Greek style meatballs stuffed to the max with tangy feta cheese and sweet, flavorful sundried tomatoes, cooked in a flash in the wonderful Instant Pot, and dunked in a creamy pesto sauce. These incredible meatballs are just begging to be featured at your next game day party or family get together!
Without a doubt, I fall into the category of “I'm only here for the food” when it comes to game day parties.
I've never understood the love for watching sports. Don't people know they are probably missing a cooking show while they're screaming at the TV or a fascinating documentary on polar bears in the Arctic?
Yet guess how many people would join me for my Food Network Star marathon? None.
Clearly, I'm the weird one here.
So allow me to admit I'm wrong while I stuff my face with feta and sun-dried tomato stuffed meatballs and nachos while sneaking off into the next room to play Girl Talk with my daughter and her friends (Remember that old school game? The BEST!)
These meatballs are a play on my favorite burger of all time that you can find in my cookbook, Master the Electric Pressure Cooker, and don't nobody tell the burger, but hello meatball version! Where have you been my whole life!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THESE HEALTHY TURKEY MEATBALLS
- Crazy easy to make, no grease splatters on the stove top, and oh yeah, they are good for you too!
- Mini flavor bombs with all that onion, feta, and sun-dried flavor goin' on
- Sun-dried Tomato PESTO yogurt sauce. Yum in my tum
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST INSTANT POT MEATBALLS
- Put meatball ingredients in a bowl
- Mix lightly, just until combined (overmixing will make them tough)
- Use a cookie scoop to form equal sized meatballs
- Arrange them on a trivet
- Cook them for 4 minutes
- Serve with dreamy yogurt dip
DONT FORGET THE MEATBALL SAUCE!
In my opinion, serving meat without a sauce is a downright sin.
This pesto and sun-dried tomato dip is a riff off of a restaurant basil aioli burger that I love. It's healthy, creamy, and so good that I would happily sprinkle roasted almonds over top and eat it as a savory yogurt.
One caveat: Homemade Yogurt is key to the success of this dip. Storebought yogurt has a bit of a chalky after taste and needs to be combined with another creamy ingredient to get the right taste. If you are using storebought yogurt, replace 1/3 to 1/2 of the yogurt with sour cream or mayo.
Next write “Instant Pot Yogurt” on the very top of your “must make” list.
Also, this sauce is even better if made 2 days ahead. Put it on your calendar.
Prepare to get invited to every Game Day Party in your neighborhood after friends and family get a taste of these bad boys!
If you happen to avoid Game Day Parties like the plague, you can come join my party of one, and we'll eat an entire pot of these meatballs ourselves, while watching Gordan Ramsey teach us to cook, Masterclass Style.
Now that's a party.
VARIATIONS FOR GREEK MEATBALLS
- I prefer ground turkey, but feel free to use ground beef, chicken, or pork
- Turn it into a meatball sub! Roast some grape tomatoes in a pan (like I did with this Pizza Mac and Cheese). Layer your roll with the roasted tomatoes, then meatballs, then a ridiculous amount of pesto sauce. Might need a fork and knife for this one
- Don't like feta? Swap for small cubes of fresh Instant Pot Mozzarella (or storebought of course)
HOW TO SERVE MEATBALLS AT A PARTY
Might I suggest turning these meatballs into a fancy Meatball Charcuterie Board? This may prevent a selfish someone from taking the entire plate of meatballs (oops…snooze you lose is my motto).
Board options could include, grape tomatoes, chopped avocado, olives, lettuce cups, pickles, mini mozzarella balls, etc.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH MEATBALLS
- Rustic Crusty Bread
- Instant Pot Steamed Veggies
- Instant Pot Baked Potato
- Big platter of fruit and Instant Pot Fruit Dip
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST MEATBALLS
My lessons on how to make perfect meatballs come from personal experience and this priceless article on 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Making Meatballs
- Use higher fat meat for a more tender meatball, OR use a leaner meat and add grated parmesan and onion to keep it moist
- Use a binder to keep the meatballs from falling apart. For this recipe I use eggs. Other recipes use soaked breadcrumbs or oil
- Season well. As a rule of thumb, I use 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper per pound of meat
- Use a small ice cream scoop to keep the balls uniform in size so they all cook in the same amount of time
- Don't pack the meatballs! After scooping them with your ice cream scoop, gently finish forming them by hand
- Cook them in a pressure cooker. The moist environment keeps them from drying out. Bonus: No grease spatters or smoky kitchen!
