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Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs Recipe {AIP & GAPS Friendly}

Instant Pot Sweet And Sour Meatballs

I just got an Instant Pot. Yes, I’m kind of late to the game here. It seems everyone has had one for a while now. (Still unsure if you should get one? Check out Katie’s reasons why you should and 1 reason why you shouldn’t)

But I’ve held out. And didn’t even get one until I got it as a gift!

Why? Because I love my crockpot. It’s one of my favorite kitchen appliances. I use it several times a week. And I’m never disappointed with the food that comes out of it.

It probably helps that I’m a major planner (you can read my weekly meal plans for the last five years!). So I usually don’t have to worry about last-minute meal plans. In fact I prefer to do all of my dinner preparations first thing in the morning!

But sometimes life happens – sick kids, unexpected outings, home school agenda went longer then anticipated. You get the idea. Having an Instant Pot makes an affordable real food dinner possible when days don’t go as I planned.

What Does an Instant Pot Newbie Cook?

Instant Pot Sweet And Sour Meatballs

I’ll be honest – I haven’t used it a whole lot yet. But so far my favorite thing to make in my Instant Pot is meatballs.

Meatballs are a staple on our menu. With lots of allergies I can make super simple versions. Then have mix and match sides to meet everyone’s needs. Plus I can get the meatballs ready during nap time (or even one handed with a toddler in my arms) and dinner is a snap.

You’re Just *7 Days* Away From Easier Meals with Your Instant Pot

Whether you have a few fav meals in your Instant Pot or still aren’t using it regularly yet, I can show you the secrets to SAVE time (and money) with my favorite appliance!

May I send you my best hacks to maximize my fav appliance so you can spend more time with your family AND nourish them well?

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One Recipe – Many Diets

I actually came up with this recipe for sweet and sour meatballs years ago when I was on the GAPS diet. It started out as a skillet meal (that my friends and family rave about). Then I got too busy with little kids to stand at the stove before dinner so I turned it into a crockpot meal.

Now I’ve transformed it into an Instant Pot recipe that is not only very allergy friendly and GAPS friendly but also Auto Immune Paleo and keto friendly! It’s pretty much a win for everyone.

I keep spices and seasonings very simple. I have one child with oral SPD (you can read about it here) that can’t handle the slightest bit of spice. You can add your own twist with your favorite spices.

Did I mention these sweet and sour meatballs are loaded with nutrients? They have broth, vegetables and liver!

Instant Pot Sweet And Sour Meatballs, keto meatballs
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Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs Recipe {AIP Friendly}

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 mins



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  1. Combine the beef, salt (Use the code kitchenstewardship for 15% off of your first purchase), basil and liver. Mix well.
  2. Roll beef into meatballs (slightly smaller than a golf ball for meals, half that size for appetizers) and place in the Instant Pot.
  3. Pour the broth, pumpkin and honey over the meatballs.
  4. Turn on the Instant Pot and set to 35 minutes. Allow the IP to naturally release the steam.
  5. If desired remove the meatballs, cook the sauce on the sautee setting until it reaches desired thickness. Put the meatballs back in the sauce until ready to serve. Or drain the sauce and cook it in a sauce pan on the stove for about 5 minutes, until it reduces and thickens.
  6. Serve the meatballs on rice, noodles, cauli-rice, zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash or butternut squash and topped with the sauce.

Where to Find High Quality Meat

Having trouble finding good quality meat locally? Would you like to fill your freezer with local and pastured options?

If you’re in Canada, check out

If you’re in the US Midwest, Chicago to Milwaukee to Detroit to New York, and select cities across the country, check out TruLocalUsa.

If you’re west of the Mississippi, check out Wild Pastures

If you live in any of the 48 contiguous states, I recommend US Wellness Meats and Butcher Box! 

I’m grateful that there’s an online source of incredibly high quality meat that I can always count on. A subscription from Butcher Box includes grass fed, organic, pastured, and free range = all the labels important to your family’s health! And I’ve got a special deal for you!

They almost always have great deals for new customers. Claim your free gifts, and see what bonus they have going on right now. Don’t miss out!

(free shipping too!)

Easy Nutrition is My Priority

As a mom my goal is to feed my kids great-tasting nutrient-dense food. These meatballs fit that description perfectly.

The amount of effort it takes to make them is so minimal too. My eight-year old can make them by herself (especially since she’s been learning to cook with the Kids Cook Real Food ecourse). There is about five minutes of hands-on prep time. Then turn on the IP and let it go.

Instant Pot Meatballs – How Did They Do?

Instant Pot Sweet And Sour Meatballs

I was curious to see how the meatballs in the IP would compare to the ones I make on the stove and in the crockpot. Thankfully they are just as delicious!

