Instant Pot Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash.
Sharing a new instant pot recipe today, instant pot turkey meatballs and spaghetti squash.
I’m currently having a moment with the Instant Pot. To be honest, I am still figuring some things out, but so far I have created three recipes that I am head over heals for, this better for you instant pot chicken and spinach ramen, these healthy meatballs you see here, and an upcoming Indian inspired recipe.
Now that I am three full recipes deep into Instant Pot territory, I can officially say I am liking it. Still not sure it’s better than my beloved crockpot or Staub Cocotte, but it’s great for quick, one-pot cooking.
Today’s recipe is truly a super star recipe. You guys all know I love spaghetti squash, but what I don’t love about spaghetti squash? The insanely long cook time. I’ve been wanting to try this recipe out forever now and I am so happy to report that it turned out better than I could have imagined.
Homemade, flavorful turkey meatballs, in a delicious red sauce, over top spaghetti squash. All cooked together in the Instant Pot. Promise, it’s not too good to be true.
This recipe all starts with the meatballs. I’m going to be honest, I am not normally a meatball person, but occasionally I get inspired to make some. I’ve never made turkey meatballs before, so these have me greatly excited. To keep the meatballs moist, I used my Nonnie’s trick of crumbling soggy bread into the meat mixture. I also used a bit of ricotta and prosciutto to keep the lean turkey from drying out.
The only non-Instant Pot step in this recipe is broiling the meatballs. I know, I know, you want an all one-pot recipe, but trust me, broiling the meatballs is a million times easier and quicker than browning them in the instant pot. When I attempted browning the meatballs in the instant pot, lets just say it did not end well, and it took thirty minutes as opposed the the four it takes to broil. Trust me, broiling is the way to go!
Once the meatballs are browned, just add everything to the Instant Pot, cover, and cook on high pressure for fifteen minutes. Yup, just fifteen minutes and your spaghetti squash is cooked! I was shocked too, but it worked so well.
What I love most about this recipe, I mean aside from its speedy cook time is that it really does taste amazing. I was worried that the meatballs might be dried out and the squash might be too hard, but both were perfect. Cooking the meatballs in the Instant Pot actually traps in the the moisture and keeps them from becoming dry.
I served the meatballs over the squash with just a little parmesan and fresh basil and it turned out to be the perfect mid-week dinner. My whole family loved this recipe. Even my picky brothers enjoyed this one, but they did boil up some real spaghetti, because…they don’t do squash.
I am working on them.
Before I say see ya for the day, I just wanted to point out the new HBH site design! I am so exited to have this finally live. We have been working endlessly on this new layout since March and I am hoping that it really improves the reader experience.
Please bear with us over the next few days as we work out any technical kinks. It’s a lot of info to transfer over from the old site’s layout, so there may be a few glitches here and there. Please let me know if you guys notice anything we need to correct, and sorry in advance for any inconvenience. Like I said, hoping in the end this improves your overall experience here on HBH. Plus, isn’t it pretty?!
Over the next few weeks we will be launching a new site feature for the holidays, so keep an eye out for that. Lots of fun things coming your way!
For now, let’s focus on tonight’s dinner and do a spaghetti (squash) and meatball night!
Oh and also? If you don’t own an Instant Pot, this is easily adapted for the slow cooker. Just do all the same steps as directed, but instead of adding everything to the Instant Pot, add them to your slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
Instant Pot Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash
Homemade flavorful turkey meatballs, in a delicious red sauce, and overtop spaghetti squash. All cooked together in the Instant Pot. Promise, it's not too good to be true.
*To make this in the crockpot, broil the meatballs as directed and then add everything to your crockpot, layer the meatballs into the sauce as directed. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours. Serve as directed.
- 1 pound ground turkey or chicken
- 2 slices thick soft whole grain or white bread
- 1 egg
- 5 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 3 ounces prosciutto, diced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 pinch each kosher salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 (28 ounce) cans crushed San Marzano tomatoes
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1 small-medium spaghetti squash (about 4 pounds)
- 1 parmesan rind, plus parmesan for serving
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
1. Preheat the broiler to high and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Add the ground turkey to a medium bowl. Take the bread and run it under water until dampened, but not soaked. Gently squeeze the excess water out of the the bread and then crumble the bread over the turkey. Add the egg, 2 cloves garlic, ricotta, prosciutto, oregano, cumin, crushed red pepper flakes, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Coat your hands with a bit of olive oil, and roll the meat into 2 tablespoon size balls (will make 10-12 meatballs), placing them on the prepared baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and broil for 3-4 minutes or until browned.
3. To the instant pot, add the tomatoes, remaining 3 cloves garlic, red wine, 1/2 cup water, and a pinch each of kosher salt and pepper. Poke the spaghetti squash all over with a fork. Place the spaghetti squash in the center of the sauce and then arrange the meatballs around the squash. Add the parmesan rind and thyme. Cover and cook on high pressure for 30 minutes or until the squash is easily poked through with a fork, this will depend on the size of your squash. Smaller might only need 15 minutes, while large squash might need 45 minutes.
4. Once done cooking, use the natural or quick release function. Carefully remove the squash from the crockpot and transfer to a cutting board. Wipe away any grease and then carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds, then using a fork, scrape the squash into strands.
5. Divide the spaghetti squash among plates and spoon the meatballs and sauce overtop. Top with parmesan and basil. Enjoy!
Meatballs today…tomorrow something Halloweeny!