These Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Meatballs cook from frozen and are coated in a sweet and tangy sauce made with BBQ sauce and grape jelly. An easy appetizer with just 3 ingredients and a 5 minute cook time!
I’ve updated this popular, classic party appetizer for the pressure cooker, so it’s quicker and easier than ever!
Based on Welch’s Grape Jelly Meatball recipe, these BBQ meatballs are traditionally made in a crockpot. With my Instant Pot recipe, instead of waiting over 3½ hours for them to cook, these Pressure Cooker Sweet BBQ Meatballs go from frozen to ready to serve in about 25 minutes, including the time it takes for the pressure cooker to come to pressure!
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How to Cook Grape Jelly BBQ Meatballs in the Instant Pot / Electric Pressure Cooker
This Instant Pot Grape Jelly Meatball recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Mealthy MultiPot. This holiday classic appetizer recipe is a one pot, dump-and-go meal—perfect for holiday parties!
Choose Favorite Ingredients for Making Grape Jelly Meatball Appetizers
Since this is such a simple recipe, it’s important to choose ingredients with flavors you already like.
If you’re not familiar with a brand of frozen meatballs, you may want to do a test run before serving at a party.
I prefer the beef meatballs at Sam’s Club and thought they had a good flavor. I tested this recipe with the turkey meatballs from Costco, but they didn’t hold together very well and I didn’t like the flavor, so I wouldn’t recommend them.
However, if you have a favorite brand of chicken or turkey meatballs, you can definitely use those!
Can I Use Fresh or Homemade Meatballs?
Yes, you can use fresh, homemade meatballs, with no change to the cook time. Just refrigerate for at least 30 minutes after forming to help them stay together while pressure cooking.
Use Your Favorite Seasonings
This recipe is really easy to customize. If your family traditionally makes meatballs with grape jelly and chili sauce, you can absolutely do that!
If you want to mix it up, other readers use just the BBQ sauce or swap out the grape jelly for cranberry jelly for an extra zing. (Perfect for Thanksgiving!)
Do I Have to Use a Steamer Basket?
Using the steamer basket helps the meatballs to stay together better. However, if you don’t have a steamer basket, you can balance the meatballs on the trivet that came with your pot. In a pinch, you can just place the meatballs right in the pot.
How to Serve Instant Pot BBQ Meatballs
You can serve them on a platter or right out of your Instant Pot on the keep warm setting.
Make sure you have plenty of toothpicks or mini cocktail forks to make them easy to eat. Also, if you’re serving them on a platter, place the extra sauce in a bowl with a serving spoon.
For leftovers, you can also serve them over rice or toast some sub rolls to make easy meatball sandwiches. (These meatballs will reheat well in a microwave at 50% power, on the stovetop, or in your pressure cooker on the saute setting.)
Here’s a quick video to show you just how easy these Pressure Cooker Sweet BBQ Meatballs are to make:If you’re looking for a delicious, super easy appetizer for upcoming holiday parties, give this one a try!
- 1 bag (48 ounce) frozen fully cooked beef meatballs
- 18 ounces BBQ Sauce (I used Masterpiece Original)
- 18 ounces grape jelly
- Add 1 cup water to the pressure cooking pot. Place a steamer basket in the bottom and distribute the frozen meatballs.
- Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and set the cook time for 5 minutes.*
- When the cook time ends, use a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid. Remove the steamer basket and meatballs from the cooking pot. Set aside.
- Discard the cooking water and add barbecue sauce and grape jelly to the cooking pot. Select Sauté and cook, stirring frequently, until the jelly is melted and the sauce is smooth. Add the cooked meatballs and stir to combine.
- Switch to the keep warm setting until ready to serve, stirring occasionally.
*It will take about 15 minutes to reach pressure in addition to the 5 minutes cook time.
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Serving Size:3 meatballs
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 167Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 392mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 1gSugar: 30gProtein: 1g
Love meatballs? Here are some other great Instant Pot meatballs:
You’ll love these Instant Pot Turkey Meatballs, which have all the flavors of a big turkey dinner without all the work!
These Instant Pot Cranberry Balsamic Meatballs are a perfect appetizer filled with holiday flavors: cranberry, rosemary, and balsamic vinegar packed into one savory bite.
If you’re looking for an easy meatball recipe, these Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Chicken Parmesan Meatballs in Creamy Ranch Sauce are quick and easy, and they cook up really quickly in your Instant Pot.