Instant Pot Beef Meatballs

Preparing homemade meatballs that have been simmering all afternoon in a spicy, robust sauce — ain’t nobody got time for that!  Or, so I thought, recollecting back to the hours my grandmother would spend in the kitchen making our favorite Sunday meal. But, thanks to the latest appliance craze, multi-cookers like the Instant Pot®, I realized I could dramatically reduce the time and mess of making a meal from scratch.

My recipe for Instant Pot Beef Meatballs is a super-speedy, single-pot, lip-smackin’ salute to the comfort food I’ve loved my entire life. In less than 45 minutes I can sit back to a hearty, wholesome dinner using ground beef with very few dirty dishes to deal with afterward.

Hurray for the multi-cooker appliance that does it all!  It’s a pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, rice maker, milk pasteurizer and more. One of the features I like best is the ability to sauté meats and veggies right there in the inner pot before going into pressure-cooker or slow-cooker mode. This step allows me soften up the onions and peppers for the sauce without dirtying up another pan.  Same with the meatballs, plus browning the meat creates a nice caramelized crust that maximizes taste and helps them hold up in the sauce.

My Beef Meatballs are spiced up with ground ancho powder, garlic, onion powder and held together with a binder of crushed tortilla chips and shredded Cotija cheese (a salty, firm Mexican cheese).

When sautéing the beef meatballs, I let them brown up on all sides the best I can. The interior of the meatballs will still be raw, but that’s okay — they quickly finish cooking up under pressure in the sauce.

Until today, I’ve kept the sauce ingredients my little secret, it’s ridiculously easy. After sautéing onions, peppers and garlic in the Instant Pot®, it’s as simple as adding a variety of canned tomato products, a few spices, and (surprise) a can of red enchilada sauce! After 25 minutes in pressure cooking mode, the result is a pot of moist, delicious meatballs in a spicy, robust sauce that tastes as if it has been slow-simmering all day.

I serve the meatballs with a rice medley tossed with corn and peppers. Traditional spaghetti noodles, zucchini noodles, or grits make other tasty pair ups — or go for a meatball sandwich!

For more multi-cooker how-to and beef recipes, check out the recent post — Instant Pot® Recipes & Tips.

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