These Instant Pot BBQ Meatballs only require three ingredients and take 15 minutes to make. Sweet honey BBQ meatballs make a perfect barbecue plate or a classic party appetizer.
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These are perfect for your end-of-summer barbecue parties. Garnish with green onions (pictured) or cilantro.
Serve on toothpicks or cocktail sticks or on a BBQ platter alongside macaroni and cheese, baked beans, mashed potatoes, or green beans.
These sweet honey BBQ meatballs pair well with jalapeño macaroni and cheese and classic no-boil macaroni and cheese. For another party favorite, try Hawaiian meatballs.
This recipe only calls for three ingredients.
- frozen meatballs (fully cooked)
- BBQ sauce
See the recipe card for quantities.
First, place a trivet in the bottom of your Instant Pot (read more below about why a trivet is important).
Place the meatballs, BBQ sauce, water, and honey inside, tossing the ingredients to cover the meatballs.
Set to Pressure Cook on High Pressure for 5 minutes. When the cooking time is complete, do a quick release.
This is a classic recipe, but there are a few substitutions you can make, depending on what you have in the pantry:
Frozen meatballs - Using frozen meatballs is important for this recipe. You must use frozen, fully cooked meatballs. Homestyle, Italian, Pork, Turkey, and Swedish-style frozen, fully cooked meatballs will all work.
BBQ Sauce - I generally use store-brand Original barbecue sauce. Most barbecue sauces will work well with this recipe, but you may avoid honey BBQ since this recipe also calls for honey.
On the flip side, you can use a honey BBQ sauce and skip the added honey. If you're going wild with a tangy mustard sauce, you also may want to skip the honey (or you'll end up with honey mustard meatballs).
Honey - Honey sweetens the sauce but agave nectar and maple syrup could be good substitutes. You can always stir the honey in at the end to gauge sweetness.
Of course, this Instant Pot BBQ Meatballs recipe calls for a pressure cooker. I use an old version of the Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart. This recipe is small, so a smaller 4-quart pressure cooker would work, too.
Do I really need an Instant Pot trivet?
I 100% recommend using a trivet with this recipe. The biggest gripe about the Instant Pot is the dreaded burn notice. Sometimes, no matter how much liquid I use or how short of a cook time I use, I get the error. So, whenever it is appropriate for the recipe, I use a trivet.
A trivet elevates the meat off of the bottom of the Instant Pot liner so there is no risk of meat getting stuck to the bottom of the pan. My Instant Pot came with a trivet, but they are available on Amazon to purchase individually. Just make sure it fits your model.
What if I don't use a trivet and I get a Burn notice?
Luckily for you, these frozen meatballs cook FAST in the Instant Pot. If your pot gets a burn error, hit cancel, do a quick release, and check the meatballs. You may be surprised to find they're ready to go.
Instant Pot BBQ Meatballs
- 26 oz frozen meatballs fully cooked
- 2 cups BBQ sauce
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup honey
- Place trivet in the bottom of the Instant Pot liner.
- Add frozen meatballs, BBQ sauce, water, and honey, spreading the sauce over the meatballs but do NOT stir.
- Pressure cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. After cooking, do a quick release.
Kathy Smith says
Thanks! I used to use a crockpot or roaster! Thanks for figuring out how long to cook! Once finished I did take the trivets (had to use 2 different ones to keep the meatballs up off the bottom) and then stirred and just let them sit for 10 minutes! DELICIOUS! Again thanks!
Kelsey Smith says
Very happy to hear it worked out!
This is a classic.