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How to Cook Meatballs in an Instant Pot

Make Partying Easy With This Italian Instant-Pot Appetizer

Beyond steel-cut oats and pressure-cooked soups, the Instant Pot can do so, so much more. The I Love My Instant Pot Recipe Book ($17) by Michelle Fagone explores all the wide uses of this multipurpose cooker, including mini meatball skewers. This particular recipe makes use of the sauté and pressure-cook functions on the Instant Pot so you can create a mouthwatering appetizer in just 30 minutes.

Insalata Caprese Mini Meatballs

From The I Love My Instant Pot Recipe Book by Michelle Fagone


This recipe offers a fun twist on not only the traditional party meatball but on the classic insalata caprese. The caprese salad is named for the beautiful isle of Capri and is now loved around the world. The mozzarella used in both the salad and in this dish is now widely made with cow’s milk, but if you want to be authentic, find some made from buffalo milk. Now that’s Italian!

How to Cook Meatballs in an Instant Pot


  1. 1⁄2 pound ground beef
    1⁄2 pound ground pork
    2 large eggs
    1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon celery seed
    1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder
    1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika
    1⁄2 cup old-fashioned oats
    20 mini mozzarella balls (also called ciliegine)
    3 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
    1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
    2 cups water
    20 fresh basil leaves
    5 pearl tomatoes, sliced into 20 slices
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


  1. In a medium bowl, combine beef, pork, eggs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, celery seed, onion powder, smoked paprika, and oats. Form into 20 meatballs. Press 1 mozzarella ball into the middle of each of the meatballs.
  2. Press the Sauté button on the Instant Pot. Heat 2 tablespoons avocado oil. Place 10 meatballs around the edge of the Instant Pot. Sear all sides of the meatballs for 3-4 minutes. Remove meatballs from Instant Pot and set aside. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon avocado oil and sear remaining meatballs for 3-4 minutes. Remove meatballs from Instant Pot and set aside.
  3. Discard extra juice and oil. Add seared meatballs to a 7-cup glass dish. Add drained diced tomatoes.
  4. Add 2 cups water to the Instant Pot. Add trivet. Place the glass dish on top of the trivet. Lock lid.
  5. Press the Manual button and adjust time to 20 minutes. When the timer beeps, let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Quick release any additional pressure until float valve drops and then unlock lid.
  6. Skewer a meatball, a basil leaf, and a tomato slice on a toothpick. Repeat 20 times. Drizzle skewered meatballs with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately.

Excerpted from The I Love My Instant Pot© Recipe Book: From Trail Mix Oatmeal to Mongolian Beef BBQ, 175 Easy and Delicious Recipes by Michelle Fagone ( Used by permission of the publisher, Adams Media, a division of Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved. Photography by James Stefiuk.

Image Source: James Stefiuk
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