The only difference is that the sauce does not thicken while the meatballs cook in the IP. So after the meatballs are done cooking you simply remove them, let the sauce thicken on sautee and then put the meatballs back in for a minute to make sure they’re warm and covered in sauce. You can also thicken the sauce on the stove top. Whichever makes life easier.

=Traditional Cooking School Instant Pot Sourdough Cornbread Pressure Cooker Recipe

My dear friend Wardee at Traditional Cooking School can do just about anything with her Instant Pot – cakes, bread, main dishes, veggies, even “stacking” multiple kinds of food at once!

She’s offering a free sourdough cornbread Instant Pot recipe!

This cornbread is delicious, nutritious, super easy to make, and it only needs 12 minutes of cook time.

Depending on your dietary needs you can serve the meatballs over rice, noodles, cauli-rice (Katie’s IP recipe), zucchini noodles, butternut squash (make it in your IP) or spaghetti squash. I personally love them over some kind of vegetable. Of course we always serve a vegetable on the side as well. So there is potential for three types of vegetables in one meal. That is a great way to make sure you are getting a variety of vitamins and minerals (and help feed your mitochondria too!)

A Quick Party Appetizer

When you need an appetizer for your next party this is the perfect allergy friendly option. Just make the meatballs bite size. Serve in the Instant Pot on the keep warm or low slow cooking function and have a side of toothpicks for guests to serve themselves!

If you’re looking for an easy, nutritious dinner or appetizer that your kids will love this is it! Instant Pot sweet and sour meatballs will soon be a family favorite. 

Instant Pot Sweet And Sour Meatballs
Do you have a favorite meatball recipe? Or a favorite Instant Pot recipe? Share in the comments!
Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

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22 thoughts on “Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs Recipe {AIP & GAPS Friendly}”

  1. I made these tonight and they are so delicious and so easy to make. I did add a little pure wasabi powder to the meat and a little coconut aminos to the sauce.

  2. My family doesn’t really like meatballs, but they’ll eat these. And it’s such a relief that this is low FODMAP, gluten-free, dairy-free, nightshade-free, so that everyone can eat one dish. They freeze really well, and assemble quickly on bulk cooking day. Add the Instant Pot, and it’s a win/win/win.

  3. I made this recipe last week and it was great! Since we don’t have sensitivities to anything I spiced the sauce up with onion, garlic, worchestershire sauce, and a tad bit of vinegar. I also finely minced some bell pepper and onion and mixed it into the meatballs. My family reall enjoyed it and they had no idea they were eating liver and veggies. WIN!

  4. Thank you for a yummy, SIMPLE recipe! The kids and hubby loved it and asked for seconds and Mommy loved it because it was so easy to make!! I put it on top of white rice with KG butter for them, spaghetti squash for me (AIP). ????

  5. Looks delicious. I will still prefer cooking on a stove so as to get that thick sauce without having an additional pot to wash.

    1. The instant pot has a saute setting, no dirtying an extra pot. The sauce can thicken right in the IP.

  6. This looks great.

    Has anyone had the problem of the ring on their Instant Pot holding on to strong smells like peppers and onions? This is frustrating because then when I cook oatmeal or millet for breakfast, there is a hint of pepper flavor… yuck.

    I would love any advice on how to fix this problem. I’ve tried soaking the silicone ring in vinegar water and in baking soda water with no luck.

    1. Hi Lindsey,
      The smell that clings to the silicone ring is a common problem, unfortunately. What many people do is keep two rings on hand and dedicate one to strong-smelling foods like onions and peppers, and one to milder foods like oatmeal.
      Hope that helps!
      -Laura @ Kitchen Stewardship

  7. I don’t have ever dessicated liver. Is there something I can use instead or do just need to decrease the amount of broth used?

    1. Hi Emily, If you don’t have desiccated liver on hand, you could either use a tablespoon or so of fresh liver or just omit it from the recipe altogether. If you decide to use less liquid, use just a smidge less- it won’t make too big of a difference without the desiccated liver in it.
      Enjoy the meatballs!
      Laura @ Kitchen Stewardship

  8. Since I don’t have an Instant Pot (yet?), would you be willing to post the alternate directions for a crock Pot? These look delicious and something my family would like.

    1. Hi Deb, Thanks for asking! If I were to make these meatballs in a crockpot I would prepare the ingredients as written, and then put them in the crock pot on low for 4 hours before checking to make sure they are done. Let us know how it turns out!
      -Laura @ Kitchen Stewardship

    2. It’s basically the same, Deb. I usually cook them on low for about 8 hours so the sauce really thickens. But you can check them part way through to see if they are ready. If the sauce is getting too thick just add a little more broth.

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