Instant Pot Swedish Meatballs

Instant Pot Swedish meatballs simmered in a delicious creamy gravy. The meat is a combination of ground beef, pork, breadcrumbs, and spices to create a flavorful appetizer or entree. The Instant Pot braises and pressure cooks the meatballs and sauce all in one device.

Ingredients for Swedish meatballs

  • 1:1 ratio of ground beef and ground pork
  • Panade (cream, egg and breadcrumb mixture)
  • Grated onions
  • Minced garlic
  • Allspice
  • Nutmeg
  • Baking powder

Combining pork and beef enhances the taste of the mixture and provides a slight sausage-like texture. Typically a soft, fork-tender density is desired for traditional meatball recipes, however, some springiness is welcomed for the Swedish version. What makes the flavors really pop is the unexpected, yet delightfully bold, sweet spices from nutmeg and allspice.

How to cook Swedish Meatballs in the Instant Pot

  1. Use the saute function to brown the meatballs. This enhances the surface flavor and color through the Maillard reaction.
  2. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes, then naturally release for 10 minutes to allow for gradual carry-over cooking.
  3. Thicken the sauce at the end of cooking using the saute function. This prevents the cream from curdling.

Sauce Ingredients

  • Beef broth
  • Cornstarch
  • Heavy cream

The gravy-based sauce typically uses a roux of flour and butter to thicken. However, the starches could scorch in the elevated heat environment in the Instant Pot. To get around this issue, I use a cornstarch slurry after the pressure is released. This quickly adds body to the sauce, helping it to cling to the meat.

The cream is added last with the heat turned off. Gently incorporating the dairy product helps to prevent curdling, which could totally ruin the texture. A little bit of lemon juice provides some acidity to subtly cut the richness of the sauce.

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