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Multicooker Italian Meatballs

Servings: 4 to 6

These tasty meatballs cook in minutes without the mess of frying. Though they don’t brown, pressure-cooking them right in the pot is fast and infuses the meatballs with the flavor of the sauce. Serve them with pasta and the sauce, or in a sub sandwich.


  • 2 slices favorite grain bread (about 3 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 lb. ground beef, preferably 85% lean
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup grated Grana padano (use the medium holes on a box grater); more for serving
  • 3 Tbs. minced or grated garlic
  • 3 Tbs. pine nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 2 28-oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes


  • Tear the bread into 1/2-inch pieces, and put in a small bowl. Add the milk, and let the bread soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine the beef, 3 Tbs. of the onion, the 1/4 cup cheese, 1-1/2 Tbs. of the garlic, the pine nuts, parsley, 1-1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, and the bread mixture. Form into 1-1/2-inch meatballs (about 1-1/2 oz. each).
  • Press the saute/medium function on the multicooker. Add the oil, and heat until it shimmers. Add the remaining 5 Tbs. of onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 1 minute. Add the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. garlic, and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown lightly, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, carrots, basil, pepper flakes, and 1 tsp. salt, and stir to combine. Add the meatballs to the sauce, pushing them down to partially submerge them.
  • Seal the pot, making sure the vent is closed. Select the pressure cook function, and set the timer for 5 minutes (The cooker will take 20 minutes to come up to pressure). When the pressure cooking is done, select either natural or quick release. Season to taste with salt. Pass extra cheese at the table.


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Reviews (4 reviews)

  • Krispie | 01/19/2020

    We made this to serve over angel hair. The sauce was a bit thinner than we like for a pasta sauce and a little quiet from a flavor standpoint. We added some granulated garlic, oregano and a bit of sugar and it was fantastic. The meatballs were excellent as written. And preparation/cooking couldn’t be easier. We will be adding this to the regular rotation!

  • User avater
    chefjeff | 01/27/2019

    I had the identical momentary dilemma regarding the soaked bread, but knew that it had to be part of the meatball mixture. Last night for guests I opted for an over the top treatment to the finished meatballs. Along the side of approximately 8 inch Italian rolls, I cut a slit and opened each like a book. I placed 4 meatballs inside of each sandwich, topped with sauce and a liberal amount of Mozzarella. This went into a 450° oven until all was hot, melty, and bubbly. Served with additional sauce, and 4 of us were very happy indeed!

  • chitownguy | 01/15/2019

    I agree with the last review, this was excellent and the seasonings were perfect. But, did I miss something? It starts out preparing the bread but then doesn't mention it again. I figured it was to add to the meatballs and it worked out great.

  • vixcancook | 01/15/2019

    I give this 5 stars for taste and speed! Forkin fantastic. This was simple and full of flavor. I bought a local sourdough baguette, cut 6” off each end. I hollowed our the inside and used it for the bread in the recipe. And then we poured the meatballs and sauce inside the roll for the best sub! It is a great family recipe! When picking bread I chose a sourdough with a very crunchy and crispy exterior so the sauce wouldn’t make it soggy.

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