It’s hard to go wrong with meatballs, but this particular version makes me happy on so many levels. The meatballs are tender and juicy, and once covered in a nice cozy blanket of tomato sauce and melted mozzarella, they’re pretty hard to resist. I like to serve them over sautéed zucchini noodles or in radicchio or cabbage leaves to add a little texture and crunch.
- 4 servings
- Active Time
- 15 minutes
- Total Time
- 25 minutes
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)
- 1/2 cup crushed pork rinds or almond meal
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil for garnish
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can whole peeled plum (Italian) tomatoes, undrained
- 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- In a medium bowl, combine the egg, 1 cup of the mozzarella, the Parmesan, pork rinds, chopped basil, and garlic. Add the chicken and mix gently using your hands to combine. Form into 28 meatballs about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
- Select SAUTÉ on the Instant Pot. When the pot is hot, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add about half of the meatballs to the hot oil and cook until browned on all sides, turning the meatballs as needed, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the meatballs to a plate. Repeat with the remaining meatballs and 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Add the tomato paste to the pot. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Add the canned tomatoes and their juice, breaking them apart as you do so. Stir in the dried basil and garlic powder. Return the meatballs to the pot. Select CANCEL.
- Secure the lid on the pot and close the pressure-release valve. Set the pot to HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, use a natural release to depressurize.
- Top the meatballs with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella and let stand until melted before serving with the basil leaves.
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