One taste of these Instant Pot meatballs, and you will be in comfort food heaven. This instant pot turkey meatballs recipe is hearty, filling, easy to make, and positively delicious. This tasty recipe only needs 9 ingredients and is completely ready in 30 minutes.
I know that traditional meatballs have two problems. First of all, meatballs can be a lot of work, depending on how they are prepared. That can be wonderful if you have lots of time on your hands. Second of all, traditional meatballs are bound together by gluten in the form of bread crumbs or crackers. I knew that there had to be a way to make them, so they fit my lifestyle. And let me just tell you these homemade meatballs are beyond amazing.
Because these easy meatballs are made in the pressure cooker, they only need to cook for 7 minutes at high pressure. You will have time to do other things instead of hovering over a skillet. I'm game for anything that doesn't take lots of effort but still allows us to enjoy some home-cooked food.
My pressure cooker meatballs are also low carb, keto, gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, and Trim Healthy Mama friendly.
Ground Turkey - I use 85% ground turkey most of the time in this. You can use any type of ground meat in this recipe or a combination.
Almond Flour or Parmesan Cheese - These act as a binder in place of breadcrumbs. Another alternative is to use crushed pork rinds.
Egg - Eggs help the meatballs to hold together when cooking.
Dried Minced Onion or Onion Powder - Feel free to use whichever you have available or even a little minced fresh onion.
Dried Minced Garlic or Garlic Powder - Fresh chopped garlic can be subbed if you prefer.
Italian Seasoning - Make sure to choose a seasoning blend you enjoy. I like ones that are heavy on basil and parsley.
Marinara Sauce - Choose a flavorful marinara-style tomato sauce without added sugar for the best results.
How To Make Instant Pot Turkey Meatballs
This is a great recipe using simple ingredients that the whole family will love.
First Step: Make sure the Instant Pot insert is in place and pour the marinara sauce in the bottom of the instant pot bowl and set aside.
Second Step: Stir together the turkey, almond flour, egg, minced onion, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
Third Step: Using a large cookie scoop, form the meat mixture into balls. Place them in the Instant Pot on top of the marinara sauce.
Fourth Step: Turn on the pressure cooker and place it on high-pressure for 7 minutes. After the 7 minutes are up, allow it to natural release for 5 minutes. Finish with a quick release and serve!
Expert Tip: The cook time when pressure cooking is about 20% less than other methods. This makes dinner ready much faster.
Spicy - For spicy meatballs add some crushed red pepper flakes to the ground turkey mixture.
Fresh Herbs - If you have access to fresh herbs you can add them to the meatballs or to the sauce or gravy. Fresh oregano, basil, and parsley are great choices.
Can I Make Homemade Meatballs With Different Protein?
Yes, if you don't happen to have ground turkey on hand, it's totally fine. You can easily swap it out with another ground meat you do have. Try them with any of the following:
Chicken - Ground chicken is often used to make meatballs. It's a healthy alternative to turkey if you happen to have some.
Beef - Most traditional meatball recipes use ground beef as the main ingredient. I prefer the flavor of the turkey, but beef is always an option.
Pork - If you use ground pork, you'll find that the flavor is perfect for Italian dishes. This one included!
Combination - Don't be afraid to mix the different meats too. You could do half of one and half of another. It just adds another flavor element to the Instant Pot meatballs.
What's The Difference Between Natural Release And Quick Release?
If you don't use your Instant Pot a lot yet, the different settings and functions can be a little confusing. The natural and quick release function tends to confuse people just starting out, and I can see why! Once you get the hang of the terminology, you can feel confident about cooking many meals in your pressure cooker. Let's break down the options for you.
Natural Release - Natural release, is just like it sounds. You allow the machine to do all the work and release the pressure naturally. It's a slower process depending on how much pressure was built up. The reason for a natural release is that the food will continue to cook slowly while it releases. So, make sure to follow each recipe guidelines so you know if you should allow a natural release or not.
Quick Release - Just like the natural release, you'll find that quick release is like it sounds as well. If you are cooking foods like vegetables and other items that tend to get mush if allowed to natural release, then quick release is a great option. To complete a quick release, you will need to turn the vent valve on the lid to the venting position. NEVER use your bare hand to do this. It will spray all sorts of steam and could burn you very bad. Stick with a wooden spoon, spatula, or cover it with a towel.
Combination - Many recipes will ask that you allow so many minutes of natural release then finish off with a quick release, just like my homemade meatball recipe. That just means that you let the Instant Pot slowly release pressure for the required minutes, then you turn it to a quick release after.
How Do You Store Instant Pot Meatballs?
Store any leftover Instant Pot turkey meatballs in the refrigerator in an airtight container. They will last 3-4 days in the fridge and make the best leftovers. If you do a lot of meal planning or meal prepping, add these to your rotation. I love having a batch in the freezer to make the meal prep for my Keto Meatball Casserole faster.
How Do You Heat Up Instant Pot Turkey Meatballs?
You can quickly heat homemade meatballs with a couple of different methods. First, you can microwave them in a microwave-safe dish. Just make sure to keep them covered, or your microwave will be a disaster as they heat up. They will warm back up fast using this method. Next, you could place them in a baking dish and heat them in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. This method takes a little longer, but they will stay juicy and tender.
Can You Freeze Meatballs?
Yes, absolutely, you can freeze these Instant Pot Meatballs. Place them in a labeled freezer-safe bag or storage container. The easy meatballs will last 1-2 months. For best results, place them in the refrigerator the night before you want to heat them up so they can defrost. Then warm them up and serve.
What to Serve with Pressure Cooker Meatballs?
- Put the marinara sauce into the instant pot bowl.
- Combine the rest of the ingredients and mix just until they are incorporated.
- Make 12 meatballs using a large scoop. Gently place them into the sauce in the instant pot.
- Seal the instant pot and cook on manual high pressure for 7 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes. Then release manually. Serve with your favorite low carb pasta.
More Keto Instant Pot Recipes:
Originally Published on November 13, 2019. Revised and Republished October 25, 2023.