These Instant Pot Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes cook together at the same time in the pressure cooker! The pot in pot method makes this the easiest 30 minute dinner you’ve ever made!
I am crazy for meatballs.
Obviously, it was time to branch out to Instant Pot meatballs, and marry two of my big loves.
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I made Instant Pot meatballs once, using a recipe out of a cookbook by a well-respected name in cooking, and they were horrible.
The recipe called for putting fresh beef meatballs into the Instant Pot with the liquid, and then pressure cooking. So the meatballs were steamed, and rather unappetizing.
If you ask me (and you’re here, so I’m going to go ahead and assume you are asking me), there are only two ways to do Instant Pot meatballs but there is a third method that I haven’t tried.
How to make the best Instant Pot Meatballs: Two Ways
1. Precooked, frozen meatballs (store bought or homemade):
If I’m really on the ball, I will buy a big batch of ground beef when it’s on sale and have an epic meatball-making day to stock the freezer.
Lately, I have not been on the ball.
Enter the store bought frozen meatballs.
Honestly, either will do, it’s just a matter of time and personal preference. The recipe below includes full directions for making Instant Pot Meatballs with frozen beef meatballs, so head on down there 😉
2. Homemade, fresh meatballs:
If you are using fresh meatballs (check out this meatballs recipe for my easy homemade version), you need to brown them first. There are a couple ways you can do this.
You can turn your Instant Pot to saute, add a bit of oil, and brown the meatballs in your Instant Pot before removing to your pot to continue pressure cooking with sauce. If you do it this way, you will need to scrape the bottom of the Instant Pot well before adding your potatoes or you may get a burn warning.
You can also bake your meatballs on a baking sheet for 10-15 minutes, just until browned all the way around, before continuing with the recipe. You don’t need to alter the recipe or cook time if using fresh meatballs that you have browned.
Can I make these Instant Pot meatballs with tomato sauce?
Absolutely you can swap out the sauce in the pot, as long as you’re using the pot in pot method.
If you want to cook meatballs right in the Instant Pot and skip the potatoes, you need to be careful because too thick a sauce will not cook properly and result in a burn warning as well.
Variations on these Instant Pot Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes:
- To make this recipe gluten free, use gluten-free meatballs and double check all of your ingredient packaging.
- To make this recipe dairy free, skip the milk and butter in the mashed potatoes and opt for vegan margarine or non dairy milk.
- You can lighten up this recipe by mashing the potatoes with chicken broth and a bit of margarine, and using turkey or chicken meatballs instead of beef.
Tools you’ll need for this recipe:
- I use a 6 quart Instant Pot for this recipe (mine has bluetooth, but I don’t think it’s necessary). An 8 quart should work fine, but you may want to add additional chicken broth to the potatoes because I understand the minimum cooking liquid is higher for the 8 quart Instant Pot. For this reason, you may find you want to drain some before mashing (though not totally necessary).
- You will also need a pressure cooker safe pot you can place inside the Instant Pot on top of the potatoes. In this recipe, I used my Fat Daddio’s 7″ cake pan with removable bottom, but a regular cake pan will be slightly easier to use because you don’t have to line it with foil first.
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Instant Pot Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes
- 2 lbs potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2″ – 3/4″ cubes
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 pinch red chili flakes optional
- 1 lb beef meatballs cooked and frozen
- 1/4 cup 1% milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Place potatoes in the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Add chicken broth, parsley, salt and pepper and stir until combined.
- Place meatballs into a 7″ pressure cooker safe round dish (I use a cake pan, see notes above), lining with foil if necessary to prevent leaks.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together ketchup, honey, soy sauce, garlic and red chili flakes if using. Pour over meatballs in dish and place directly on top of potatoes (you can use a trivet or rack if you prefer and if it fits with the lid!)
- Put the lid on, turn the valve to sealing and select Manual or Pressure Cook. Set the cook time for 8 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes to build pressure and begin counting down.
- When the cook time is over, let the pressure release naturally for 5-10 minutes, then open the valve to release remaining pressure.
- Remove pan with meatballs. Add butter and milk to potatoes and mashed until smooth.
- Serve mashed potatoes with meatballs and sauce.
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I made this recipe for dinner this evening. Follow recipe to an exact. Cooked for the 8 minutes and the meatballs were still cold. I put them back in the cooker for an additional 8 minutes with a cup of water at the bottom to avoid getting the burn warning. The potatoes turned out awesome so I was surprised that the meatballs were still cold (like I just took them out of the freezer). Any suggestions for next time? As we love meatballs in our family! It brings everyone to the table with a SMILE!
Ashley Fehr says
I’m sorry to hear that! I would say that there is something wrong with the seal, the knob was set to venting, or you were not pressure cooking on high, because I don’t think there’s any way meatballs can be frozen after 8 minutes of high pressure. It’s not possible. I hope you give it another try!
Here’s praying you get this comment soon and get a chance to respond. I’m super excited to make these with homemade meatballs(child with allergy). When I looked at your recipe it included worcestershire sauce, the hubby hates it, is there a substitute? TIA
Ashley Fehr says
So sorry I didn’t get to your comment earlier! You can absolutely leave out the worcestershire sauce, it won’t change the recipe that much!
I could not find your homemade meatball recipe. I can’t wait to try this and I have not found a premade frozen meatball that I like. Could you please post if you have one? Thanks!
Thanks, I finally found it within the other recipe. I didn’t look well enough. Can’t wait to make them!
How do you put the cake pan in the IP so that it does not touch the potatoes, or does that not matter?
Ashley Fehr says
it doesn’t matter! I put mine right on top 🙂
Danielle Wolter says
I have just fallen in love with this recipe. I am now motivated for a crazy meatball making day! So great that you can make this right in the IP. Me and meatballs are about to get more acquainted LOL!
Ashley Fehr says
Haha! We definitely fell in love with it too!