Instant Pot Barbecue Meatballs–tender meatballs with barbecue sauce made quickly in your electric pressure cooker. Add bacon crumbles for extra awesome flavor!
Get the SLOW COOKER barbecue meatballs recipe here
Instant Pot Barbecue Meatballs
I make a lot of recipes that call for frozen meatballs like my Instant Pot Meatballs and Red Potatoes with Creamy Parmesan Sauce or my Instant Pot Italian Wedding Soup. I like the convenience of buying a big bag of frozen meatballs at the grocery store but sometimes it’s nice to make homemade foods just so you know what’s going in them and you don’t have that weird processed taste. I decided to see if I could make my mom’s recipe for cocktail meatballs (originally an oven recipe) in the Instant Pot. And it worked great!
I used lean ground beef because that’s what I had at my house. However you could easily use a ground chicken/turkey or lean ground pork or a combination of meats for these meatballs. If you want to make these meatballs in the oven you can totally do that too. You would just follow the recipe below except bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. Although I haven’t tried it yet, at that point you could let the meatballs cool and then freeze them in a gallon size plastic zipper bag and you’d have your own homemade bag of frozen meatballs for your convenience. I’m totally going to try that!
One thing that I really like to use when I’m handling meat with my hands is disposable kitchen latex gloves*. If you don’t like the feeling of raw meat on your hands, you may want to buy some. Otherwise, when mixing the meat just make sure your hands are ultra clean and then wash thoroughly afterward as well.
More Instant Pot Recipes You’ll Love…
Instant Pot BBQ Beef Sandwiches
Instant Pot Cheesy Beef Rice Casserole
What Pressure Cooker Did You Use?
To make Instant Pot Barbecue Meatballs I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*. I love this Instant Pot because it has the yogurt making function which I use almost weekly. It has two pressure settings (high and low), and there are also little slots in the handles so that you can rest the lid there instead of putting it down on your counter-top.
Instant Pot Barbecue Meatballs
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 7 minutes (plus 5 minute NPR)
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
Tender meatballs with barbecue sauce made quickly in your electric pressure cooker. Add bacon crumbles for extra awesome flavor!
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup minced fresh yellow onion
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbsp dried parsley
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tbsp BBQ sauce (plus extra for serving)
- Optional: 1/2 cup bacon crumbles
- Add 1 ½ cups of water to the bottom of your Instant Pot. Place a trivet* in the bottom of your pot.
- Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl. Use clean or gloved* hands to mix the ingredients. Try not to overmix or the meatballs won’t be as tender.
- Form the mixture into round meatballs. I used about 3 Tbsp of the mixture. But you can make them smaller, if you prefer. Place the meatballs on top of the trivet. I did about 2 layers of meatballs.
- Cover the Instant Pot and secure the lid. Make sure the valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 7 minutes (for 3 Tbsp meatballs and 5 minutes for 1 Tbsp meatballs). When the time is up let the pot sit for 5 minutes and then move the valve to venting.
- Use tongs to remove the meatballs and place them on a plate. To keep the meatballs warm remove the trivet out of the pot and dump out the liquid. Place the meatballs in the empty pot and top with desired amount of BBQ sauce. Turn the Instant Pot to the keep warm setting.
This recipe can easily be halved. Keep the same amount of liquid underneath the trivet. Halve all the other ingredients. Keep the cooking time the same.
If you want to make these meatballs in the oven you can totally do that too. You would just follow the recipe below except bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.
Although I haven’t tried it yet, at that point you could let the meatballs cool and then freeze them in a gallon size plastic zipper bag and you’d have your own homemade bag of frozen meatballs in the freezer for convenience.
This recipe can be gluten free. Use gluten-free bread crumbs. Gluten-free bread crumbs can be found at most local grocery stores.
- Category: Beef
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: American
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Meatballs stuck to each other and fell apart. I figured that might happen, but I wanted to give it a chance. Big mess
I don’t suggest latex gloves to handle the meat. I have a severe latex allergy and if I were a guest at your home, didn’t know you used them you could have killed me with an anaphylaxis reaction. I suggest instead to use the deli gloves or nitrile gloves. But be sure to wash your gloves hands with soap and a thorough water rinse to get anything off the gloves. They aren’t sterile and therefore could potentially harbor something. Just FYI. (Yes I am a nurse of 25 years and yes I am also an EMT)
Good tip. Thanks!
I cut the recipe in half and used ground turkey in place of ground beef. Used the red sling in place of the trivet and used a casserole dish for the meatballs. It turned out good.
Good deal! I like those ideas.
I used original trivet that came with IP. the meatballs got squished and lost he form because of shape of trivet and being that i did two layers as well. did i do something wrong?
Sorry to hear this! Next time I would to the pot in pot method so the meatballs can remain intact. Increase the pressure cook time by a couple of minutes.
Amy P says
HI Karen, Do you think this recipe would work with Beyond Meat instead of ground beef?
no idea! I’ve never used beyond meat before. Have you ever made meatballs with it in the past? If so, if may work.
How many meatballs do you get from the 2 lbs?
Quite a few. If you make smaller then more. I would say about 15 meatballs
I’m going to be the reader/cook who is always going to be asking, ” Does this recipe work, as is, in the 3 qt. MINI IP?”
If you have a trivet you can make it. Same cooking time. Make sure meatballs don’t go past 2/3 mark.
Hi Karen. This recipe sounds totally awesome. Would we be able to do pot in pot method with this? Does the water directly under the meatballs make them too soft?
You can totally do the pot in pot method. I was going to and then at the last minute did the trivet instead.
Judith E. Comer says
Karen.,,would a steam basket work just for the meatballs? You could layer them easier than on a trivet…