Instant Pot Meatballs {3 Ways!}

instant pot meatballs

4.9 from 9 reviews

These Instant Pot Meatballs are life changing! Make with any meat, no sauteing, with or no sauce, fresh or frozen, as an appetizer or even add pasta for a one pot meal.

  • Author: Olena of
  • Prep Time: 7 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 14 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings (5 meatballs each) 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Ukrainian


  • 1 lb 3 oz (one tray) ground turkey, beef, chicken or pork
  • 1 large egg (optional)
  • 1/4 cup any oats (optional)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, grated or 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp onion flakes (powder) or 1 small onion, grated (pureed in food processor)
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano, dried
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce, low sodium (optional)


  1. Instant Pot meatballs without tomato sauce: In any size Instant Pot, add 1/2 cup water and place trivet or steamer basket inside. Set aside.
  2. Instant Pot meatballs with tomato sauce: Add a can of tomato sauce. No water. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, add ground meat, grated (pureed) onion and garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.
  4. Mix well with a spatula or hands.
  5. Using small cookie scoop, form 30 meatballs (it helps to dip hands in a bowl with cold water occasionally) and place them one by one inside prepared Instant Pot. It is OK to stack meatballs or just arrange them in a single layer in tomato sauce.
  6. Close the lid, turn pressure release valve to Sealing and pressure cook on High pressure for 7 minutes.
  7. Wait for 2 minutes and release remaining pressure using Quick Release method.
  8. Open the lid and voila.

Meatballs with Tomato sauce

Meatballs in tomato sauce taste best if you let them stand open for 10 minutes. Then I toss them to coat in the sauce by shaking the inner pot and garnish with parsley or dill. Serve with desired whole grain and salad or dinner.


Transfer meatballs in a baking dish and stick toothpick into each one. Voila. Healthy and easy appetizer right there. Or serve right in Instant Pot (with toothpicks) while Keep Warm is on. Genius!

Meatballs with Lean Ground Beef

I wouldn’t worry about this step if I had extra lean ground beef. But with lean beef or pork here is what I do:

  • Cook meatballs on a trivet with water first.
  • Drain liquid (broth basically) to a bowl.
  • Remove trivet from Instant Pot and add tomato sauce (or not).
  • And serve leaner and less saturated fat meatballs.
  • Next day I skim and discard solidified fat from the bowl with liquid and use it as a broth in recipes. Can refrigerate or freeze.

How to Cook Frozen Meatballs

Cook frozen meatballs in Instant Pot just like fresh. Instant Pot will take longer to come to pressure but cooking time remains the same. The beauty of a pressure cooker. 🙂

How to Make Meatballs and Pasta One Pot Meal

And last but not least – you can make a one pot meal. Are you mind blown yet?

  1. Cook meatballs with or without tomato sauce first as per directions above or in the recipe.
  2. Add 2 cups water and 3 cups any dry pasta. If you cooked meatballs without tomato sauce, add it now.
  3. Stir gently everything not to break meatballs. If you add long shape pasta like spaghetti, stirring will be hard. So just lay broken in half noodles in about 6 layers criss cross to prevent sticking. Top with tomato sauce, if not added yet. You shouldn’t worry about Burn here.
  4. Cook on High pressure for 5 minutes with Quick Release.


Pictured are meatballs made with turkey and no egg and no oatmeal. I use oatmeal for beef meatballs as poultry is quite dense when cooked. I find meatballs taste amazing and come out juicy with all these variations depending what I have on hand or how tired I am.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.