Instant Pot Mini Swedish Meatballs (Whole 30)


A few weeks ago,  I dropped my Aroma 2 quart pressure cooker and severely cracked the base.  I was a bit bummed when I discovered that the company that made my 2 quart no longer makes a 2 quart model.  Inspired by Christina Lane,  I decided to replace my 2 quart pressure cooker with an Instant Pot 3 quart mini.

I have been reluctant to purchase an Instant Pot because  1.   Instant  Pots are more expensive than other brands of pressure cookers.  More expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better  2.  I belong to several pressue cooking groups on Facebook and it seems to me that Instant Pot users have a more difficult time just getting the darn thing to work.

The 3 quart Lux mini fell into the price range I set.  I am not inexperieced at pressure cooking,  so far the mini is easy to use.  All in all,  I am very happy with my Instant Pot Lux 3 quart Lux mini pressure cooker. I’ll do a complete review in the future.

This recipe is my first attempt at creating something for my mini.  The key to keeping these meatballs whole while  browning them is to get the pot and oil hot before putting in the meatballs.  Also,don’t force the meatballs to turn.  They will release when they are ready to turn.


Swedish Meatballs


1/2 lb ground beef

6 TBS almond meal, use  bread crumbs if not Whole 30

3 TBS lightly beaten egg

¼ tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp allspice

¾ tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper


1 ½ TBS arrowroot, use all-purpose flour if not  Whole 30

½ tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1 ¼ cup water

½ small onion diced

¼ cup coconut or almond milk,  use cow milk if not Whole 30

In a medium bowl, add ground beef, almond meal, egg, nutmeg, allspice, salt and pepper.   Gently combine with your hands.  Fold the meat like bread dough, don’t  squish it  between your fingers or you will have tough meat balls.  Divide the meat into 8 portions.  Shape each portion into a ball  and set aside. Preheat your pressure cooker on the saute function.  When hot, add a splash of oil and add the meatballs   Brown the meatballs on all sides.  Don’t force the meat balls to turn.  The meatballs will release on their own.

When the meat balls are browned, add all the sauce ingredients except the arrowroot.  Lock the lid and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes.  Quick release the pressure.   Remove the meatballs and set aside.  Combine the arrowroot with about 1/4 cup of the liquid in the pressure cooker to make a slurry.   Once the slurry is smooth add it back to the pot and bring to a boil on the saute function.  Cook until the sauce is thickened.  I like to serve the sauce and meatballs over baked potatoes. 


Meatballs 2 Ways (Whole 30)


Apparently, meatballs are a thing.  This week I have made 3 different kinds and two other bloggers that I follow have also made meatball dinners. Although we all made meatballs, we all varied cooking methods, type and flavor.  What’s For Dinner Moms made slowcooker sweet and sour Meatballs.  Kitchen Portfolio made taco meatballs with black bean spaghetti.  I made wonton meatballs, from Nom Nom Paleo, turkey and cranberry meatballs and Thai green curry meat balls from the cookbook, Well Fed 2, baked in the oven.

I can’t speak for the other blogs yet but the three meatball recipes I made were beyond fantastic.  I like to eat them on a salad or just cold out of the fridge for a snack.  You could serve them with pasta with a sauce or in a soup of some kind.  The only changes I made were to the Well Fed 2 recipes.  I made the meatballs out of 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture instead of one tablespoon. I felt the meatballs were too small otherwise.

Turkey and Cranberry Meatballs

2 TBS warm water

½ tsp cream of tartar

¼ tsp baking soda

1 lb ground turkey

1 TBS orange juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup cranberries, coarsely chopped

1 ½ tsp rubbed sage

1 ½ tsp orange zest

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine warm water, cream of tartar and baking soda, mix well. In another bowl, combine the turkey, orange juice, garlic, cranberries, sage, orange zest, salt and pepper. Add the water mixture to the meat mixture. Using your hands mix well. Using 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture shape into 12 balls. Place the balls on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Cook 20 – 25 minutes, or until cooked through.

Thai Green Curry Meatballs

2TBS warm water

1/2  tsp cream of tartar

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 lb ground beef

1/4 cup canned coconut milk

2 ts[ fish sauce

2 TBS green curry paste

2 cloves garlic, minced

10 – 12 basil leaves, minced

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ginger

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the warm water, cream of tartar and baking soda. Miix well. In another medium bowl, combine the ground beef, coconut milk, fish sauce, green curry paste, garlic, basil, salt, ginger, and pepper.  Add the water mixture to the meat mixture.  Using your hands, Mix well.  Using 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture shape into 12 balls. Place the balls on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Cook 20 – 25 minutes, or until cooked through.

Porcupine Meatballs

IMG_1405 (3)My mom would tell you she isn’t a very good cook. I would disagree. My mom is a great cook. She just isn’t a fancy cook and that is okay. When I was a kid, she worked outside the home, first demonstrating that new fangled gadget, the microwave and then in her own business. So when it came to feeding her family she didn’t have time to spend hours hunting down hard to find ingredients or spend hours standing over a stove. My mom needed meals she could get on the table in a timely manner and that her family would eat. Not always an easy thing to do with three kids.

Porcupine meatballs were a favorite meal of mine was a kid and still are as an adult. I tweaked the recipe to remove the processed instant rice and cream of tomato soup all without adding any cooking time or changing the flavor of the recipe. I like to serve a baked potato on the side so I can smother it with the tomato gravy.

Porcupine Meatballs

¼ cup long grained white rice
¼ cup water
½ tsp salt
dash pepper
dash garlic powder
½ lb ground beef
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
½ cup water
1 TBS brown sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire
In a bowl combine ¼ cup water, rice, salt, pepper, garlic powder and ground beef. Mix well. Shape into 1 ½ inch balls. In a large skillet, brown the meatballs and drain off the fat. Combine the tomato sauce, ½ cup water, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well and pour the sauce over the meatballs. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes until meatballs are cooked and rice is tender.
Adapted from my Mom’s recipe