Instant Pot Meatballs are simple to make, insanely flavorful, and so tender, that they nearly melt in your mouth! Say hello to your new favorite easy meatball recipe!
When people ask me if there is a recipe I am known for, three immediately come to my mind. Instant Pot Hard-Boiled Eggs, Cheesy Chicken and Rice, and my recipe for Oven-Baked Meatballs. Each of those recipes has a special place in my heart, has been made by millions of people, and has rave reviews.
But if I can let you in on a little secret, I think my meatballs are one of the BEST recipes on my site. They are INSANELY flavorful and super tender, and the cooking process is extremely unique. But sometimes you don't want to turn the oven on, and that is when you turn to this delicious recipe for Instant Pot Meatballs.
Reasons to Love Instant Pot Meatballs
- Incredibly Tender. Instead of a crispy exterior, these meatballs are soft and tender, much like they had simmered in sauce for hours
- Insanely Flavorful. We are talking knock your socks off, they are so flavorful!! Just like my famous Baked Italian Meatball Recipe, these meatballs are filled with Italian spices, parmesan cheese, and garlic.
- Super Easy Recipe. The meatballs come together rather quickly and pressure cook in just 5 minutes, making authentic-tasting Italian meatballs ready in under 30 minutes.
Notes on Ingredients & Equipment
- Ground Meat: I recommend using lean ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken for the best results. Just stay between a fat content of 10-15% regardless of the type of meat you use, as a higher fat content than 20% would result in greasy meatballs.
- Breadcrumbs: Use either plain bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs.
- Egg: I haven't been able to find a suitable substitute for the egg in this recipe. It is really needed to help keep the meatballs together when pressure-cooked.
- Garlic: For the most impactful flavor, use minced garlic rather than garlic powder.
- Oregano: Use Italian seasoning in place of the oregano if desired.
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: Feel free to increase or decrease the amount of crushed red pepper flakes to control the level of spice in the meatballs.
- Parsley: I highly recommend adding fresh parsley, not dried parsley, to the meatballs for a nice fresh flavor.
- Parmesan Cheese: Adding grated parmesan cheese to the meatballs themselves adds incredible flavor.
- Beef Broth: Beef broth gives a rich flavor to the meatballs. You can opt to use additional broth for the cooking liquid in the Instant Pot OR simply use water.
- Instant Pot: This recipe works with either a 3-quart Instant Pot, 6-quart Instant Pot, or an 8-quart Instant Pot.
- Trivet or Steamer Basket: In order to keep the meatballs elevated above the cooking liquid, you will need to place them on a trivet or in a steamer basket. Either work well.
Tips for Making the Best Instant Pot Meatballs
The following tips are provided to help you achieve perfect results. You will find the detailed instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Wait to add the meat. It is important to mix the seasonings, eggs, cheese, and breadcrumbs together before adding the meat. This will ensure you don't overwork the meat, which can result in tough meatballs.
- Use a cookie scoop to make meatballs. Scooping out the mixture using a small cookie scoop will help to keep each meatball the same size, ensuring the meatballs cook evenly and that they are large enough to not fall through the trivet.
- Allow for 10 minutes of natural pressure release. Letting pressure release on its own rather than forcing a quick release of pressure helps the meatballs stay tender and finish cooking.
- Brown IF desired. I find that these meatballs do not need to be browned, once the meatballs have been pressure-cooked, place cooked meatballs on a broiler sheet pan. Broil on high for 1 minute per side until browned.
Instant Pot Meatballs are fabulous served alone or with your favorite sauce. I personally recommend serving with either homemade spaghetti sauce or Instant Pot Spaghetti Sauce, a side of pasta, homemade garlic toast, and a Caesar salad for one delicious, yet easy, Italian meal.
And don't forget to save a few meatballs to make Meatball Subs.
More Instant Pot Italian-American Recipes
- Instant Pot Lasagna Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore
- Instant Pot Spaghetti
- Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana Soup
- Instant Pot Lasagna
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If you tried out this recipe for Instant Pot Meatballs, I would love for you to leave a review and comment below.
Instant Pot Meatballs -Italian-Style Homemade Meatballs
- 1 pound lean ground meat 90/10 beef, chicken, or turkey
- ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs or plain breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup low-sodium beef broth
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- ½ tablespoon minced garlic
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper
- pinch red pepper flakes
For Cooking Meatballs in Pressure Cooker
- 1 to 1 ½ cups beef broth or water
- If using a 3 or 6-quart pressure cooker, add 1 cup of water or broth into the inner pot. If using an 8-quart pressure cooker, add 1-½ cups of water or broth to the inner pot. Add a trivet or steamer basket to the inner pot.
- In a large bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, seasonings, parmesan, ¼ cup of beef broth, and egg until well incorporated. Add in the ground meat and mix until just combined. Do not over mix or you will have tough meatballs.
- Using about 1 tablespoon for each meatball, roll the mixture into 1½-inch meatballs. Place the meatballs onto the trivet or steamer basket inside the inner pot. It is okay if you need to slightly overlap the meatballs.
- Place the lid on the pressure cooker and be sure the vent knob is pointed to sealed and/or the lid is locked. Set to cook on high pressure for 5 minutes, using the manual or pressure cook button.
- Let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes before trying to release pressure manually.
- Serve the meatballs with your favorite sauce.