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Chicken / Entrees / Pressure Cooker

Easy Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs

These easy instant pot sweet and sour meatballs are the perfect appetizer or easy weeknight dinner. Homemade chicken meatballs in a quick homemade sweet and sour sauce. For an even quicker meal, substitute premade frozen meatballs and jarred sauce. These meatballs make a great meal prep or quick weekday rice bowl, they will keep fresh in the fridge for 4-5 days.

bowl of soba noodles with sweet and sour meatballs

A family favorite – Tender chicken meatballs in a tangy sauce

Highlights of the sweet and sour meatballs recipe:

  • Homemade sweet and sour sauce is easy to make
  • Can substitute store-bought short cuts
  • Meatballs can be premade and frozen until needed
  • Great for the whole family
  • Customizable
  • Budget friendly
  • Great for an easy weeknight dinner or quick meal prep lunch
  • Great main dish
chicken meatballs topped with homemade sweet and sour sauce

Make your own meatballs or substitute store-bought for a quick swap!

Serving ideas & variations for this instant pot recipe:

  • Serve over cauliflower rice or spaghetti squash for a low-carb option
  • Serve over soba noodles with sautéed red peppers or broccoli
  • Use lean beef meatballs or turkey meatballs
  • Add in sweet pineapple chunks
  • Substitute sweet and sour sauce for sweet chili sauce
  • Sub frozen chicken bites for an easy sweet and sour chicken over a bed of rice

Tools I used for this favorite meatball recipe:

Homemade chicken meatballs are so easy to make! Make a big batch to keep in the freezer in a freezer bag for quick meals.

What to serve with sweet and sour meatballs?

I like to serve my sweet and sour meatballs in a white rice bowl or over soba noodles. These go well with edamame, steamed broccoli, bell peppers, or sautéed green beans.

How do I keep my meatballs from falling apart?

A good mixture of binding agents is important. Both whole eggs and breadcrumbs are great for keeping meatballs from falling apart. A simple way to check that the meatballs wont fall apart while cooking is while rolling the meatballs. If the meatballs do not stay together while rolling, they will most likely fall apart while cooking. If your raw meatball mixture is falling apart, increase the amount of breadcrumbs as needed. You can also chill/freeze the meatballs before baking to help them hold their shape.

How do I make sure my instant pot meatballs are moist?

Pressure cooking meatballs in the instant pot keeps the inside light and moist. The key is to start on the low end of time and add more as needed! Cooking in a sauce, such as this sweet and sour sauce, is another key

Grocery store list & substitutions:

  • Ground chicken (substitute ground turkey or lean ground beef, alternatively use store-bought meatballs)
  • Panko bread crumbs (or substitute regular bread crumbs)
  • Large whole eggs
  • Garlic
  • Fresh ginger
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Ketchup
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Soy sauce (substitute coconut aminos or tamari)
  • Brown sugar
  • Corn starch
  • Limes, green onions, sesame seeds, or cilantro for garnish

If you like these easy homemade meatballs, you’ll love these easy recipes…

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Meal Prep Sticky Sesame Meatballs

Meal Prep Air Fryer Beef Meatballs

Air Fryer Chicken Meatball Bowls

Homemade Meatballs with Sweet Barbeque Glaze

Freezing the meatballs before cooking helps them stick together. Extra sauce can be spooned over the meatballs before serving!

Instructions for this quick meal:

  • In a large mixing bowl combine the ground chicken, bread crumbs, eggs, salt, pepper, garlic, and ginger. Gently mix with your hands until evenly combined. Use a portion scoop to scoop 1 oz. meatballs. Roll into balls and place on a sheet pan. Freeze for 20-30 minutes until hard.*
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, apple cider, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and cornstarch. Whisk well to combine. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until thick and reduced. 4-6 minutes.
  • In the base of an instant pot or pressure cooker, combine the frozen meatballs and the homemade sweet and sour sauce. Make sure the meatballs are coated well. Secure the lid onto the pressure cooker. Turn on, select “Pressure Cook” setting, set to “high pressure” for 10-12 minutes, and start.
  • Once the timer has expired and the meatballs have finished cooking, allow the pressure to release naturally. Allow to cool slightly, serve as is or in a rice bowl topped with extra sauce. Leftover meatballs will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Notes:

*Alternatively you could use store-bought frozen meatballs. I freeze the meatballs before placing in the pressure cooker so they don’t fall apart.

*The sweet and sour sauce recipe is simple, alternatively you could substitute store-bought

Easy Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs

5 from 2 votes
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Keyword: Chicken, instant pot recipes, Meatballs, Rice Bowls
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Chilling time:: 30 minutes
Total Time: 57 minutes
Servings: 5 Servings
Calories: 320kcal
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Equipment:

Ingredients:  

For the meatballs:

  • 1 lb. Ground chicken
  • 2 Whole eggs
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • 2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tbsp Ginger, minced

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Ketchup
  • 3 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1-2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp Ginger, minced
  • 2 tsp Cornstarch

Instructions:

  • In a large mixing bowl combine the ground chicken, bread crumbs, eggs, salt, pepper, garlic, and ginger. Gently mix with your hands until evenly combined. Use a portion scoop to scoop 1 oz. meatballs. Roll into balls and place on a sheet pan. Freeze for 20-30 minutes until hard.*
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, apple cider, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and cornstarch. Whisk well to combine. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until thick and reduced. 4-6 minutes.
  • In the base of an instant pot or pressure cooker, combine the frozen meatballs and the homemade sweet and sour sauce. Make sure the meatballs are coated well. Secure the lid onto the pressure cooker. Turn on, select "Pressure Cook" setting, set to "high pressure" for 10-12 minutes, and start.
  • Once the timer has expired and the meatballs have finished cooking, allow the pressure to release naturally. Allow to cool slightly, serve as is or in a rice bowl topped with extra sauce. Leftover meatballs will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Notes:

*Alternatively you could use store-bought frozen meatballs. I freeze the meatballs before placing in the pressure cooker so they don’t fall apart.

Nutrition:

Serving: 1 servingCalories: 320 kcalCarbohydrates: 37 gProtein: 21 gFat: 10 gSaturated Fat: 3 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 4 gTrans Fat: 0.1 gCholesterol: 143 mgSodium: 1854 mgPotassium: 649 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 26 gVitamin A: 179 IUVitamin C: 1 mgCalcium: 67 mgIron: 2 mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

sweet and sour meatball bowl with soba noodles, lime, green onions, and cilantro

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