The Shortcut You Need For Extra Flavorful Meatballs In The Instant Pot

You may remember grandma spending the entire afternoon making her famous meatballs; taking her time to mix the meat with breadcrumbs and seasoning, roll it into spheres and slowly simmer them in a pan before drenching them in sauce. But while the old school method will always have its merits, it may not be feasible when you're in a crunch and looking for a quicker and easier weeknight dinner. In those cases, the Instant Pot can be your best friend in the kitchen.

It's no secret that pressure cookers have the ability to get the job done fast, but the trusty appliance can even produce meatballs that taste just like how grandma used to make — in a fraction of the time. However, there is a secret to getting them as juicy and flavorful as the slow-cooked versions, and all it involves is one extra ingredient: sausage!

The next time you go to make meatballs in the Instant Pot, blend your ground beef with some sausage for double the meat and double the flavor. Use pre-seasoned Italian sausage, which already comes loaded with herbs and spices (typically including parsley, fennel, basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme) to amp up the taste of your final product. Not only does that save you the step of preparing and mixing seasoning into your meat, it also ensures that your meatballs come out extra juicy, thanks to the added fat from the sausage.

How to incorporate sausage into your Instant Pot meatballs

The next time you go to make meatballs in the Instant Pot, blend your ground beef with some pork sausage for double the meat and double the flavor. You'll still want to use traditional ingredients like egg, Parmesan cheese, and breadcrumbs to bind your meatballs, but rather than chopping up seasonings like herbs and onions, chop up the sausage to combine with your ground beef. About eight ounces of Italian sausage per pound of ground beef should do the trick.

Once you've sufficiently mixed the ingredients all together, roll out your small spheres and place them on a plate or baking sheet. Now, in order to keep your meatballs perfectly moist, you'll also want to add sauce to your pressure cooker. Using the sauté function, bring sauce to a simmer inside the Instant Pot before gently stacking your meatballs inside. Once your beef-and-sausage balls are all inside, lock the lid and set the high pressure function for eight minutes to cook up everything together.

The result? A hearty stack of perfectly juicy and flavorful meatballs ready to eat alone or atop of spaghetti, all made in under 30 minutes. It's a weeknight win even grandma would approve of.