These Instant Pot turkey meatballs are slathered in a creamy garlic sauce and are perfect for a family dinner! Suitable for low carb, keto, and gluten free diets, these comforting meatballs are a perfect dinner!
If someone would have told me my Instant Pot would be SO heavily used when I first got it….I would have doubted it.
But this has truly become an indispensable appliance in my kitchen!
And with this whole quarantine business, I have discovered a new benefit to this favorite tool: it is PERFECT for kids learning to cook since the temperature is controlled and pre programmed! No messing with varying temperatures on the stove and potential ADD moments of walking away and forgetting about cooking foods (maybe that is just me and MY house?!). My older girls have been making some dinners for the family, and this is easily one of the most simple tools they utilize. One daughter made us my Instant Pot arroz con pollo, and everyone was singing her praises (so sweet to see her swell with pride and confidence)!
And this meal was tested by my nieces and nephews! We did an online Zoom call where they all got to make it and test it out!
The most time consuming part of these meatballs is the browning. While I love dump and cook meals like my chicken adobo, these meatballs need the browning not only for flavor, but also so that the meatballs hold their shape when they get cooked…ground turkey has hard time doing that when it is raw! And with only a 3 minute cook time…this is still a 30 minute meal!
I like to use my favorite large cast iron skillet for the browning…it speeds the process up as it is much bigger than the insert. BUT if you prefer, you can brown the meatballs in batches in the Instant Pot too…it’s up to you! Choose your own adventure I like to say….
Can I make these low carb and keto turkey meatballs?
Yes! Just make sure to use either almond flour or crushed pork rinds for the binder, and instead of evaporated milk, you can use the cream! I have tried all the variations, they all work well!
Are Whole30 and dairy free meatballs an option?
My favorite way to make a creamy dairy free sauce is by making my own extra creamy almond or cashew milk! Using a ratio of 1 cup of nuts to about 3-4 cups water (which is MUCH creamier in texture than the store bought stuff), I whir the whole bit in high powered blender. Almond milk has to be strained through a nut milk bag, cashew milk does not!
I had one recipe tester use regular ole carton almond milk with success. Just know it will not be quite as tasty without that extra fat.
Also, full fat coconut milk would work too! But, my kids won’t touch anything with a strong coconut flavor, so I rarely go that route for savory dairy free dishes.
You will omit the cheese as well, so I recommend increasing the spices and salt to compensate a touch in the flavor department. Increase salt by 1/4 teaspoon, and double the onion and garlic powders. In fact, I would also add a clove or two of minced garlic to the broth as well, and definitely add one of the optional spices. Creamy dairy free goodness solved!
My dairy free Whole30 chicken thighs are dairy free AND creamy with no tweaks, so you could check that recipe out as well!
- Along side steamed or sautéed broccoli. This air fryer broccoli would be amazing too!
- Over a bed of cauli rice
- With your favorite rice or noodles. In our house I use shiritaki noodles for my low carb version. The kids eat it with gluten free noodles.
- Served over these cauliflower roasted steak pieces
- Mashed potatoes or cauliflower
Additional Instant Pot recipe ideas:
- Cube steaks are easy to make and a great way to create a tender steak with an inexpensive, lean cut of meat.
- This Instant Pot tortilla soup is full of authentic flavors and quick to make!
- We love zuppa toscano! Potatoes, bacon, sausage, and dark greens!
If you love ground turkey like us, you may also want to try this tempting apple and sage turkey meatloaf!
Instant Pot Turkey Meatballs Recipe:
If you try these meatballs, I want to hear about it! Please come back and leave a comment below!
Instant Pot Turkey Meatballs
- 1.5 pounds ground turkey or chicken, or pork
- 1/4 cup almond flour OR crushed pork rinds, OR gluten free bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano OR Parmesan
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder or granules. May use fresh garlic too, and add more to taste if desired!
- 1 teaspoon onion powder or granules
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 large egg
- avocado oil for browning
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1.5 cups evaporated milk OR cream, OR half and half
- 1.5 tablespoons tapioca starch OR any starch for thickening
- Pecorino Romano to garnish, optional
- 1 teaspoon rosemary OR , oregano OR thyme. OR any herb you might enjoy!
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne if you like a little heat
Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl (no oil)
Preheat a large cast iron skillet (or similar) over medium heat. Grease with a bit of avocado oil to prevent sticking.
Using a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop out meatballs and place in a single layer to brown. They will release easily after several minutes when golden brown. This can be done in several batches, or you can also use a skillet to do part as well to speed the process up. No need to cook all the way through, just browning for flavor and so meatballs hold their shape. This can also be done in the Instant Pot on 'saute' feature. As meatballs finish browning, layer in to the bottom of the insert, stacking as necessary.
Once all the meatballs are in, pour in the chicken broth and any herbs or spices you might choose to add. Lock on lid, set manual or pressure cook for 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together the evaporated milk and tapioca starch. When the timer beeps and finishes, hit cancel, release pressure. Hit saute, the add in freshly whisked milk and starch. Cook a minute or two to thicken. Serve (serving suggestions are in the post above!)
nutrition facts are using almond flour and evaporated milk.
How many meatballs is the nutritional value for?
depends on what size you made them. Divide your total number of meatballs by 5 for a serving size. For me, it is about 5-6.
Very easy to make (I would know, I don’t really cook) and so delicious! Great recipe thank you!
Jennifer Pickering says
I made these meatballs with my 2 boys and they were easy to make and tasted delicious! I served it with roasted califlower and noodles. This will become one of our weeknight staples.
Glad you found them easy!
Susan Williams says
This is a great recipe to make ahead of time. In fact make a double batch! At the end of the pressure cooker cycle (3 min.) put 1/2 the meat balls on a cookie sheet and freeze. Store the frozen meat balls in a plastic seal-able bag until your next recipe that calls for meat balls. The other 1/2, continue the recipe making the thick sauce called for. I used a pasta to go along with this meal and added a vegetable. I did like the fact it was a quick way to make 2 homemade meals in a short time.
Love your idea to make ahead and freeze!
Kirsten M. says
These meatballs are super easy and DELICIOUS! We served them over cauliflower rice(for me) and white rice (for the kids) and had roasted broccoli/cauliflower on the side. Because we like a little extra sauce for the rice we put them on, I will double the cooking sauce next time. Great recipe Tess!
So glad they were enjoyed!