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Instant Pot Barbecue Meatballs

  • Author: Karen Petersen
  • 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


  1. Add 1 ½ cups of water to the bottom of your Instant Pot. Place a trivet* in the bottom of your pot. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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. 
  5. 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