In this healthy Instant Pot pasta with meatballs recipe, everything cooks together all at the same time like! It'll be a new favorite quick and easy kid-friendly dinner, plus it's 21 Day Fix and Weight Watchers friendly!
Hey guys! I thought I'd come at you this week with a super easy, weeknight, family-winner dinner - this healthy Instant Pot pasta and meatballs recipe. It's so cozy, tasty and quick!
It's on our meal plan this week because we just got back from Disney and all I have in me to do are the absolute easiest meals (I also made this IP lemon chicken noodle soup yesterday - another delish and easy meal). Disney people, I know you feel me. Mama is worn out.
Btw, my second favorite thing about this dish (the first being pasta), is that it all cooks together in the Instant Pot at the same time and is on my table in 30 minutes or less! You truly can't beat it.
Ok, let's get into it - a little Q&A and then I'll show you how crazy easy it is to make!
What makes this Instant Pot Pasta and Meatballs recipe healthy?
This recipe uses healthy whole wheat pasta instead of semolina, and lean ground turkey instead of a fattier ground meat, and those two simple swaps make a huge difference without sacrificing taste.
Seriously this recipe is exactly what you want from pasta and meatballs, except that this one is 21 Day Fix approved and Weight Watchers friendly (you can find the counts and points in the post)!
Can this 21 Day Fix Instant Pot pasta and meatballs recipe be frozen?
Can I use lean ground beef instead of ground turkey or chicken?
You can, however, I will say that I tested it with lean ground beef and it just did not come out as well. The beef meatballs came out more dense and tough, whereas the turkey meatballs came out tender and juicy!
Why are there more pasta servings than meatball servings in this recipe?
I wanted to give some extra servings of pasta in this recipe so that you could decide what your pasta serving will be. Have an extra yellow, or even a half of a yellow that day? Then you can add what you need. Also, I find that for the folks in my house not doing 21 Day Fix, they tend to go hard on the pasta, and it's never a bad idea to have extra on hand, so I thought the same might be true for you 🙂
That being said, if you have extra left over, you can always portion out servings and freeze!
Can this pasta and meatballs recipe be made ahead?
What veggies can I serve with this healthy Instant Pot pasta and meatballs recipe?
- A salad is always a great choice with pasta - if you haven't checked out my Copycat Olive Garden Dressing recipe yet, it's so good!
- This Ruth's Chris Chopped Salad copycat recipe from my friend Teresa would also be amazing!
- If you're not a big salad person, I also love some simple sauteed zucchini/yellow squash with some onions, a little bit of butter and seasonings, or
- This Crispy Crumb-Topped Instant Pot Green Beans and Artichokes recipe. Ya know, if you're a nut like me and have an extra Instant Pot laying around. 🙂
How to make Healthy Instant Pot Pasta and Meatballs:
Make your meatball mixture by gently combining lean ground turkey, seasonings, whole wheat panko, romano cheese,
finely chopped onion and egg until well mixed.
Put the dry pasta and water in the bottom of your Instant Pot, then layer on your meatballs, then half of the sauce, put the lid on and pressure cook for 2 minutes. After cooking, immediately release the pressure, and stir in the rest of the sauce. That's it!
If you guys give this Healthy Instant Pot Pasta and Meatballs recipe a try, please let me know what you think! You can leave a comment below or tag me on Insta @thefoodieandthefix. Or if you’re in my private Facebook group, I’d love to see a photo of your creation in there! I hope you enjoy ♥
Don’t forget to save this Healthy Instant Pot Pasta and Meatballs recipe to Pinterest! ⇓
- 1 lb lean ground turkey or chicken (I much prefer these over beef for this recipe!)
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- ⅓ cup finely shredded romano cheese (I just use the small side of my box grater)
- ¼ cup whole wheat panko
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbs dried parsley (can also use fresh, or even leave out altogether, this is mostly for color)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- black pepper, to taste
- 3 cups dry whole wheat penne pasta (10 oz)
- 1 ¾ cup water
- 2 ½ cups of your favorite no-sugar-added pasta sauce, homemade or jarred (24 oz jar)
Mix together all of your meatball ingredients until well incorporated, taking care not to overmix. Set aside.
To your Instant Pot liner, add your pasta and water, pushing pasta into the liquid as much as possible. Then, working quickly (I just like to limit the time the pasta is sitting in the water), roll the meat mixture into 24-26 small meatballs (I use a small 1 ½" cookie scoop for this and it makes it so quick and easy!) and layer them on top of the pasta, in one layer if possible.
Next, layer about half of your pasta sauce on top. Do not stir.
Cook on manual (or pressure cook) for 2 minutes with a quick release. Once pressure is released, remove the lid and stir in the remaining sauce and serve!
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