Make these cheesy bacon pressure cooker meatballs soaked in easy tomato sauce. Bursting with smoky flavors and juicy textures. YUM! Perfect thrifty make ahead freezer meals for those hectic weeknights. 😀
These incredibly juicy globes of pressure cooker meatballs are seriously umami bombs! Jacky kept wanting to steal my meatballs as they were so delicious. But of course I shoved them down my tummy before he succeeded. 😛
These pressure cooker meatballs would be great with so many things: spaghetti, pasta, sliders, subs, pizza, polenta, or just enjoy them on its own.
You can make these pressure cooker meatballs when you’re looking for something easy, fulfilling, and thrifty. These are definitely perfect as make ahead freezer meals for those busy weeknights, treating guests or make a big batch for potluck parties!
Ingredients for Pressure Cooker Meatballs in Easy Tomato Sauce Recipe
- Lean ground beef
- Small onion
- Extra large egg
- Dried oregano – a must as it provides that American-Italian-ish flavor profile
- Fennel seed
- Worcestershire sauce
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Panko bread crumbs
- Cheese (we’ve mixed Parmesan with Mozzarella cheese)
The smoky flavors of the minced bacon works well with the 2 melty cheese embedded in a meatball full of umami ingredients that complement each other.
The sweet and sour flavors of tomatoes work really well with stocks. So, by mixing chicken stock and tomato paste into the tomato sauce, you”ll get a rich and savory red sauce.
Testing for Pressure Cooker Meatballs in Easy Tomato Sauce Recipe
We’ve always made this delicious Meatballs in Tomato Sauce Recipe on stovetop. We wanted to see if our pressure cooker can do any better! So, we’ve cooked 2 batches of pressure cooker meatballs: one batch with browning in the oven, the other batch without browning.
Pressure Cooker only: We’ve pressure cooked the first batch of meatballs with the easy tomato sauce at High Pressure for 5 minutes, then quick release. The meatballs have soaked in a lot of the juice and flavors from the tomato sauce, so they were super juicy and moist. However, the flavors and textures were a bit flat compared to the browned version.
Oven + Pressure Cooker: We cooked the second batch of meatballs after browning them in the oven. The flavors and textures were noticeably better than the above non-browned version.
The browned pressure cooker meatballs were a bit more delicious than the ones we usually make on stovetop with browning. The pressure cooker meatballs has a slight advantage having a bit more juice soaked into the meat and cooks a wee bit faster.
Tips for Pressure Cooker Meatballs in Easy Tomato Sauce Recipe
- Make sure the egg is beaten before adding it to the meatball mixture.
- It’s important to test the seasoning of your meatballs mixture by cooking a small piece of it first. Cook it on a pan over medium high heat, adjust the seasoning and repeat this step if necessary before proceeding.
- Make Ahead Freezer-Friendly: Cook a bigger patch of pressure cooker meatballs and freeze the cooked meatballs in the freezer for up to 3 months. Depending on the size of the meatballs, you can pressure cook them frozen with tomato sauce at High Pressure for 8 – 10 minutes, then Quick Release. Make sure the meatball’s internal temperature to be at least 145°F before serving.
Watch How To Make Pressure Cooker Meatballs in Easy Tomato Sauce Recipe:
Can’t see the cooking video? Watch it here.
Now it’s YOUR turn to take out your pressure cooker and make some Pressure Cooker Meatballs in Easy Tomato Sauce!
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Recipe type: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Meat, Quick Meals, Sauce, Side Dish
Serving: 2 - 4
- 1 pound (454 g) lean ground beef
- 4 strips bacon (roughly 80 grams), minced
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, roughly minced
- 1 extra large egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon (1.8 g) dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon (2 g) fennel seed, ground
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon (1.5 g) kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon (0.5 g) black pepper
- ½ cup (31 g) panko bread crumbs
- ¼ cup (62.5 ml) milk
- 60 - 70 grams cheese (we used 40 grams freshly grated Parmesan cheese & 30 grams Mozzarella cheese)
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- Mix the Meatballs Ingredients: Combine all the meatballs ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the dry ingredients first, then the wet ingredients. Mix well with your hands.
- Make the Easy Tomato Sauce: Combine all the tomato sauce ingredients in your Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Mix well until the tomato paste dissolves into the tomato sauce. Close lid and pressure cook at high pressure for 5 minutes, then Quick Release.
- Preheat Oven & Test Seasoning: While the tomato sauce is cooking, preheat oven to 450°F. Test the seasoning by cooking a small portion of the meatballs mixture on a skillet over medium high heat.
- Roll the Meatballs: Gently roll the meatballs mixture with your hands into ball shapes. As shown in the video, we like to serve ours with the size that is slightly bigger than a golf ball. You should be able to create 8 – 12 meatballs with the listed amount of ingredients.
- Browning in the Oven: Place a piece of parchment paper on your baking tray and gently place the meatballs on it. Place the meatballs in the oven for roughly 12 – 16 minutes until the top is browned but not dried out.
- Pressure Cook the Meatballs: By now, the tomato sauce should be done cooking on the first cycle. Remove the meatballs from the oven and fully submerge the meatballs into the tomato sauce in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Close lid and pressure cook at high pressure for another 5 minutes, then quick release.
- Serve: Remove the meatballs from the tomato sauce. Confirm the internal temperature of the meatballs are at least 145°F.
- Optional: Continue to reduce the tomato sauce until desired consistency. Taste the seasoning of the tomato sauce and add in more salt and pepper if desired. If you like, add more cheese on top of the meatballs when it's served.
Freezer Meals or Batch Cooking: Cook a bigger patch and freeze some cooked meatballs in the freezer for up to 3 months. Depending on the size of the meatballs, you can pressure cook them frozen with tomato sauce at high pressure for 8 – 10 minutes, then quick release. Confirm the internal temperature of the meatballs to be at least 145°F before serving.