An Italian dinner for everyone is possible with this Instant Pot spaghetti and meatballs dish, substituting bread and egg with quinoa to make it gluten-free and egg-free. This is a perfect meal for the whole family, especially for those with allergies.
Spaghetti and meatballs is an iconic Italian dish the whole family can dig into. But what if you the meatballs you buy contain allergenic ingredients you or your kids can’t have. That’s why Megan Lavin created her recipe book, An Allergy Mom’s Lifesaving Instant Pot Cookbook and this fabulous recipe for allergy-friendly Instant Pot spaghetti and meatballs.
There are no bread crumbs or eggs, and instead, quinoa is used as a binder to keep meatballs in shape with great texture and taste. The quinoa and the saucy meatballs are cooked in the Instant Pot, saving you time and effort. They are served with gluten-free pasta of choice.
From the author: “I often feel as though heaven must be guiding me as I just go for it and try something crazy in the kitchen. I knew I wanted a meatball recipe for this cookbook but had never successfully made an Italian version (I have teriyaki and an Asian version on my website). Plus I’d never made them in the Instant Pot. I prayed the quinoa would hold as the binder, shut the lid and crossed my fingers and toes. Angels must have whispered this recipe in my ears because it keeps its shape, has great texture and tastes, pun intended, amaze-balls. My kids are still asking when we can have these again.”
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Using quinoa to sub bread crumbs and eggs, these Instant Pot spaghetti meatballs are perfect for those with allergies or sensitives. This is a family-friendly dish showcasing the best of Italian flavors.
²/³ cup (160 ml) water
¹/³ cup (58 g) uncooked quinoa
2 cloves garlic, finely minced (about 1 tsp)
1½ tsp (1.5 g) dried oregano
1½ tsp (1 g) granulated onion powder
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried parsley
½ tsp salt
1 lb (455 g) Italian sausage
1 (24-oz [710-ml]) bottle tomato basil marinara sauce
1 (12-oz [340-g]) package gluten-free spaghetti
Fresh basil or parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Place your water and quinoa in your Instant Pot. Close the lid. Use the pressure button to set your Instant Pot to high pressure. Move the valve to sealing. Hit manual and use the plus and minus buttons to reach 1 minute.
- Once the timer is done, allow the pot to sit for 10 minutes. Once the display shows “L:10,” move the valve to venting to finish releasing any leftover pressure.
- Once the quinoa is cool enough to handle, place it in a bowl with the garlic, oregano, onion powder, basil, parsley, salt, and Italian sausage. Mix well by hand.
- Form the meatballs by hand, making them about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. Pour half of the bottle of marinara sauce into the bottom in the Instant Pot. Place the meatballs on top of the sauce and pour the rest of the sauce on top.
- Close the lid and move the valve to sealing. Hit manual and use the plus and minus buttons to reach 10 minutes.
- While the meatballs cook, boil your spaghetti according to package directions until al dente; then drain and rinse.
- Once the timer is done, move the valve to venting to quickly release the steam.
- Serve the meatballs and sauce over your pasta and garnish with fresh basil or parsley, if so desired
The author used to cook brown rice noodles for pasta dishes but found that those don’t hold up in hot soups or the next day in leftovers. The brands that have both rice and corn have a much better texture.
Keywords: Italian, Gluten-Free, Egg-Free
Reprinted with permission from An Allergy Mom’s Lifesaving Instant Pot Cookbook by Megan Lavin, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019. Photo credit: Megan Lavin.