Meatball Red Sauce in the Instant Pot

Below you will find a detailed recipe on how to make meatballs with red sauce in the Instant Pot.  This sauce goes great for a classic Spaghetti and Meatballs dinner.  This dish serves my family of 6 (15, 13, 11 and 8-year-old kids… yes, they eat lots!!, husband and myself), leaving leftovers for the next day.

I make my own meatballs, however, store-bought meatballs should be just fine.  I encourage you to try making your own meatballs though.  It’s not that hard, somewhat time-consuming for sure, however, you will have “clean” meatballs: no preservatives, no unnecessary fillers, no too much of this or that.  Just simple meaty meatballs!!  If you make a whole bunch, you can freeze them and have them ready to go for any dish you like to make. Check out this post for my recipe:…ten-free-version/

For me, instead of eating my meatballs with pasta, I sometimes choose to eat them with Zoodles.  What are Zoodles?  It’s shredded Zucchini.  I use a food processor to shred my veggies and it’s so helpful.  Check out this post on how to shred the zucchini and how to prepare it with amazing flavor. It’s super simple.…pasta-substitute/


So here is how you make the Meatballs Red Sauce in the Instant Pot:


3 garlic cloves

1 generous handful of chopped onions.

Olive oil

1 jar Tomato sauce (26 oz), preferably marinara

1 small can (6 oz) tomato paste,


50 meatballs



Press the SAUTE button.  To change the heat during sauteing, simply keep pressing the SAUTE button and the display will go back and forth between less, normal or more.  For this saute, NORMAL is fine.

After a few seconds, the display will say ON.  It takes a few minutes for the pot to heat up, so patience here. While the pot is heating up, chop the onions and garlic. Open the tomato paste can and tomato sauce jar.


Once the display says Hot, put in a few streaks of olive oil, add garlic and onion, and let it saute for a few minutes until the garlic and onion look golden.

Add the tomato paste. The entire can.

Add 1 cup of water and dissolve the tomato paste really well.



Add tomato sauce.


Add another cup of water to the empty tomato sauce jar, rinsing the jar well and pouring it all into the Instant Pot

Add meatballs.  I use my own meatballs, therefore they are raw.

Press CANCEL, to stop the saute mode.

PUT THE LID ON and adjust the valve to SEALING

Press Pressure Cook and adjust the timer to 10 minutes.  If your Meatballs are frozen, adjust to 12 minutes.

Make sure the pressure level is on HIGH PRESSURE.  Simply press the HIGH PRESSURE button back and forth to choose between high or low pressure.

Once you set the pressure level, machine will automatically go to ON


It takes a little while to reach the right temperature inside the pot.  You will hear a little flutter on the top of the lid, and soon the sealing nob will pop up.  That means the inside of the pot is now under pressure. You can no longer open the lid. Once it reaches the right temperature, the machine will beep and 10 min (or 12 min) will show on the display.  The countdown starts here.



Once the timer is done, the machine will switch to KEEP WARM.  Release the pressure by switching the valve to VENTING.  In this case, it’s ok if you forget to switch to venting.  Meatballs will simply cook a little longer.  Overcooking will not be a problem here. Now if you switch to VENTING, it starts hissing really strongly once you do that, and it needs to keep hissing until the pressure nob comes down.  Once that nob dropped, it’s ok to open the lid. Never try to open the lid before that nob is down.

Your meatballs sauce is ready to serve.  However, you may just leave it there until it’s time for dinner.  The KEEP WARM setting is on and will keep your dish fresh until it’s served.