Instant Pot BBQ Meatballs (+ stovetop instructions too!)

This recipe features both Instant Pot and Stove Top instructions to make BBQ Meatballs. With your Instant Pot, these meatballs are a modern spin on the classic party appetizer or you can server them with rice or pasta and a side dish of veggies for dinner. But we bet you can’t just eat one!


  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1 ½ to 2 pounds of frozen meatballs ( you can use regular or vegetarian: 2 bags of Gardein meatballs, or 1 bag of Ikea meatballs)
  • 1 ½ c. barbecue sauce
  • 1 14-oz. can whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch mixed with 1 Tbsp. water


  • Pour the water into the Instant Pot.
  • Add the frozen meatballs on top.
  • Pour the barbecue sauce on top of the meatballs.
  • Mash up the cranberry sauce and pour that on top of the barbecue sauce, using a spoon to cover the meatballs slightly.
  • Turn the Instant Pot on and set it to high pressure/manual for 5 minutes, being sure to also set it to sealing.
  • Once the Instant Pot has come to pressure and cooked for 5 minutes, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, turn the valve to venting and allow the pressure to release fully.
  • Remove the lid of the Instant Pot.
  • Pour the cornstarch slurry into the pot and stir gently.
  • Set the Instant Pot to sauté.
  • Allow the sauce to thicken slightly and bubble while stirring about 2-5 minutes.
  • Turn off the Instant Pot or change the setting to keep warm.


The frozen meatballs take about 20 minutes to come to pressure before the 5-minute cooking time. Be sure to plan accordingly!

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can prepare these on the stovetop. Simply place the barbecue sauce, cranberry sauce, and meatballs in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until the sauce coats the meatballs, and the meatballs are cooked through in the centres. Optionally, add the cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce.