How Long to Cook Frozen Meatballs in Instant Pot

In this brief article, we will be discussing how long to cook frozen meatballs in an instant pot, along with some key information about frozen meatballs, tips to cook them, and the precautions needed when using an instant pot.

How Long to Cook Frozen Meatballs in an Instant Pot?

All it takes is five to six minutes to cook frozen meatballs in an instant pot. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Pour all your sauce ingredients into the instant pot and mix them well.
  2. Place the frozen meatballs carefully on top of the layer of sauce. Add at least a cup of water.
  3. Pressure cook for five to six minutes.
  4. Quick-release the lid once you’re done. Add some garnish and enjoy!

What are the Precautions for Cooking Frozen Meatballs in an Instant Pot?

There are some important safety needs you need to look out for when using an instant pot.

  • Even though there is a ‘max fill’ line inside the instant pot, never fill it to the maximum limit. Most pressure-cooking recipes include ingredients that expand on cooking, such as beans, rice, pasta, pasta, oats, cornmeal, etc. If the pot is filled all the way to the top, it will explode (literally) when you try to force-open it.
  • The instant pot is NOT meant for making pressure-fried foods. Remember that it is an electrical pressure cooker, and by doing this you will endanger not only your pot but also yourself.
  • Always keep the opening of the instant pot away from your face when opening it. When doing a quick release, the hot steam could severely burn your hands, so always put on protective oven mitts or gloves.
  • The sealing ring is among the most easily damaged parts of an instant pot. It is what helps trap the steam inside the pot and should be regularly cleaned and checked for cracks or problems.
  • The instant pot must have at least a cup of liquid to develop and maintain pressure. Otherwise, your ingredients are most likely to burn and stick to the bottom of the cooker. 
  • Despite being a hands-off appliance, it’s best not to leave the instant pot unattended. Keep an eye out for any leakage or weird sounds. If something doesn’t seem right, turn it off immediately, wait for about a minute or so, then open it.

What are the ingredients for cooking frozen meatballs in an instant pot?

Here are some sauces and substitutes you can use to cook a delicious helping of frozen meatballs in an instant pot.

  • Store-bought BBQ sauce mixed with mustard, ketchup, and brown sauce can serve as a delicious base for the meatballs.
  • Honey OR substitutes such as agave nectar, maple syrup, and coconut nectar
  • Beef broth instead of a cup of water to add that extra flavor, OR chicken broth if you are in a hurry.
  • Garlic, fresh or minced, is preferred over the powdered version to give the meatballs an additional burst of flavor.

How Do You Store Cooked Meatballs?

Once cooled to room temperature, leftover meatballs should be placed in an airtight container and kept in the fridge. 

Properly stored meatballs can last up to five days in the fridge.  After this, lipid oxidation can occur, which leads to drip loss, off-odor and off-flavor development, and the production of potentially toxic compounds. Other changes are textural changes and juiciness loss (1).

How Do You Reheat Stored Meatballs?

Take out the number of meatballs you want to eat or serve from the container. Warm them in the microwave for about two minutes (2). 

If you don’t want to use a microwave, you can heat the meatballs on the stove in a pan with some shallow water.

Can You Cook Frozen Meatballs without Defrosting?

Yes! You don’t need to thaw frozen meatballs before cooking them (2). 

In fact, most store-bought frozen meatballs are already fully-cooked, so all you have to do is reheat them in a pan or microwave, and mix them in sauces.


Are Frozen Meatballs Processed?

Yes, meatballs as well as burger patties are made with minced meat. The minced meat is mixed with condiments and spices, shaped and then cooked by frying or baking. Non-meat ingredients, such as soya protein, cereal flours, starch, whey protein and fat, play a significant role in the modification of functional properties, such as water- and fat-binding capacity and textural properties. Some natural antioxidant ingredients, such as vitamin C and spices (oregano, rosemary) can be added to extend shelf life of cooked meatballs (1).

Moreover, frozen meatballs are generally high in fat and sodium, but they are a rich source of protein. So always opt for meatballs made from leaner meats or eat them in controlled portions. 


In this brief article, we answered the question of how long to cook frozen meatballs in an instant pot, along with some key information about frozen meatballs, tips to cook them, and the precautions needed when using an instant pot.

Now you can make and enjoy all your delicious meatball recipes in a matter of minutes!

If you have any more questions or comments please let us know.


  1. Ulu, Hasret. Effect of wheat flour, whey protein concentrate and soya protein isolate on oxidative processes and textural properties of cooked meatballs. Food Chem, 2004, 87, 523-529.
  2. Leftovers and Food Safety. United States Department of Agriculture.