This is the easiest, quickest, most delicious way to cook meatballs and sauce to top pasta with! Done in 30 minutes, your pasta will be happy to have this delicious perfection sitting atop it. Dinner made easy for you and your family!
My mom’s meatloaf recipe is one of the most popular recipes on this blog and there is a very good reason for that: it is THE BEST. That recipe inspired my delicious baked meatballs and that recipe inspired this one! I guess that means you have my mom to thank for this incredible dinner idea!
Seriously, you guys, dinner does not get easier or more delicious than this right here. Made-from scratch meatballs, swimming in a delicious sauce are done in 30 minutes and ready to heap on top of your plate of pasta. When you take your first bite, it is very likely that you will let a tiny (or large) squeal of delight escape your hungry little lips.
HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT MEATBALLS
Combine the following ingredients in a large bowl:
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 cup crushed Ritz crackers
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
Thoroughly mix using your hands. Form into golf ball sized balls.
Pour a jar of spaghetti sauce into the bottom of an Instant Pot after first spraying generously with cooking spray. Carefully place the meatballs on top of the sauce in layers.
Cover and cook on high pressure (pressure cook setting) for 10 minutes. It will take the pot approximately 19 minutes to build up pressure before it begins cooking. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then do a quick release.
Serve immediately over a plate of cooked pasta!
- Take the easy route and simply purchase a jar of spaghetti sauce from the grocery store, OR! Make your own homemade pasta sauce easily!
- It might seem odd to pile the uncooked meatballs on top of each other within the pot, but do not fret. They will hold their shape while they cook and you’ll open your lid to reveal perfectly cooked meatballs swimming in a delicious sauce.
- Swap the Ritz cracker crumbs out with gluten free cracker or bread crumbs for a GF meal!
- Tomato sauce can replace ketchup if desired, but reduce the milk by 1/4 cup if you do this in order to avoid a mixture that is too wet.
- Ground turkey can easily replace beef.
RECIPES TO MAKE USING PASTA SAUCE
Aside from the obvious reason (the amazing FLAVOR!), my favorite thing about pasta sauce is that it is so versatile. Here are a few other ideas for ways to enjoy it!
- Pour it over the top of cooked noodles of any kind.
- Use it in place of store-bought sauce in your next pan of Baked Spaghetti or Baked Ziti!
- Crockpot Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Lasagna and Cheesy Manicotti are both sooo good when made with Instant Pot spaghetti sauce!
- Use it as an ingredient to stuff spaghetti squash with!
- Add it to your morning eggs because everything tastes great with eggs.
- Top scrambled eggs with a few spoonfuls!
- Use it as a dip for breadsticks or garlic bread.
INSTANT POT BURN NOTICE
If you see that dreaded burn notice flash on your Instant Pot, do not fret! Know that your pressure cooker is keeping a good eye on your food. It has sensed that the temperature toward the bottom of the pot is too high and has therefore turned it off temporarily. It is giving you a chance to fix the problem!
This can happen especially with thick sauces or chilis because of the heaviness of the contents inside the pot. It can also happen if there is not enough liquid inside the pot.
If you see the burn notice, press CANCEL as soon as possible. Do an immediate quick release and wait for the silver float valve to drop. Transfer the inner pot to a hot pad holder. Scrape any bits of food that may have adhered to the bottom of the pot using a spoon.
If there are no burned bits:
- Add 1/2 cup of liquid to the recipe that will thin out the consistency. If the recipe contains beef or chicken broth, add more of the same. If no broth is used in the recipe, add water.
- Stir the contents of the pot thoroughly and resume cooking.
If you see burned pieces in the mixture:
- Pour the contents into a saucepan and clean out the pot using soap and water, making sure any charred pieces of food are removed from the bottom of the pan. Remove visible pieces of burnt food and pour it back into the pot.
- Add 1/2 cup of liquid to the recipe, stir the contents thoroughly and resume cooking.
WHY DOES IT TAKE MY INSTANT POT SO LONG TO HEAT UP?
The time leading up to actual cook time may seem long and even confusing (“What is going ON in there?!”), but it’s an important part of the process! The Instant Pot is working on building up the appropriate amount of pressure that it will be cooking the food at.
It handles liquids and solids differently and also fresh and frozen differently, so the time can vary. Most recipes take between 10 and 25 minutes to build up pressure.
QUICK RELEASE VS NATURALLY RELEASING PRESSURE IN THE PRESSURE COOKER
When a recipe calls for natural pressure release, this is instructing you to leave the pressure release in the sealed position when the cook time ends. It will release the pressure over approximately 30 minutes and then you’ll be able to open your lid.
Quick release or often written as QR is when you safely open the valve to release all the pressure inside quickly. You don’t want to be in the way of the jet of steam that comes quickly and loudly pouring out of the pot.
If a recipe calls for an 10-minute natural release the recipe is telling you to leave the IP alone for 10 minutes after the timer signifies it’s done. Then you open the valve to release any steam that is still hanging out inside.
BEST RECIPES TO MAKE IN AN INSTANT POT
The list of recipes you can make in an Instant Pot is endless! It can act as a slow cooker, saute pan, steamer, rice maker, yogurt maker and pressure cooker. It can cook soup, chili, pasta, meat, potatoes, veggies, cake, beans and so much more. Here are a few of my favorite Instant Pot recipes:
- Make comforting, hearty Goulash in your Instant Pot! This American version of Goulash could not be easier or more delicious. It cooks perfectly every time and is done in only 30 minutes. Perfect easy dinner any night of the week!
- Make a batch of Chicken Noodle Soup in the Instant Pot! Using a pressure cooker will save you time and will produce the most perfectly cooked soup you’ll ever taste. Great, quick meal for any night of the week or for your next gathering!
- Mashed Potatoes are creamy, smooth, delicious and easy to prepare in a pressure cooker. No boiling or saucepan/stovetop cleaning required with this side dish. The Instant Pot gets this easy mashed potato recipe done in 30 minutes!
- Chili made easy in your pressure cooker is THE BEST! This recipe is the absolute perfect comfort food, packed with flavor, texture, color and a tiny bit of spice. Perfect dinner or party food!
- Cook your next Ham in an Instant Pot to guarantee a juicy, tender, easy meal. This recipe makes family dinner or your next holiday meal a breeze!
- This Chicken Tortilla Soup is the BEST! It is packed with flavor, it is super easy to make and it tastes like it’s been cooked low and slow all day long. Throw it together for your next family dinner OR your next big gathering. Either way, it’ll get devoured!
Instant Pot Meatballs
- Pressure Cooker
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 cup Ritz crackers crushed
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup yellow onion finely chopped
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 1/4 cup parsley Italian, chopped
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 28 oz spaghetti sauce or marinara
- Combine all ingredients (minus sauce) in a large bowl and thoroughly mix using your hands. Form into golf ball sized balls.
- Pour the sauce into the bottom of an Instant Pot after first spraying generously with cooking spray. Carefully place the meatballs on top of the sauce in layers.
- Cover and cook on high pressure (pressure cook setting) for 10 minutes. It will take the pot approximately 19 minutes to build up pressure before it begins cooking. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then do a quick release. Serve immediately over a plate of cooked pasta!