So here we are with my first Instant Pot blog post. I’ll have at least one more as my apartment issues take their time to be resolved, even though I really wish I could do some oven-oriented dishes right now. But this recipe almost makes up for having a kitchen that’s partially out of commission.
I actually made these turkey meatballs on a bizarrely cool weekend in August, but I’ve been waiting to write about them until a more appropriate time of year. I followed the recipe on Lefty Spoon pretty closely, though I made some adjustments here and there, also opting to just stick with mushrooms to supplement the turkey in the dish instead of mixing in some zucchini as well.
This was the first recipe I ever tried to make in my Instant Pot, but I’m happy to say that this was also the recipe that made me realize how useful an Instant Pot can be. Since the Instant Pot, my toaster oven and a hot plate are how I’m feeding myself right now, I’ve stuck with Instant Pot directions here — but I don’t see why you can’t make these meatballs in a stovetop pressure cooker either if you are so inclined.
While making meatballs as one’s first Instant Pot recipe may be a bit ambitious: I’ll be honest that I kept things pretty simple here. Yes, I purchased the ground turkey and fresh mushrooms, but I went ahead and used a jar of pasta sauce. I know that some people are really anti-pre-made pasta sauce, but I’m not really the type of person to keep homemade pasta sauce on hand even when my kitchen is operating normally. Plus, the whole point of an Instant Pot meal is to save a little time here and there, so I couldn’t feel too guilty about it. You can use your homemade sauce if you’d like, of course, but ultimately, do whatever floats your boat.
At the end of the day, these meatballs are a filling, hearty meal — perfect for colder temperatures and perfect for piling onto some pasta to get your comfort food fix. I was skeptical about how they would turn out and I was ultimately very pleased. As someone who prefers baking meatballs in her oven, I can see myself turning to this recipe every now and again, even when my kitchen is fully back in order. And that’s what makes this recipe a winner in my book.
- Yields about 14 meatballs (serves 4 to 5)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- About 2 cups of white mushrooms, sliced
- 24 to 26-ounce jar of tomato-based pasta sauce (I used a tomato basil marinara sauce)
- 1/2 teaspoon dry basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dry rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
- 3 to 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1/2 cup long grain rice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Fresh basil and/or freshly grated parmesan cheese for topping (optional)
- 1. Set your Instant Pot to "saute." Add the olive oil and onions and saute them until softened. Then add the mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms have started to soften and give up some liquid.
- 2. Add the pasta sauce and water to the pot and stir everything together.
- 3. Meanwhile, as the sauce comes up to a simmer, combine the ground turkey, rice, garlic, dry herbs and salt in a mixing bowl. Combine everything well and roll the ground turkey mixture into meatballs that are just a little larger than a golf ball.
- 4. Drop the meatballs carefully into the simmering sauce in your Instant Pot and spoon a little bit of the sauce over them.
- 5. Hit the "keep warm/cancel" button before then pressing "poultry." Put the lid on and make sure the pressure valve is on "sealing."
- 6. The Instant Pot will let you know when the meatballs have finished cooking.
- 7. Sprinkle on some freshly grated cheese and/or basil when serving if you'd like, and serve the meatballs over a pasta or alternative of your choice (I served the meatballs on top of some linguine)
- Adapted from Lefty Spoon.
I guess I’m being a little cliche by pulling up a jazz standard when it’s fall in New York, the city I live in, but a warm-sounding jazzy tune is just the sort of thing I want to listen to while cooking a warm meal during this time of year… and I suspect many of you do too. There have been plenty of recordings of this song, but there’s something I really like about Billie Holiday’s rendition — perhaps simply the fact that she sounds downright jolly compared to how she sounds in some of her other recordings.