Instant Pot: Ricotta Meatballs

Now that it's almost September and the weather has cooled down a bit, I'm already anxious for fall weather. To me, the fall season makes me want to dig into comfort food, bake up treats to work my oven and just start using seasonal ingredients. One of our favorite comfort foods is spaghetti and meatballs. My boys had requested it recently but to give it a different spin, I served them some special meatballs. These Ricotta Meatballs made with both ground beef and ground pork were packed with flavor from sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil, and garlic with a tender texture thanks to ricotta cheese. I've never seen my boys polish off their spaghetti and meatballs like they did when this was served!...

I love experimenting with meatballs because they're a great way to incorporate popular flavor combinations. Tomatoes and basil are always a classic pair so I combined sun dried tomatoes (not in oil) with some fresh basil from my potted plant. The flavor really came through and I loved how the ricotta made the meatballs so fork tender. They were slightly delicate while cooking with the amount of mix-ins but they came out perfectly and held their shape.

A bit of a warning... you'll definitely want to have extra meatballs on hand. These were fantastic with spaghetti, but they are also delicious in meatball subs. We stuffed our extra meatballs into sub rolls, topped with extra marinara sauce and a nice dose of shredded mozzarella cheese as a delicious way to use the leftovers.

Yield: 4-6

Instant Pot: Ricotta Meatballs


  • pound cooked dried spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated 
  • 1 cup panko or GF breadcrumbs
  • 2/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces ground sirloin (90% lean) 
  • 8 ounces ground pork 
  • large eggs, lightly beaten 
  • garlic cloves, grated
  • 1/4 cup diced sun dried tomatoes (not in oil)
  • 1/4 cup diced fresh basil leaves
  • Cooking spray 
  • 1 1/2 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce {store bought or homemade}
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • Small basil leaves (optional)


  1. Plug in the IP with insert set in place.
  2. In a large bowl, combine Pecorino Romano, panko, ricotta, ground sirloin, ground pork, eggs, garlic, sun dried tomatoes and fresh basil. Shape mixture into 16 (1-inch) meatballs. 
  3. Press SAUTE on the IP and add 2 tablespoons oil.
  4. In batches (depending on the size of your IP), lightly brown meatballs.
  5. Once all meatballs have been browned, add the marinara sauce and broth to the IP.
  6. Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.
  7. Press SAUTE and adjust the time to 7 minutes on HIGH pressure.
  8. The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.
  9. Once at pressure, the display will reflect 7 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes. 
  10. When the IP beeps after pressuring cooking for 7 minutes, allow your IP to naturally release pressure for 15 minutes. While naturally releasing pressure (also known as NPR or NR), the display will reflect numbers counting up from 1. The numbers indicate how many minutes the IP has stopped cooking since it beeped (or how many minutes it has been naturally releasing pressure.) No need to touch your IP while it naturally releases pressure. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open. 
  11. When the display reflects 15 minutes since the IP has beeped, turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR.) I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.
  12. Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).
  13. Add cooked pasta to IP and toss in sauce to coat.
  14. To serve, divide pasta into bowls, top with meatballs and garnish with more Pecorino Romano and/or fresh basil if desired.
Created using The Recipes Generator

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