Meatballs in Easy Tomato Sauce
Make this cheesy bacon pressure cooker meatballs in tomato sauce with bursting smoky flavors & juicy textures! Perfect thrifty make ahead freezer meals
Servings Prep Time
2-4servings 30minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
2-4servings 30minutes
Cook Time
  • 1pound ground beeflean
  • 4strips baconminced
  • 1small onionroughly chopped
  • 4cloves garlicroughly minced
  • 1large egg beaten
  • 1teaspoon oreganodried
  • 1teaspoon fennel seedground
  • 1/2teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4cup milk
  • 2.5ounces cheesefreshly grated Parmesan cheese & Mozzarella cheese go great!
  • 2cups chicken stocklow sodium, for tomato sauce
  • 13.5ounces tomato sauce1 can, for tomato sauce
  • 2/3cup tomato pastefor tomato sauce
  • 1teaspoon basilfor tomato sauce
  • 1teaspoon oreganodried, for tomato sauce
  1. Combine all the meatballs ingredients (everything excluding tomato sauce ingredients) in a large mixing bowl. Make sure the egg is beaten before adding it to the meatball mixture. Add the dry ingredients first, then the wet ingredients. Mix well with your hands.
  2. Combine all the tomato sauce ingredients in your Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Mix well until the tomato paste dissolves into the tomato sauce. Close lid and pressure cook at high pressure for 5 minutes, then Quick Release.
  3. While the tomato sauce is cooking, preheat oven to 450°F. Test the seasoning by cooking a small portion of the meatballs mixture on a skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Gently roll the meatballs mixture with your hands into ball shapes. You should be able to create 8 – 12 meatballs with the listed amount of ingredients.
  5. Place a piece of parchment paper on your baking tray and gently place the meatballs on it. Place the meatballs in the oven for roughly 12 – 16 minutes until the top is browned but not dried out.
  6. Pressure Cook the Meatballs: By now, the tomato sauce should be done cooking on the first cycle. Remove the meatballs from the oven and fully submerge the meatballs into the tomato sauce in the Instant Pot. Close lid and pressure cook at high pressure for another 5 minutes, then quick release.
  7. Remove the meatballs from the tomato sauce. Confirm the internal temperature of the meatballs are at least 145°F.
  8. Optional: Continue to reduce the tomato sauce until desired consistency. Taste the seasoning of the tomato sauce and add in more salt and pepper if desired. If you like, add more cheese on top of the meatballs when it’s served. Enjoy!
  9. Make Ahead Freezer-Friendly: Cook a bigger patch of pressure cooker meatballs and freeze the cooked meatballs in the freezer for up to 3 months. Depending on the size of the meatballs, you can pressure cook them frozen with tomato sauce at High Pressure for 8 – 10 minutes, then Quick Release. Make sure the meatball’s internal temperature to be at least 145°F before serving.
Recipe Notes


  • It’s important to test the seasoning of your meatballs mixture by cooking a small piece of it first. Cook it on a pan over medium high heat, adjust the seasoning and repeat this step if necessary before proceeding.