Juicy and tender, these Italian-style meatballs are cooked in pasta sauce in the Instant Pot and served over spiralized vegetables. Low carb, keto, and gluten free.
Why you should use a pressure cooker
The Instant Pot is my favorite way of cooking meatballs. If you cook them in a pan, they can fall apart and crumble. If you bake them in the oven, they can end up tasting dry. With a pressure cooker, your meatballs stay juicy and tender, and it’s easier than the other methods.
These meatballs are pressure cooked in sauce, infusing them with flavor as they cook. You only need to set the Instant Pot for 5 minutes at high pressure, and it’ll take 10-15 minutes to pressurize. For more time-saving meals, check out these Low Carb Instant Pot Recipes.
Meatball and sauce ingredients
Aim to use 90% lean ground beef, which yields a good combination of juicy meat and not-too-greasy sauce. If you use something fattier like 85%, you’ll see significantly more grease in your resulting sauce. But if you use something extra lean like 95%, your meatballs will be tougher and less tender.
Make sure that your parmesan cheese is finely grated with a sandy consistency, not shredded, so that it’s easier to combine the mixture and mold the meatballs.
Since these are low carb meatballs, I use blanched almond flour instead of bread crumbs. If you prefer to use bread crumbs, I would substitute the almond flour with 1/3 cup of them.
Many folks like to add fresh chopped parsley to their meatball mixture, but I find that the resulting meatballs taste overly plant-like. If you go that route, I wouldn’t add more than 1/4 cup.
The pasta sauce is up to you. I used Rao’s brand of marinara sauce, which is low in carbs and available at Whole Foods. In the past, I’ve also used Trader Joe’s pomodoro sauce. Don’t use anything too thick like tomato sauce, which could cause burning or pressurization issues in your Instant Pot.
Serving and leftovers
I serve these meatballs over a bed of spiralized summer squash. Zucchini and radish “noodles” also work well. If you’re not low carb, you can use spaghetti pasta.
Leftover meatballs with sauce can be stored in the refrigerator up to a few days. They reheat well in the microwave, maintaining their juiciness and flavor.
Instant Pot Meatballs
- 3 cups (24 ounces) favorite pasta sauce
- 1 cup water
- squash noodles
- finely grated parmesan cheese
- In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients until well-mixed. Shape into about 30 meatballs, each about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
- Select the saute mode on the pressure cooker for low heat. Add pasta sauce and water, and stir well.
- When the sauce starts to simmer, turn off the saute mode. Gently place the meatballs, one at a time, in the sauce. Spoon sauce over any exposed meatballs. Do not stir.
- Secure and seal the lid. Cook for 5 minutes at high pressure, followed by a manual pressure release.
- Uncover and gently stir. Serve over squash noodles, and top with parmesan cheese and parsley.
|Nutrition Facts Per Serving|
|Total Fat 36g||55%|
|Saturated Fat 13g||66%|
|Trans Fat 0g|
|Total Carb 9g||3%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||11%|