Instant Pot Meatballs Marinara

My brother and sister-in-law gave me an Instant Pot for Christmas and I have used it every day (if not twice a day!) since I have gotten home from vacation. No joke, this thing is amazing! I am currently weeding my way through various cook books to learn what I can about best practices for the Instant Pot. I will write up a review of the best things I have tried… give me a month though. In the meantime as I am trying to create some of my own recipes I have come up with quite possibly the best meatball ever.

First things first. The Instant Pot. I have the Instant Pot Duo 80 which is now back in stock! I like the bigger pot but you certainly go with the Instant Pot Duo 60, it really isn’t too much smaller.

So the meatballs. I started with my favorite meatball of all time which is Rao’s Meatball from the Food 52 Genius Recipes cookbook. If you don’t have this cookbook you should get it because it is WONDERFUL!  The original recipe can also be found online here. I have switched it up to be gluten free.


  • pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • large eggs beaten
  • cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • small clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • Kosher or sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup gluten free bread crumbs. (these are the best ones I have found: Aleia’s Gluten Free Breadcrumbs)
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 32 oz Jar of Rao’s Marinara Sauce  (you can use your favorite here, but this one is the best!) (if you are not a member yet of Thrive you can get it on Amazon.)
  1. Combine beef, veal, and pork in a large bowl. Add the eggs, cheese, parsley, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Using your hands, blend ingredients together. Then add bread crumbs into meat mixture, I mix this in 1/4 cup increments.
  3. Slowly add water, 1/4 cup at a time, until the mixture is quite moist.
  4. Using a small cookie scoop (mine is a 1 1/4 inch) or a rounded teaspoon scoop out your meatballs and tightly roll and arrange on a plate until ready to place in Instant Pot. This will make too many meatballs to fit in your instant pot- I freeze the uncooked meatballs for a later use (or you can cook them in two batches!), I will show you that below!
  5. Pour the entire jar of Marinara sauce in to the Instant Pot and make sure it fills the bottom evenly.
  6. Add the meatballs one by one to the sauce starting by lining the outer edge and working your way in to the middle. There should be 4 rings of meatballs; the center ring only being 3 or 4 meatballs.
  7. Now place the lid on and make sure you have the top set for sealing (not venting.) Set your Instant Pot to Manual Mode 5 minutes on high pressure. Once it is done cooking let it release naturally, about 5 minutes or so.
  8. Serve with your favorite pasta, zoodles or another favorite; roasted vegetables

Freezing Uncooked Meatballs

This is really (REALLY!!!) easy and awesome to have in the freezer for a good dinner in a hurry!

  1. Line a cookie sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. Place the tightly rolled meatballs on the lined cookie sheet evenly spaced.
  2. Once filled, place the cookie sheet flat in the freezer.
  3. Once fully frozen place in a freezer bag and back in the freezer and you are done!
frozen meatballs
Frozen on cookie sheet

I pulled these out of the freezer and followed the same cooking method as above in the Instant Pot and tacked on an extra minute for a total of 6 minutes on high pressure and they came out perfectly!

frozen meatballs in a ziplock
Store in freezer bag


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