Homemade Italian meatballs are a staple in every kitchen, and making them in an Instant Pot skips the messy step of pan-frying the meat before it hits the sauce, making this dish even easier and quicker to prepare. While the more traditional Italian meatballs are made with half beef and half pork, this recipe uses ground beef only.
We decided to make a gluten-free, paleo and Whole30 friendly version, so these meatballs contain no breadcrumbs or other fillers and the sauce is made from in the pot rather than using a pre-made jar variety. That means no added sugar!
You can serve these over veggies or cauliflower rice for a paleo/Whole30 version, or over spaghetti, rice or fresh sliced baguettes topped with freshly grated cheese for a more decadent meal. We hope you enjoy this recipe!
For the meatballs
- 1.3 lb / 600 g ground beef (beef mince)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt (optional, if not using, add 1/2 tsp regular salt)
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 brown onion, finely diced
- 1/2 long fresh red chili, chopped (or 1/2 tsp red chili flakes or powder)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely diced
- 1 can tinned diced chopped tomatoes (400 ml)
- Combine the ground beef with the spices and salt in a bowl and mix through well using clean hands. Roll the mixture into small 2-inch balls and set aside.
- Press the Sauté key on the Instant Pot (it should say Normal, 30 mins). Add the olive oil, onions, chill and salt and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring a few times. Then press Keep Warm/Cancel.
- Add the meatballs, sprinkle with garlic and pour over the tinned tomatoes. Stir through and spread the meatballs evenly in the sauce.
- Place and lock the lid, making sure the steam releasing handle is pointing to Sealing. Press Manual, High pressure and set to 5 minutes. After 3 beeps the pressure cooker will start going.
- Release the pressure naturally, for about 10 minutes, which will finish cooking the meatballs.
- Follow by a quick release to let out any remaining pressure.
- Serve over spaghetti, rice, sliced baguettes or with a side of cauliflower rice or steamed vegetables for a Whole30/Paleo friendly meal.