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I use my pressure cooker all the time. It’s perfect in the heat, and trust me when I tell you this Instant Pot meatballs and sauce recipe was almost an accident. Some links in this post are affiliate links and earn me a commission if you purchase through them.

Instant Pot spaghetti and meatballs

It’s hot. It’s really hot. Right now, you couldn’t pay me to cook on the stove or in the oven.

That means we’ve done a lot of grilling, but the other day we ran out of propane but I had ground beef I wanted to use. This could be an issue, but thankfully I got creative with my Instant Pot.

Instant Pot meatball sandwich

Creative? Desperate? Maybe a little more of the latter and less of the former, but I needed dinner on the table that my family would eat without heating up my kitchen.

Spaghetti and meatballs is a staple in our house. Everyone loves it, and my family eats meatballs. In fact, I have fun riffing on it with my Italian meatball soup, too. There are so many ways to enjoy these flavors.

For spaghetti, I make my marinara sauce from scratch, and while it’s quick to make, I still need to use the stove. Meatballs need the oven, and that’s more dishes. All the nope when it comes to summer in my mind!

Bowl of homemade spaghetti and meatballs

This time, I mixed and shaped the meatballs then threw everything into my Instant Pot and prayed. Oh. My. Word.

The meatballs and sauce turned out amazing. My kids loved both the meatballs and the sauce better than the ones I make traditionally. Go figure.

Summer no stove spaghetti and meatballs

I told a friend of mine about this, and she worried about the texture of the meatballs. They were perfect. I’m never making my meatballs of sauce any other way. Ever. Easy and better tasting? Desperation wins again!

The good news – for me – is that I end up with extra sauce after we eat all the meatballs. I place the leftover sauce in a jar and store it in my fridge, then I use it as pizza sauce. I love recipes that you make for one purpose and you can reuse in multiple ways.

Easy homemade meatball sandwich

And in summer, I make my pizza on the grill. You know you can do that, right? Homemade pizza dough is so simple to make, and the taste of a grilled pizza? Yum!

If you don’t want to boil pasta – that’s one thing I don’t recommend making in your IP – these Instant Pot meatballs and sauce are perfect for a meatball sandwich. Toss a little cheese on those, and that’s a third great meal you get from just one recipe.

How to make Instant Pot Meatballs and Sauce

Form your meatballs first. In a bowl, add the ground beef and pork – or whichever ground meat you use. You can make this with all ground beef or oven ground turkey, if you prefer.

Add breadcrumbs, eggs, dried herbs, salt, and pepper. Use clean hands to work the ingredients together.

Form into ping pong ball size meatballs. You should end up with approximately 20 meatballs.

Wash your hands and place the meatballs in the fridge while you prep the sauce.

Turn your Instant Pot to saute. On a clean cutting board, peel and mince your garlic. You know how to do that, right? Check out the super simple video tutorial below:

Add oil to the Instant Pot once it’s heated, then add garlic and turn off the heat so the garlic doesn’t burn.

Use a can opener to open the tomatoes and pour into the IP over the garlic. Add the dried herbs, salt, and pepper. Stir.

Add the refrigerated meatballs, gently moving them as needed to ensure they’re coated in tomato.

Close the Instant Pot and ensure the vent is set to seal. Cook for 15 minutes, then let NPR for 10 minutes.

If you make spaghetti, boil your water and cook the pasta while the Instant Pot meatballs and sauce cook. Serve immediately.

This reheats well the next day. Store any leftovers in a tightly sealed container in your fridge for up to three days.

Are you ready to make Instant Pot Meatballs and Sauce?

Check out some more great Instant Pot recipes you can make and not heat up your house this summer:

Instant Pot Meatballs and Sauce

Instant Pot Meatballs and Sauce

Yield: 20 meatballs and sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Making Instant Pot meatballs and sauce is not only simple, but the flavors are amazing. This desperation dish turned into a family favorite!

Ingredients

For the meatballs

  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 2 t dried basil
  • 1 T dried parsley
  • 1 c breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs

For the sauce

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 2 t dried basil
  • 1 T dried parsley
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t pepper

Instructions

Form your meatballs first. In a bowl, add the ground beef and pork. Add breadcrumbs, eggs, dried herbs, salt, and pepper. Use clean hands to work the ingredients together.

Form into ping pong ball size meatballs, and place the meatballs in the fridge while you prep the sauce.

Turn Instant Pot to saute. Peel and mince your garlic, then add oil to Instant Pot once it's heated. Add garlic and turn off the heat so the garlic doesn't burn.

Open tomatoes and pour into IP over the garlic. Add the dried herbs, salt, and pepper. Stir.

Add the refrigerated meatballs, ensuring they're all coated in tomato.

Close the Instant Pot and ensure the vent is set to seal. Cook for 15 minutes, then let NPR for 10 minutes.

Serve immediately. This reheats well the next day. Store any leftovers in a tightly sealed container in fridge for up to three days.

Notes

While I make this with a mix of ground beef and ground pork, you can easily make it with all ground beef if you prefer. Don't use a super lean beef. Ideally, you want to use an 80/20 or 85/15 ground beef to make this.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1 meatball and sauce
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 166 Total Fat: 12g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 54mg Carbohydrates: 5g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 3g Protein: 10g
This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition. If you need exact details, please calculate yourself.
Instant Pot meatballs and sauce recipe. The most flavorful and EASY way to make homemade meatballs and marinara. Perfect for spaghetti or meatball sandwiches. Have leftover sauce? Use it on pizza for a recipe that has multiple uses for leftovers.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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    Comments

  • Nicky


    I love cooking with my Instant Pot. It’s a real time saver in the kitchen. I can’t wait to try this recipe and your other IP favorites.

    • Michelle


      I love my Instant Pot and what it can do, too. It makes such good food with so little stress on me!

  • Katie Crenshaw | A Fork's Tale


    This Instant Pot Meatball and sauce recipe looks delicious. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for including my Instant Pot Orange Chicken Recipe.

    • Michelle


      Seriously my kids love this so much. It almost makes me cry when I think of all the time and effort I used to put into making them separately. Once again, throw into the pot and cook wins over other methods 😉

  • Theresa


    Love the simplicity of the IP! However, when I’ve tried making meatballs and sauce in the IP, I keep getting a burn messages How to rectify this? I turned it off and added 1/2 cup of water but it still gave me the burn message, so I ended up finishing the meatballs and sauce in the oven :/ help?!

    • Michelle


      I’ve never gotten a burn message on mine when I’ve made anything in my Instant Pot. Do you make sure everything is scraped up from the quick saute (and use oil in your saute) before you add the tomatoes? That and adding the meatballs after everything else is in would be my two suggestions. Did you use this recipe, or were you trying others?

  • Lee


    Wow!! This is really great & phenomenal.Looking so yummy. Hopefully it’ll be a great one to implement. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your time.

    • Michelle


      I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. It’s delicious and easy. We love it here!

  • Dawn @ The Kitchen and a Latte


    I always worried about running out of propane so I have 2 tanks. Once I put the new propane on the grill, I get the other refilled within a week. I try to always be prepared for that! But on a lighter note, the Instant Pot is an amazing gadget to use. I have used it when storms were rolling in and it was too hot to cook on the stove.

    I definitely have to try these meatballs 🙂 Maybe we can make them for meatball subs – yum!

    • Michelle


      That’s definitely a smart idea. We may have run out in the middle of grilling last week! And yes – the meatball subs with these are fantastic. I’m not sure which was I like them better… but I always make enough that I get to have both options 😉

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