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Pressure Cooker Meatballs & Marinara


If you don't own a pressure cooker, this meatball with marinara recipe will still work in a slow cooker. You just have to cook it for 6 hours, as opposed to 5 minutes! This recipe comes from America's Test Kitchen's cookbook "Pressure Cooker Perfection". ATK had adjusted the amount of milk and bread crumbs to create a sturdy meatball that won't fall apart in the pressure cooker. The marinara sauce is made from scratch, and only takes a few minutes to put together. It's also really delicious. Please click on the recipe source to see how I made this on my food blog "A Feast for the Eyes".

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  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated, 1/2 cup
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 pound meatloaf mix, ground beef and pork combo
  • SAUCE:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano, or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • Sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (as a garnish)


Servings 4
Preparation time 30mins
Cooking time 60mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Make the sauce:

Heat oil in pressure cooker pot over medium high heat (I use the browning cycle on my electric pressure cooker) until shimmering.

Add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in oregano, red pepper flakes and two-thirds of garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in crushed tomatoes, scraping up any browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes no longer taste raw, about 10 minutes. Season with sugar, salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile: Mash panko and milk into paste in medium bowl with a fork.

Gently mix in meatloaf mix, Parmesan, parsley, egg, remaining garlic, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper with hands until thoroughly combined.

Shape mixture into 12 even-size meatballs. Gently nestle meatballs into sauce.

Lock pressure-cooker lid in place and bring to high pressure over medium-high heat. As soon as the pot reaches high pressure, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes. adjusting heat as needed to maintain high pressure. NOTE: I just set my electric pressure cooker to medium pressure and everything turned out great.

Remove pot from heat. Quick release pressure, then carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you.

Before serving, stir in basil and season with additional sugar, salt and pepper to taste.

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