Instant Pot Italian Meatball Caprese Sandwiches

Combining two Italian classics – tomato meatballs and Caprese salad – plus a soft bread roll or a baguette, we present to you today’s recipe for Instant Pot Italian meatball Caprese sandwiches. If you enjoy this recipe, please leave a star rating below! 


Instant Pot Italian Meatball Caprese Sandwiches

Juicy, tomato meatballs, squishy mozzarella, fresh tomato and aromatic basil are sandwiched together for a perfect bite in this Instant Pot recipe. These Caprese meatball sandwiches are great for a party, picnic, weekend family lunch or speedy dinner. 

Italian tomato meatballs are made in the Instant Pot and while they are pressure cooked to perfection, you can prepare the Caprese ingredients – mozzarella or bocconcini cheese, tomatoes and basil. Serve these in sandwich rolls, buns or in a baguette, which can be cut in halves.

 

INGREDIENTS FOR MEATBALLS

Italian meatball ingredients with beef and pork

The best Italian meatballs are often made with two types of ground meat – beef or veal and pork. You can choose to use just beef or just pork, or even ground chicken. Breadcrumbs give the meatballs a bit of fluffiness and you will get plenty of flavor from onions, garlic and Italian herbs. 

INGREDIENTS FOR TOMATO SAUCE

Italian tomato sauce for meatballs

We are making Italian tomato sauce from scratch using crushed canned tomatoes and tomato paste but you are welcome to use your favorite ready-made sauce. 

You will also need some fresh tomatoes, thinly sliced, fresh basil and either soft mozzarella or bocconcini cheese. 

Caprese sandwich ingredients

You will find the recipe for this lentil stew just below or you can jump to detailed step-by-step photo instructions under the recipe card. These are especially handy if you’re an Instant Pot beginner.

 

Instant Pot Tomato Meatball Sandwiches Caprese Style


MORE INSTANT POT ITALIAN RECIPES


Instant Pot Italian Meatballs

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Instant Pot Italian Meatball Caprese Sandwiches

Instant Pot Italian Meatball Caprese Sandwiches

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Pressurizing: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 1x
  • Category: Sandwiches
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Learn how to make Instant Pot Italian meatball Caprese sandwiches. This recipe combines two Italian classics – tomato meatballs and Caprese salad – plus a soft bread roll or a baguette. These Caprese meatball sandwiches are great for a party, picnic, weekend family lunch or speedy dinner.


Ingredients

Scale

For the meatballs
1 lb / ~500 g ground beef (we used lean grass-fed beef)
0.5 lb / ~300 g ground pork or Italian sausage
1 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoons mixed Italian herbs
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
4 tablespoons water
For the tomato sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 large clove garlic, finely diced
1/4 cup water
1.5 can crushed tomatoes (14 oz)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt

810 soft bread rolls or buns (depending on how many serves you want to make and the size of the rolls)
12 large tomatoes, cut in halves and sliced thinly
1 cup basil leaves
89 oz / 250 g bocconcini or soft mozzarela sliced


Instructions

Make the meatballs

  • Combine beef and pork with the rest of the ingredients, including the water. Adding water to the meatball mixture makes them softer as it moistens the bread crumbs, which would otherwise absorb the moisture from the meat. 
  • Using wet hands, roll the mixture into small meatballs, about 1.5 oz or 50 grams each, and set aside on a plate. 

Cook the sauce & meatballs

  • Turn the Instant Pot on and press the Sauté function key. Once hot, add in the olive oil and onions and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring halfway. Add the garlic and stir; then pour in the water and use a spatula to scrape the bottom. Then press Cancel to stop the Sauté function. 
  • Layer the meatballs over the onions and water gently. Top with crushed tomatoes and tomato paste and spread roughly over the top of meatballs. Don’t stir through! Sprinkle salt on top evenly. 
  • Secure and lock the lid. Make sure the pressure handle is pointing to Sealing on Duo Classic. Select Manual/Pressure Cook and adjust the timer to 10 minutes on HIGH pressure. After a few beeps/seconds, the ON sign will come on indicating the pot is heating up and the pressure is building; pressurizing will take about 4-5 minutes; then the 10-minute timer will begin.
  • Once the timer is done, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes. Then use the quick release method to let off the remaining pressure (press the steam knob down or point to Venting on older models).
  • Open the pot and stir the meatballs through the sauce. Transfer meatballs to a large bowl with some of the sauce and pour any leftover sauce into a bowl to serve on the side. 

