Instant Pot BBQ Meatballs That Sizzle and Dazzle

Instant Pot BBQ Meatballs That Sizzle and Dazzle

Hey there, my fellow food enthusiasts! Chef Ethan in the house, ready to take you on a saucy adventure with none other than Instant Pot BBQ Meatballs. Get ready to elevate your taste buds to a whole new level of flavor ecstasy – we’re diving into the land of barbecue brilliance!

What are BBQ Meatballs?

BBQ Meatballs are savory, bite-sized delights made from ground meat, typically beef or a mixture of beef and pork, seasoned to perfection. These meatballs are bathed in a luscious barbecue sauce, infusing them with a sweet and tangy flavor. Whether served as an appetizer, party snack, or paired with your favorite side, BBQ meatballs are a crowd-pleaser, embodying the delicious fusion of smoky and savory goodness.

Why We Love This Dish

Oh, let me count the ways why we’re head over heels for these Instant Pot BBQ Meatballs! Strap in, my fellow flavor enthusiasts, because this is about to get tasty.

Saucy Seduction: These meatballs are like little saucy charmers, bathing in a barbecue sauce that’s the epitome of sweet, tangy perfection. It’s a love affair between meat and sauce that’ll leave you swooning.

Instant Pot Magic: Picture this – tender, succulent meatballs, pressure-cooked to perfection in the Instant Pot. It’s like having a flavor genie granting your meatball wishes with a magical touch.

Crowd-Pleasing Charm: Whether you’re hosting a soirée or just treating yourself to a solo meatball feast (no judgment here), these BBQ wonders are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Watch them disappear faster than you can say, “Who stole the last meatball?”

Versatility Vibes: These meatballs aren’t just a one-trick pony. They can steal the show as a star appetizer, or take center stage alongside your favorite sides for a mouthwatering main course. Versatility at its saucy best.

Tender Lovin’ Care: Thanks to the Instant Pot’s pressure-cooking prowess, these meatballs emerge from their cooking sanctuary as the epitome of tenderness. It’s like a warm, meaty hug for your taste buds.

Flavor Explosion: The marriage of smoky barbecue notes with perfectly seasoned meatballs creates a flavor explosion that’s nothing short of a culinary fireworks display. Get ready for your taste buds to do a happy dance.

How To Make Best Instant Pot BBQ Meatballs

Step 1. Prepare the Meatballs

Combine the ground meat, breadcrumbs, milk, chopped onion, chopped parsley, egg, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Mix the ingredients until well combined. Shape the mixture into meatballs, about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter.

Step 2. Sear the Meatballs

Set your Instant Pot to sauté mode. Add a bit of oil to the pot. Once the oil is hot, sear the meatballs on all sides until they develop a golden-brown crust. This step adds flavor to the meatballs.

Step 3. Make the BBQ Sauce

In a bowl, whisk together barbecue sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Step 4. Pressure Cook

Pour the BBQ sauce over the seared meatballs in the Instant Pot. Close the Instant Pot lid and set it to manual (pressure cook) mode. Cook on high pressure for about 8-10 minutes.

Step 5. Natural Release

Allow the Instant Pot to naturally release pressure for about 5 minutes, then perform a quick pressure release.

Step 6. Serve

Carefully open the Instant Pot and stir the meatballs in the sauce. Serve the BBQ meatballs over rice, pasta, or as an appetizer with toothpicks.

Instant Pot BBQ Meatballs Recipe

Recipe by Ethan HarrisCourse: Appetizers, DinnerCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





Perfect for parties, game nights, or a quick and satisfying snack, these meatballs are sure to become your go-to recipe.


  • For the Meatballs
  • 1 pound ground meat (beef, pork, or a mix)

  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 1 egg

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • For the BBQ Sauce
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce

  • 1/4 cup ketchup

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Prepare the Meatballs
    Mix ground meat, breadcrumbs, milk, chopped onion, parsley, egg, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Shape into 1 to 1.5-inch meatballs.
  • Sear the Meatballs
    Sauté meatballs in Instant Pot with oil until golden-brown.
  • Make the BBQ Sauce
    Whisk together barbecue sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Pressure Cook
    Pour BBQ sauce over seared meatballs in Instant Pot. Set to manual mode, cook on high pressure for 8-10 minutes.
  • Natural Release
    Allow natural release for 5 minutes, then quick release.
  • Serve
    Carefully open the Instant Pot and stir the meatballs in the sauce. Serve the BBQ meatballs over rice, pasta, or as an appetizer with toothpicks.


  • *Rate Recipe: If you’ve tried the recipe, don’t forget to Rate the Recipe in the Comments Section. Thank you!

Flavor Variations for Your Instant Pot BBQ Meatballs

Spicy Inferno: Add a pinch of cayenne or a dash of hot sauce to your barbecue sauce for a fiery kick. These meatballs will have your taste buds doing the cha-cha.

Asian Fusion: Swap out regular breadcrumbs for panko and add a tablespoon of soy sauce to the meat mixture. Top it off with sesame seeds and green onions for an Asian-inspired twist.

