Instant Pot Italian Meatballs and Garden Marinara Sauce

Instant Pot Italian Meatballs and Garden Marinara Sauce

We are shamelessly riding this Instant Pot bandwagon and so should you. It’s safer than the avocado green stove top model you’ve had since the 70’s and does so much more. Time to embrace technology, people.

Come to the dark side. We have meatballs.

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Instant Pot Italian Meatballs and Garden Marinara Sauce

Instant Pot Italian Meatballs and Garden Marinara Sauce

  • Author: Fresh. Out.
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Entree, appetizer
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Italian


Instant Pot Italian Meatballs and Garden Marinara Sauce



For the Meatballs

  • 1lb ground turkey 
  • 2 tbsp yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg white
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 12 tsp avocado or extra-virgin olive oil, for browning

For the Sauce

  • 1 28-ounce can petite diced tomatoes (with liquid), no salt or sugar added
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 medium large carrots, quartered and chopped
  • 1 8-ounce container cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped (red, yellow, orange, Aloha)
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Lakanto Classic Sweetener
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil (for the bottom of the pot)
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt, more to taste after cooking


  1. Set up your Instant Pot and grease the bottom of the inner pot with 1/2 teaspoon of oil to prevent sticking.
  2. You’ll need four large dinner plates. Line two with paper towels (for draining the meatballs after browning). Set aside.
  3. Prep vegetables and set aside.

For the Sauce

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the remaining half of the canned tomatoes, onions, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, Lakanto, salt, and spices. Pulse until pureed, then add the carrots, peppers and mushrooms. Stir and and set aside.

For the Meatballs

  1. In a large bowl, mix the almond flour, parmesan cheese, and dry spices. Add the turkey, egg and onion and mix well with your hands. It will be a bit sticky since there are no breadcrumbs, and the meatballs won’t stay perfectly round.
  2. Use a dough scoop to measure out equal meatball portions. Roll into balls and place on the two  plates without paper towels.
  3. Heat a large sauté pan on medium-high heat and add a teaspoon of oil once the pan is hot. Transfer one plate of the meatballs to the pan. Once one side has browned, gently flip the meatballs to brown other side. When both sides are browned, transfer to one of the prepared plates to drain. Repeat with the remaining meatballs until all are browned on both sides. They will not be fully cooked at this point.
  4. Once the meatballs have drained, transfer to the Instant Pot, one plateful per layer. Cover the first layer of meatballs with half of the sauce and make a second layer with the remaining meatballs. Pour the rest of the sauce over the meatballs. Add the water to the blender pitcher or food processor and pulse to get any remaining puree out. Add to the pot.
  5. Seal the Instant Pot and set to Manual/High for 10 minutes (make sure “Keep Warm” is off). After cooking time ends, allow natural release until the pin drops. Serve immediately. 


Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight glass container up to four days.

Keywords: Instant Pot, keto, meatballs, turkey meatballs, marinara sauce

Serve over zoodles, Miracle Noodles, or as a standalone dish. This epic bread we made is perfect for dipping into the sauce, which can also be made on its own.


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