cheese
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

    Instructions

    Make your meatballs, then head to the recipe below for the sauce. 

    1. Prepare a baking sheet (if freezing). Line a baking sheet that will fit in your freezer with parchment paper and set aside.
    2. Make the meatball mixture. Combine ground beef, sausage and eggs in a large bowl. With clean hands, mix together until incorporated. Do not over mix or you will have tough meatballs. Add the breadcrumbs, onion, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper; mix again.  
    3. Measure and roll your meatballs. For medium-sized meatballs, measure 1 ½ ounces of meat mixture (about 2 ½ tablespoons) and roll into a ball. For smaller cocktail-sized meatballs, measure 1 ounce of meat per meatball. Repeat with the remaining mixture, placing uncooked meatballs on a plate or prepared baking sheet.
    4. To freeze the meatballs: Place the baking sheet into the freezer and freeze until firm, about 2-3 hours. Transfer frozen meatballs to a freezer bag. As you seal the bag, press out any remaining air. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
    5. To cook the meatballs (frozen or unfrozen): Place a trivet into the inner pot of the Instant Pot and add 1 cup of water or beef broth (or 1 ½ cups for 8-quart pot). Carefully place the meatballs you’d like to cook onto the trivet, stacking meatballs between one another into 2-3 layers if needed. Secure the lid, making sure the valve is set to SEALING. Set Instant Pot to Pressure Cook — HIGH for 8 minutes, or 7 minutes for smaller cocktail-sized meatballs. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes; carefully release remaining pressure manually. When done, transfer cooked meatballs to a clean plate. 
    6. Make your sauce. While the meatballs cook, make or warm your sauce on the stove. If you’d like to make your sauce in the Instant Pot, you can do it either before or after cooking the meatballs using the SAUTE function. If the latter, remove the meatballs and trivet from the Instant Pot and drain the cooking liquid prior to making the sauce.

    Notes

    Sauces

    The sauce recipes below are generally enough for one full batch of meatballs. You may want to make more or less sauce depending on how saucy you like your meatballs, and whether you plan to serve as a meal or as an appetizer. All sauces except the Swedish meatball sauce can be frozen. 

    Italian Meatballs and Marinara Sauce

    Note: 3-4 cups is generally enough sauce to serve over pasta; if serving as an appetizer you may want to use less sauce or freeze the extra.

    • 1-2 jars (3-4 cups) of your favorite marinara or pasta sauce OR make your own simple marinara sauce
    • Fresh chopped parsley and/or Parmesan cheese for topping (optional)

    Sweet & Sour Sauce with Grape Jelly

    Makes: 2 cups sauce 
    Note: This recipe generally makes enough sauce to serve over rice or rice noodles. If serving as an appetizer you may want to make less sauce or freeze the extra.

    • 1 cup ketchup, chili sauce, or bbq sauce
    • 1 cup grape jelly (use ¾ cup for a slightly less sweet sauce)
    • Fresh chopped parsley for topping (optional)
      Combine ketchup, chili sauce, or bbq sauce and grape jelly in a bow. Stir well.

    Korean Meatball Sauce

    Makes: ~2 cups sauce 
    Note: This recipe generally makes enough sauce to serve over rice or rice noodles; if serving as an appetizer you may want to make less sauce or freeze the extra.

    • 1 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
    • ⅔ cup water
    • 1 ½ cups cup brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean chili paste, available in most grocery stores)
    • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
    • ½  teaspoon ground ginger
    • 6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
    • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 1-2 tablespoons water
    • Sesame seeds and/or sliced green onion for garnish (optional)

    In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring soy sauce, water, brown sugar, gochujang, ground ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes to a boil. Whisk 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water together in a separate small bowl until well combined; stir into boiling sauce and simmer for 1-2 minutes to activate the starch. Reduce heat to medium; simmer and stir frequently for 8-10 minutes, or until sauce is thickened and reduced slightly. Remove from heat.

    Swedish Meatball Sauce

    Makes: ~2 cups sauce
    Note: I recommend increasing sauce ingredients by half if serving a full batch of meatballs over pasta.

    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups beef broth
    • 1/4 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
    • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

    Melt butter in a large saucepan or deep skillet over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes. Gradually add beef broth and whisk until the sauce begins to thicken. Add milk, half-and-half or heavy cream, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Cook until the sauce reaches desired consistency. Transfer cooked meatballs from the Instant Pot to the saucepan or skillet, coat with sauce, and serve.

    Favorite Equipment

    Ingredient Prep

    • Grate the onion and refrigerate until you make the meat mixture
    • Roll the meatballs and store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before cooking
    • Make sauces up to 2 days in advance

    Ingredient Notes

    • For dairy-free Instant Pot meatballs: Omit or substitute an equal amount of nutritional yeast for the Parmesan cheese
    • For egg-free Instant Pot meatballs: Substitute ½ cup ricotta cheese (¼ cup per egg). If you don’t have an egg allergy, sensitivity, or intolerance, 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise can also be used (1 tablespoon per egg).
    • For gluten-free meatballs (meatballs only): Substitute gluten-free Panko for traditional Panko breadcrumbs 
    • Gochujang (Korean Meatballs): Gochujang is a Korean chili paste made from fermented soybeans and is available in most large supermarkets and Asian markets.

    Little Helpers

    Involving little ones can decrease picky eating and increase appetite and willingness to try new foods. Here are a few ways they can help: 

    • Toddlers: Measure and add meatball ingredients to the bowl, as well as help mixing and rolling meatballs; stack in the Instant Pot
    • Little Kids: All of the above plus help grate the onion (closely supervised) and roll the meatballs; 
    • Big Kids: Give them the recipe and see how much they can do on their own!

    Nutrition Notes

    Nutrition information calculated for 3, 1.5-ounce meatballs (no sauce) using 85% lean ground beef and Sweet Italian pork sausage.

    Nutrition

    • Serving Size: 3 (1 ¾-inch) meatballs
    • Calories: 219
    • Sugar: 1 g
    • Sodium: 689 mg
    • Fat: 12 g
    • Saturated Fat: 5 g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 7 g
    • Trans Fat: 0 g
    • Carbohydrates: 8 g
    • Fiber: 0 g
    • Protein: 18 g
    • Cholesterol: 83 mg

    Similar Recipes

    Did you make this recipe?
    We wanna see!

    Tag @modminimalism on Instagram and hashtag it #modernminimalism