Garlic Lover’s Dream: Amp up the garlic game! Add minced garlic to the meat mixture and sprinkle some roasted garlic bits on top for an irresistible garlicky goodness.

Sweet and Tangy Delight: Mix some pineapple juice into your barbecue sauce for a tropical touch. The sweet and tangy combo will transport your taste buds to flavor paradise.

Maple Bourbon Bliss: Replace a portion of the barbecue sauce with maple syrup and add a splash of bourbon. It’s like a cozy evening by the fire, but in meatball form.

Serving Suggestions for Your Instant Pot BBQ Meatballs

Appetizer Extravaganza: Arrange these saucy wonders on a platter with toothpicks for a dazzling appetizer display. Your guests won’t be able to resist the allure of perfectly glazed BBQ Meatballs.

Meatball Sub Magic: Grab some soft sub rolls, slather on a bit of mayo or aioli, and create the ultimate meatball sub. It’s a handheld delight that’ll have you declaring it sandwich royalty.

Over-the-Top Nachos: Turn game night into a flavor fiesta! Pile these meatballs onto a bed of tortilla chips, sprinkle on some cheese, and let the melting commence. Nachos will never be the same again.

Mashed Potato Marvel: Lay those BBQ Meatballs atop a mound of creamy mashed potatoes. It’s a comfort food symphony that’ll warm your soul and satisfy your meatball cravings.

Rice Bowl Bonanza: Create a rice bowl masterpiece by serving these meatballs over a bed of fluffy rice. Drizzle some extra barbecue sauce and toss in your favorite veggies for a well-rounded meal.

Slider Sensation: Mini sliders, maximum flavor! Place a BBQ Meatball on a slider bun, add a dollop of coleslaw or pickles, and you’ve got a bite-sized masterpiece.

Salad Showstopper: Elevate your salad game by placing these meatballs on a bed of fresh greens. The warm, saucy goodness will make your salad the talk of the town.

Cooking Tips for Instant Pot BBQ Meatballs

Alright, my BBQ Meatball enthusiasts, listen up! We’re about to embark on a flavor journey, and these cooking tips will ensure your Instant Pot BBQ Meatballs are nothing short of legendary.

The Sear is Key:
Don’t rush the searing process. Let those meatballs get a golden brown crust before adding the barbecue sauce. It’s like giving them a VIP pass to Flavor Town.

Use the Right Sauce:
Choose a barbecue sauce that suits your flavor preferences. Whether you go for smoky, sweet, or spicy, the sauce sets the tone for the entire meatball experience.

Mix Up Your Meat:
Feel free to experiment with different ground meats or a meat blend. Beef, pork, or a combination – it’s your meatball canvas, so paint it with flavors you love.

Panko Power:
Consider using panko breadcrumbs for a lighter, crispier texture. They absorb less moisture, ensuring your meatballs stay tender on the inside.

Size Matters:
Keep your meatballs uniform in size to ensure even cooking. Aim for that perfect golf ball size for a bite that’s just right.

Let the Natural Release Shine:
Allow the Instant Pot to do a natural release after pressure cooking. This gentle transition keeps the meatballs juicy and prevents any saucy explosions.

Garnish Gracefully:
Elevate your meatball presentation with a sprinkle of fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro. It’s the finishing touch that adds a touch of culinary elegance.

Get Saucy:
Don’t be shy with the barbecue sauce. Coat those meatballs generously for a flavor-packed experience. After all, it’s a BBQ Meatball, not a BBQ Meat-tease.


Can I use pre-made frozen meatballs for this recipe?

Absolutely! Adjust cooking times to ensure the frozen meatballs cook through.

What sides pair well with Instant Pot BBQ Meatballs?

Serve them as an appetizer or over rice for a main meal. Coleslaw, mashed potatoes, or a green salad make great sides.

Can I use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef for the meatballs?

Certainly! Adjust the cooking time as needed, as poultry may cook faster than beef.

Is it necessary to brown the meatballs before pressure cooking?

Browning adds flavor and helps seal in juices, but you can skip this step if you’re short on time.

Can I make these meatballs in a slow cooker instead of an Instant Pot?

Yes, you can adapt this recipe for a slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until the meatballs are cooked through.


And there you have it, my BBQ-loving comrades – a culinary journey through the saucy realms of Instant Pot BBQ Meatballs! These flavor-packed delights are a testament to the Instant Pot’s prowess and your kitchen mastery. Whether you’re hosting a gathering or treating yourself to a savory feast, these meatballs are here to steal the show.

But wait, the flavor party doesn’t end here! As we bid adieu to our BBQ Meatball adventure, let’s not forget the other culinary treasures waiting to grace your table. Picture this: Stuffed Mushrooms bursting with savory goodness, Buffalo Chicken Wings delivering a spicy kick, and Egg Bites offering bite-sized delights. Your Instant Pot is a treasure trove of appetizer wonders, and these recipes are your culinary passports to a world of flavor.

So, my friends, continue exploring, experimenting, and savoring the joys of Instant Pot magic. Until our next flavorful escapade, may your kitchen be filled with laughter, delicious aromas, and the clinking of satisfied forks. Cheers to culinary delights and happy cooking!

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