These Turkey and Rice Meatballs are covered in a delicious tomato sauce and only take a few minutes in the Instant Pot. They make the perfect weeknight meal and are great for lunch the next day.
This recipe and post is sponsored by Turkey Farmers of Canada and I was compensated for my time. As always, all opinions are my own.
Before I was a mom, quick and easy didn’t always mean quick and easy. I had more time, and our dinners could be quite involved when it came to prep and cooking. Well, having a 4-month old munchkin around sure changes things, and I find myself leaning towards legitimate quick and easy meals. But for real, less than 15 minutes of hands-on prep, most of which I do during her nap time, and I rely heavily on the magic of the Instant Pot.
It’s November, and that means we are well into comfort food season. I love cooking with meatballs because you can do so many different things with them. Enter, our family favourite Turkey and Rice Meatballs – made with ground turkey, long grain white rice (that you add right into the meatballs without cooking first), and smothered in a super simple tomato sauce. Truly the epitome of classic comfort food in my books!
It also classifies as a “pantry staple” meal in our household, as I always have the ingredients on hand, including the ground turkey. I always make sure to have a few packages of ground turkey in the freezer because it’s a versatile protein that works great in any of our family-favourite recipes, including these meatballs, which are traditionally made with beef. I also use ground turkey to make lettuce wraps, chili, meatloaf and tacos.
To make this classic recipe even better, I employ the pressure cooking magic of the Instant Pot. If I were to bake these meatballs in the oven, it would take about an hour (if not longer because the rice has to cook), and who has time for that? Using the Instant Pot allows me to have this meal on the table within about a half hour – and you can’t beat that!
A couple tips for these meatballs:
– I use a 3 tbsp cookie scoop to form the meatballs, and instead of rolling in my hands to make them perfectly round, I just scoop and drop right into the tomato sauce.
-This classic recipe uses canned tomato soup. If that really isn’t your jam, feel free to use another favourite tomato sauce, just make sure you have 2.5 cups of liquid.
-You can jazz up the meatballs by adding finely chopped mushrooms, grated zucchini or even spinach (frozen is easiest to work with, just squeeze out the water as best you can).
- Instant Pot
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice not instant rice
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- salt and pepper
- 1 284 ml can condensed tomato soup + 1 can of water * if not using canned soup, ensure you have 2.5 cups of tomato sauce instead
- In a medium bowl, combine ground turkey, uncooked long grain white rice, onion, garlic, worcestershire, panko and the egg. Season with salt and pepper. Mix until combined.
- In the pot of the Instant Pot or pressure cooker, add the tomato soup and water. Season with salt and pepper and mix to combine.
- Scoop 2.5 -3 tbsp of turkey and form into meatballs. I use a 3 tbsp cookie scoop to get uniform meatballs. They scoop into the perfect shape, and don’t require any additional rolling.
- Place the meatballs into the tomato sauce in the Instant Pot in a single layer. They will touch each other, which is fine, as they will still hold their own shape and remain independent of each other. Close the lid (following manufacture’s guide).
- Using the Manual/Pressure Cooking setting, set the Instant Pot timer to 15 minutes on high pressure.
- Once the Instant Pot cycle has completed, do a quick release (following manufacturers instructions) and once the release is complete, remove the lid and turn the pot off. If you keep it on “warming” it can burn the bottom of the meatballs.
- Serve immediately with your favourite side salad or vegetables.
Nutritional calculation was provided by WP Recipe Maker and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator
I just love that these meatballs are made in the Instant Pot! It makes them so convenient to put together, and they’re delicious. Thanks for sharing!
What a creative alternative to beef meatballs! I bet these would be great with spaghetti squash noodles too. Oops, I think I just drooled. 😉
I’ve never made meatballs in the Instant Pot. I can’t wait to try this. They look moist and delicious. Great flavors I think everyone in the family will like. P.S. You’re little babe is sooooo adorable!
Wow! This meal comes together so quickly with an instant pot. Thanks for sharing!
I am so with you, I have two girls and time is so very precious! I am always on the hunt for REAL quick and easy meals and this one definitely fits the bill. My instant pot can’t wait make these beauties, and I can’t wait to eat them!
Marisa F. Stewart
I don’t have an Instant Pot but my daughter does. I emailed the recipe to her and she made it. She brought me over some for dinner. It was so good. Now I’m really tempted to get an Instant Pot but gee, I can always send the recipes to my daughter and she can make it for me. That is definitely a win-win.
I’m so glad you and your daughter liked the recipe. It’s definitely a family favourite around here!
It is amazing how quickly you can make these meatballs! Such a tremendous difference to those times when the Instant Pot did not exist. Delicious recipe!
There is just nothing better than meatballs in tomato sauce – the dish that can make you feel good any time of the year. LOVE your recipe! 🙂
I guess that’s the best way to use some
Leftover turkey. Thanks for the recipe.
I didn’t know we could make meatballs in the instant pot until I saw your recipe. I am definitely making this.
We just loved these turkey meatballs !! When I saw these were made in the Instant Pot I knew I had to try them. These were so good . Thanks for such an easy and delicious recipe.
I got a burn error message on my Instant Pot when I tried to make this. 🙁 I transferred everything to a pot to cook it.
Sorry to hear you got the burn warning. It’s hard to troubleshoot without knowing all factors involved. I’ve made this countless times with no issues, but I use the can of tomato soup plus water. I’m wondering if your tomato sauce was too thick? If it can’t boil, that could be why you get that message. You can always water down the sauce to thin it out.