Healthy Turkey Meatballs that taste like the holidays, but are ready in less than twenty minutes. Serve with a side of Cranberry Jalapeno Sauce for an absolute memorable dinner or appetizer.
What to do when you’re craving the flavors of the holidays, but you’re in a lazy, comfy pants wearing, Crio Bru drinking, sittin’ by the fire, kind of mood? Welp, you bust out some five minute Turkey and Sage Meatballs and pull out a bag of Cranberry Sauce from the freezer. Dinner is done before you even have a chance to finish your last sip of Crio. Are you on board?
Want to kick it up an extra notch? Take an extra five minutes to fry up some fresh sage leaves to serve alongside the meatballs and dice up a jalapeno to mix into your thawed cranberry sauce and suddenly you’re serious competition to any 5 star restaurant.
Meatballs in the pressure cooker are a dream come true! They are juicy, tender, and won’t splatter a speck of grease all over your stove top. Yes, you’re missing out on the browned crust you get from frying them, but once you taste these flavorful balls of joy, you won’t care.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THESE HEALTHY TURKEY MEATBALLS
- Since they’re not cooked in a pan of oil, you can eat 10. Heck you could eat the whole batch and still feel pretty dang awesome
- No babysitting meatballs on the stove top. Use that time to call your mama or play Bingo with your kids instead
- A mix of parmesan, sage, basil, and parsley will affectionately remind you of a classic turkey dinner, but your cooking and clean up will be a fraction of the time
- Anybody else have bags of frozen cranberry sauce takin’ up space in their freezer? This recipe will put that to good use.
HOW TO MAKE MEATBALLS IN THE INSTANT POT
- Add all the ingredients to a bowl
- GENTLY mix the ingredients, just until combined. Don’t overwork it!
- Use a small ice cream scoop to form uniform meatballs
- Arrange on top of a trivet in the pressure cooker pot
- Cook for 5 minutes with a 10-minute natural release
- Serve with skewers and dip!
I’ve said more than once that I’ve had enough turkey dinners in my lifetime to satisfy me for life. My favorite thing ever though is to take those classic flavors and give them an unexpected twist.
These Turkey and Sage Meatballs are a perfect example of this! Imagine the possibilities!
- Serve them on top of a piping hot bowl of creamy Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes and top with a Cranberry Jalapeno Sauce “gravy”, and a crumble of crispy fried sage leaves and you’ve got a drop-dead awesome version of “Thanksgiving Dinner”
- Ultimate Meatball Sandwich: Spread the top half of a ciabatta roll with Sir Kensington’s Avocado Oil Mayo, Cranberry Jalapeno Sauce, lightly mashed or sliced avocado, and crispy bacon slices. On the bottom half, pile on the meatballs and top with slices of brie. Throw it under the oven broiler until the brie is soft and melty. Favorite meatball sammie of all time!
- As an easy appetizer, serve with skewers and Cranberry Apple Sauce. Simple and amazing
Whether you live and breathe for the classic holiday dinner or crave a twist like I do, give these a try! Better yet, make a double or triple batch and freeze some for an easy dinner another day.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST MEATBALLS
Did you know there is an art to makin’ meatballs? A few simple tricks can take you from “meh” to “Yeah!”
- Use a higher fat meat for a tender meatball, OR use a leaner meat and add grated parmesan and onion to keep it moist
- Use a binder to keep the meatballs from falling apart. For this recipe I use eggs. Other recipes use soaked breadcrumbs or oil
- Season well. As a rule of thumb, I use 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper per pound of meat
- Use a small ice cream scoop to keep the balls the same size so they all cook in the same amount of time
- Don’t pack the meatballs! After scooping them with your ice cream scoop, gently finish forming them by hand
- Cook them in a pressure cooker. The moist environment keeps them moist instead of drying them out. Bonus: No grease spatters or smoky kitchen!
HOW TO MAKE CRISPY FRIED SAGE LEAVES
Crispy fried sage leaves are incredibly easy and addictive. Here’s a quick how to:
Heat 1/2 – 1 inch of olive oil or ghee in a skillet just until shimmering. Add sage leaves one at a time, don’t overlap. Fry until crisp, about 15 – 20 seconds, use a fork to flip and crisp the other side. Remove and place on paper towels, sprinkle immediately with a pinch of salt. Repeat, adding more oil or ghee if needed.
HOW TO COOK MEATBALLS FROM FROZEN IN THE INSTANT POT
When I cook from frozen, my rule of thumb is to cook them for 1 1/2 the original time. I cook fresh meatballs on a trivet for 5 minutes, from frozen I cook them for 7. This time will vary if the meatballs are larger, of course.
TOOLS/INGREDIENTS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT TURKEY MEATBALLS
Instant Pot Turkey Meatballs
Moist, tender turkey meatballs filled with holiday flavors and served with a side of Cranberry Jalapeno Sauce
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: about 16 meatballs
- Category: Entree
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
For the Turkey Meatballs
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1/2 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs (or other breadcrumbs)
- 1/2 cup grated sweet or yellow onion
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 6 small sage leaves minced or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage or 3/4 teaspoons ground sage
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Optional for topping:
- fried sage leaves (see notes)
Optional for serving:
For the Turkey Meatballs
- In a large bowl, add ground turkey, breadcrumbs, onion, parmesan cheese, garlic, egg, parsley, basil, sage, salt, and pepper.
- Gently mix by hand, just until combined.
- Using a small cookie scoop (about a 2 teaspoon scoop), form meat into balls.
- Pour 1 cup water into the pressure cooker pot and place a trivet inside.
- Arrange meatballs in a circular pattern on top of the trivet.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, use a natural release for 5 minutes and then release any remaining pressure.
- Serve hot with a side of dip or on top of a bowl of mashed potatoes
- Prepare meatball mixture and place balls on a cookie sheet. Set in the freezer until frozen then place in a freezer safe ziplock bag.
- When ready to cook, arrange frozen meatballs on a trivet as directed above.
- Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes and continue with step 7.
To make Fried Sage Leaves
- Heat 1/2 – 1 inch of olive oil or ghee in a skillet just until shimmering.
- Add sage leaves one at a time, don’t overlap. Fry until crisp, about 15 – 20 seconds, then use a fork to flip and crisp the other side.
- Remove and place on paper towels, sprinkle immediately with a pinch of salt. Repeat with more sage leaves, adding more oil or ghee if needed.
To make Cranberry Jalapeno Sauce
- Add 1 seeded and diced jalapeno to Instant Pot Cranberry Apple Sauce and cook as directed or add 1 seeded and diced jalapeno to already prepared Cranberry Sauce
- To double the recipe, add a second trivet and layer more meatballs. Make sure the 2 layers of meat do not sit directly on top of each other.
Keywords: pressure cooker, instant pot, meatballs, easy dinner