Instant Pot Meatballs
Recipe type: Gluten free, Grain free, Dairy free, Paleo, Whole30, Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
These Instant Pot meatballs are so easy and quick to make--no stove or oven required--and are the ideal paleo & Whole30 comfort food.
For the meatballs:
  • 2 pounds ground beef, preferably grass-fed (I use 85% lean)
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about ½ cup; you can also omit this if you prefer to keep FODMAPs lower)
  • 1 medium carrot, grated (about ⅔ cup)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional but recommended)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or basil, plus more for serving
  • 1¼ teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Freshly ground black pepper
For cooking:
  • 1 (25-ounce) jar of marinara sauce (3 cups)*
  • 1 cup water
  1. Combine all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl and mix by hand until just combined.
  2. Pour the jar of sauce into the Instant Pot. Pour the cup of water into the tomato sauce jar, put the lid on, and shake to get the last bits of sauce loosened, and then pour the saucy water into the Instant Pot as well. Stir.
  3. Push “Saute” and adjust the heat to “Less”.
  4. While the sauce comes to a simmer, divide the meatball mixture into 16-18 balls. I like to use an ice cream scoop to portion the dough and then roll each meatball a bit by hand to make it more round. As you make the meatballs, place them on a baking sheet (lined with parchment for easy cleanup if desired).
  5. Press “Keep Warm/Cancel”. Gently place each meatball in the hot sauce. A few meatballs will not be totally submerged, which is fine. Carefully use a ladle or spoon to put a little bit of sauce on top of the exposed meatballs. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure the valve is set to “Sealing”. Press “Manual” and adjust the time to 5 minutes. Once high pressure is reached, which takes about 15 minutes, the Instant Pot will begin counting down from 5 minutes.
  6. Once the cooking time is up (you’ll hear the Instant Pot beep), press “Keep Warm/Cancel” and allow the pressure to release naturally for ten minutes, then carefully move the valve to “venting” and release any remaining pressure. For a thicker sauce, remove the meatballs with a slotted spoon, press "Saute", and let the sauce simmer to reduce for 5-10 minutes. Once the sauce is reduced to your liking, add the meatballs back in. Sprinkle with parsley or basil and serve hot with spaghetti squash noodles or zoodles if desired**.
*For Whole30, check the ingredients list carefully to make sure your tomato sauce is sugar free and doesn't have any other off-plan ingredients. I use Uncle Steve's Organic Tomato Basil Sauce.
**If you happen to have two Instant Pots or want to make one component ahead of time, you can cook your spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot. Otherwise, to roast spaghetti squash to go with these meatballs, preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut two small spaghetti squash in half crosswise and scoop out the seeds and pulp with a spoon. Place the halves cut side down in a roasting pan and pour in enough water to fill the pan about ¼-inch deep. Roast for 30-45 minutes, or until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork. Let cool for a few minutes, and then carefully tease out the noodles with a fork.
Recipe by A Calculated Whisk at