BEST WAY TO REHEAT MEAT
While a microwave is quick, it tends to dry out the meat.
Did you know the pressure cooker is an amazing way to reheat meat? It warms the meat without drying it out. This works great for meatballs and pretty much any other shape and size of meat. Also great for grains like rice and quinoa.
You'll need a little liquid (preferably broth or the sauce from the meat, if it's thin enough), reheat the meat for just 2 – 5 minutes at high pressure, depending on how much you have. Let it rest a few minutes while you prepare the rest of the meal.
HOW TO COOK MEATBALLS FROM FROZEN IN THE INSTANT POT
When I cook from frozen, my rule of thumb is to cook them for 1 1/2 the original time. These meatballs cook for 4 minutes, so from frozen I would cook them for 6 minutes. This time will vary if the meatballs are larger, of course.
TOOLS/INGREDIENTS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT TURKEY MEATBALLSPrint
Instant Pot Greek Meatballs
Tasty Instant Pot meatballs stuffed with feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes and served with a tangy pesto yogurt sauce
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 20-24 meatballs 1x
- Category: Entree
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Italian
For the Meatballs
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1/2 cup grated onion
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (I prefer the ones that are bottled in olive oil)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup whole wheat panko (regular panko or bread crumbs will work as well)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- fresh cracked pepper
For the Sundried Tomato Pesto Yogurt Sauce
- 3/4 cup yogurt (see note)
- 1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes (blotted with a paper towel to remove excess oil)
- 1/4 cup basil pesto
- kosher salt
- fresh cracked black pepper
- Optional: 1 – 2 tablespoons milk for thinning sauce if needed
- In a large bowl, gently mix all of the meatball ingredients by hand until combined.
- Using a small cookie scoop (about a 2 teaspoon scoop), form meat into balls.
- Add 1 cup of water to the pressure cooker pot, place a trivet inside.
- Arrange meatballs in a circular pattern on top of the trivet.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position.
- Cook at high pressure for 4 minutes.
- While the meatballs are cooking, prepare the Sundried Tomato Pesto Sauce by whisking all of the ingredients in a small bowl. This can be done 2-3 days in advance.
- When cooking is complete, use a natural release for 5 minutes and then release any remaining pressure.
- Serve meatballs hot with a side of Sundried Tomato Pesto Sauce.
- This can be easily doubled or tripled if you have trivets of different heights. Stacking the meatballs directly on top of each other without the trivets will increase the cook time
- Combine meat mixture gently. Overmixing the meat will create a tough meatball
- When making the sauce, use a yogurt that you like. If the yogurt taste is overpowering, add sour cream or mayo
Keywords: instant pot meatballs, game day food, turkey meatballs
First: the yogurt sauce is a 5!! I used homemade pesto so the color was definitely not creamy white like in your photo, but the TASTE! YUM!
The meatballs were quick and easy. Next time, I’ll finish them off under the broiler or in a skillet just to get a little caramelization on them for texture and appearance. Otherwise, the flavor profile is a keeper! I used Fage Greek 0% Yogurt and left out the spinach since I didn’t have any.
Sherrille, I’m glad you liked the sauce and meatballs! I make extra of that sauce just so I can use it all week long. Thanks for letting me know!
How about browning the meatballs in a little oil before cooking? Do you think that would work or ruin something?
Tawna, Yep, you could absolutely do that. I’ve done it after the meatballs were cooked myself, so it kept the texture of the browning.