Instant Pot Meatballs

Instant Pot Meatballs are perfect when you want classic meatballs for dinner but don’t have time to stand in the kitchen for hours as they simmer to soak up all that saucy flavor.

meatballs in sauce on white plate with herb garnish; small jar of sauce in background with green herbs to side and instant pot in background with green cloth on table in background

This meatball recipe is sure to be a favorite. It’s simple and quick. Plus, the Instant Pot gets all that saucy flavor into the meatballs in a fraction of the time it takes on the stove. This method of cooking them turns out meatballs that are not only flavorful but super tender.

How do you make them?

First, you need to make the meatball mixture. We use a mixture of ground pork and ground beef for that classic meatball flavor.

Then we add breadcrumbs because they help keep moisture in the meatballs and egg as it adds fat and is a binder to keep them together.

After that add finely chopped fresh onion and parsley. These two ingredients add a lot of flavor. The reason you want to finely chop the onion is so it cooks nicely in the meatballs. If the chunks of onion are too big they won’t cook down nice and soft. Sprinkle in the salt and pepper. 

Next, you’ll use your hands to mix all the ingredients together very well. We suggest using your hands because it’s easier to combine all the ingredients well, but if that grosses you out, totally use a spoon. 

You can check out more tips on how to make perfectly tender, juicy and flavorful meatballs in our How to make Meatballs post.

How do you make meatballs in the Instant Pot?

The first thing you’ll want to do is you’ll need to spray the bottom of the Instant Pot with cooking spray to prevent the meatballs from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Place them side by side in the bottom of the pot, but don’t overcrowd them. Add marinara sauce over the meatballs.

The 8-Quart Instant Pot  is perfect for making these meatballs, since it has a wider bottom. However, you can still make them in a smaller one. You may need to stack them in layers, but try not to squish them, just set them gently on top of each other, kind of like a pyramid.

Add sauce to the pot and seal the lid then set the cook time and go work on something else. (Or better yet, sit down and relax for a bit if you can.)

Can you make these without an Instant Pot?

This recipe does use the Instant Pot but if you’re waiting for it to arrive or haven’t ordered one yet and are majorly craving meatballs, try our baking method in this article How to Bake Meatballs, which uses the same ingredients. 

How do you serve them?

Of course, you can always serve meatballs with your favorite pasta or as a sandwich, but they also go great with rice or mashed potatoes. You can also make them minis for a party appetizer. 

Can you make them ahead of time?

You definitely can make them ahead of time, but we think you’ll find they’re quick enough to make that you don’t need to make them ahead of time. However, you can also prep the meatballs ahead of time and freeze them to cook another day. 

How do you freeze meatballs? 

You’ll make this recipe up to the point of shaping the meatballs. Once they’re shaped, put them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze them for a few hours. After the meatballs are firm to the touch, put them in a freezer safe bag or container. You can freeze these up to a few months before using.
Mixing up multiple batches and freezing them for future use is a great way to save a little prep time another day. It’s also great for when you want to make a smaller batch.

Instant Pot Meatballs

Instant Pot Meatballs are perfect when you want classic meatballs for dinner but don’t have time to stand in the kitchen for hours as they simmer to soak up all that saucy flavor.

  • Author: Ilona Orzechowska
  • Prep Time: 12 minutes
  • Cook Time: 33 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 24 oz. marinara sauce


  1. In a large bowl combine ground beef, ground pork, breadcrumbs, egg, chopped onion, chopped parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix well with hands.
  2. Shape into 15-20 small meatballs.
  3. Spray bottom of the Instant Pot insert with cooking spray and place meatballs in the pot side by side.
  4. Add marinara sauce and mix in gently to coat the meatballs.
  5. Close the Instant Pot and switch valve to Seal. Press Manual and set the time to 8 minutes.
  6. It will take some time for your Instant Pot to build pressure, but once it does the time will start counting down.
  7. After the pressure cooker reaches 0 it will start counting minutes back up. Allow the pot to slow release for 5 minutes, then switch valve to Vent to do quick release. Once the pressure has fully released, you will be able to open the lid. Serve immediately or refrigerate to heat up another day.

Instant Pot Meatballs
Instant Pot Meatballs

Ilona Orzechowska

Ilona blogs at Ilona’s Passion where she focuses on sweet and savory party recipes. She believes in making recipes from scratch and not very sweet desserts. She likes to experiment with flavors while cooking in her Canadian kitchen. She has lived in three countries and loves to explore the world with her two boys and a husband. While not cooking or traveling she designs printable invitations and party decorations.