Assemble the sandwiches

  • Cut the oval bread rolls lengthways, almost all the way through. If using round rolls, cut them in two halves. Assemble these just before serving to avoid the bread from getting soggy too soon. 
  • Place a few basil leaves, tomato slices and cheese to one side and a couple of meatballs to the other; you can press the meat to break it apart slightly. Once you’re ready to serve these meatball sandwiches, scoop a spoonful or two of the tomato sauce on top of the meatballs. 

Notes

Saute: 2 minutes | Pressurizing: 4-5 minutes | Cooking at HIGH pressure: 10 minutes | Release: 5 minutes natural release, then quick release the remaining pressure | Assemble: 15 minutes

Keywords: Instant Pot, Pressure Cooking, Meatballs, Italian, Sandwiches, Caprese, Mozzarella

 

HOW TO MAKE ITALIAN MEATBALL SANDWICHES

Here are step-by-step instructions for making vanilla cheesecake in the Instant Pot. We made it in the Instant Pot Duo Classic & Nova 6-quart pressure cooker.  

Step 1. Combine ground beef and pork with the rest of the ingredients, including the water. Adding water to the meatball mix makes them much softer as it moistens the bread crumbs, which would otherwise absorb the moisture from the meat. Using wet hands, roll the mixture into small meatballs, about 1.5 oz or 50 grams each, and set aside on a plate. 

How to make meatballs for Instant Pot

Step 2. Turn the Instant Pot on and press the Sauté function key. Once hot, add in the oil and swirl it around. Add the onions and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring halfway. Add the garlic and stir; then pour in the water and use a spatula to scrape the bottom. Then press Cancel to stop the Sauté function. 

Layer the meatballs over the onions and water gently. 

How to cook Italian meatballs in Instant Pot

 

Step 3. Top with crushed tomatoes and tomato paste and spread roughly over the top of meatballs. Don’t stir through! Sprinkle salt on top evenly. 

Secure and lock the lid. Make sure the pressure handle is pointing to Sealing on Duo Classic. Select Manual/Pressure Cook and adjust the timer to 10 minutes on HIGH pressure. After a few beeps/seconds, the ON sign will come on indicating the pot is heating up and the pressure is building; pressurizing will take about 3-5 minutes; then the 10-minute timer will begin.

Once the timer is done, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes. Then use the quick release method to let off the remaining pressure (press the steam knob down or point to Venting on older models).

Step 4. Prepare bread rolls and Caprese salad ingredients. 

Step 5. Open the pot and stir the meatballs through the sauce. Transfer meatballs to a large bowl with some of the sauce and pour any leftover sauce into a bowl to serve on the side. 

Making Italian meatballs in Instant Pot for Caprese sandwiches

Assemble the sandwiches.  Cut the oval bread rolls lengthways, almost all the way through. If using round rolls, cut them in two halves. Assemble these just before serving to avoid the bread from getting soggy too soon. 

Place a few basil leaves, tomato slices and cheese to one side and a couple of meatballs to the other; you can press the meat to break it apart slightly. Once you’re ready to serve these meatball sandwiches, scoop a spoonful or two of the tomato sauce on top of the meatballs. 

Assemble the Caprese meatball sandwiches

 
By Instant Pot Eats

About us: We are a team of Instant Pot enthusiasts, who love good food and cooking. Our blog is dedicated to delicious recipes you can make using your trusted pressure cooker.

PS. This post may contain Amazon affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission for purchases made through these links. 

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3 Comments
  1. Just one question: The sauce recipe calls for 1.5 can crushed tomatoes – – is that 1.5 large cans? or small? Please clarify or specify the ounces needed.
    Thanks in advance!!
    Cecile

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