Instant Pot Cilantro Meatballs (keto, paleo, Whole30)
You won’t believe how quick and easy it is to make these healthy Instant Pot Cilantro Meatballs. The flavorful cilantro sauce is the star in this paleo, keto, Whole30 Instant Pot main dish. Serve over cauli-rice, roasted potatoes, or basmati rice for a quick weeknight meal!
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The best recipes always happen to me by accident…
And always by using what I have on hand — rarely by purchasing specialty ingredients. Remember, I don’t do complicated… so, I don’t do complicated ingredients (usually).
What did I have?
I had a batch of my Fermented Cilantro Chimichurri.
Then, I had some pastured ground pork that I had found on sale at my health food store. I had an Instant Pot, obviously. 😛
And, I had an appetite and a shortage of time.
Using what you have to create something new and wonderful is a crazy-awesome thing!
Rather than using my chimi as a chimi, I used it as a sauce. And that tangy sauce + juicy meatballs = heaven on a plate!
Paleo, Keto, & Whole30 Instant Pot Cilantro Meatballs
That’s right… these Instant Pot Cilantro Meatballs are not only super easy to make in a hurry, they’re also suitable for paleo, keto, and Whole30!
No breadcrumbs or eggs needed for these Instant Pot Cilantro Meatballs either, so they’re really allergy-friendly as well.
The one thing I do that’s not *exactly* keto?
I thicken the cilantro sauce with some arrowroot powder.
This step is totally optional and you can skip it if you need to be keto.
Otherwise, I highly recommend it because it thickens a thin sauce into a thicker, gravy-like sauce that coats the meatballs and makes ’em real tasty. That sauce is also hella good on cilantro rice or basmati rice, too. 😉
So, if you’re super keto, skip the arrowroot thickening step. If you’re not keto, go for it!
About that Cilantro Chimichurri (errr, Sauce)…
If you don’t already have a batch of my Cilantro Chimichurri made, no worries! It’s not necessary, because you can create the sauce for these yummy Instant Pot meatballs during your prep.
You’re simply going to make an easy, slightly spicy, and lemon-y cilantro sauce in your blender or food processor.
Combine a bunch of cilantro, the juice of 2 lemons, some garlic, salt, olive oil, and red pepper flakes in your food processor or blender. (You could also use avocado oil.)
Blend until smooth.
How To Make Instant Pot Cilantro Meatballs
Once you’ve got your cilantro sauce made, you can quickly make meatballs.
I used ground pork, because that’s what I found on sale. Ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken would also work. Heck, bison or lamb would be great, too!
Just make sure it’s a clean meat, and preferably, grass-fed/pastured. (Here’s how to find pastured meats in your area.)
Simply season the meat, work that seasoning in, and form meatballs. I LOVE using my tablespoon-size cookie dough scoop to make evenly sized meatballs in a hurry.
Place those meatballs inside your Instant Pot, pour on most of the cilantro sauce, and add a bit of bone broth.
Reserve about 1/4 of the sauce so you can drizzle more on your meatballs after serving! YUM-O!
These flavorful Instant Pot meatballs only need 10 minutes to cook, then you can immediately release the pressure, thicken the sauce (if you choose) and serve!
Also, garnishing these Instant Pot Cilantro Meatballs with extra fresh cilantro is highly recommended. 😉
Side Dish Suggestions:
If you’re paleo, keto, or Whole30 my pick would be plain and salted cauli-rice. You’re gonna want extra cilantro sauce over your rice and meatballs, so a plainly seasoned cauli-rice is perfection. (Here’s how to save money and make your own cauli-rice in minutes!)
If you’re not keto and eat grains, basmati rice is the way to go.
You could also serve these meatballs over some crispy roasted potatoes.
Whatever side you choose, make sure it doesn’t have a bunch of spices that will overpower the cilantro meatballs. Those are really the star of the show!
And, here’s the full recipe!
Instant Pot Cilantro Meatballs (paleo, keto, Whole30)
You won't believe how quick and easy it is to make these healthy Instant Pot Cilantro Meatballs. The flavorful cilantro sauce is the star in this paleo, keto, Whole30 Instant Pot main dish. Serve over cauli-rice, roasted potatoes, or basmati rice for a quick weeknight meal!
- 1bunchcilantroroughly chopped
- 1/2cupavocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1teaspooncrushed red pepper flakes
- 4clovesgarlicpeeled & smashed
- 2poundsgrass-fed ground pork(beef or turkey are also fine)
- 2teaspoonsgarlic powder
- 1teaspoononion powder
- 1/2cupbone broth
To a food processor, add the cilantro, lemon juice, avocado oil, 1-1/2 teaspoon salt, crushed red pepper flakes, and garlic.
Process on high speed until smooth. Set aside.
Mix together ground meat with remaining salt, garlic powder, and onion powder.
Form into tablespoon-size meatballs. I use my tablespoon cookie dough scoop for this.
Place the meatballs into the stainless steel insert of the Instant Pot.
Place the meatballs into the pot.
Pour in 3/4 of the cilantro sauce and the 1/2 cup bone broth.
Place the lid on the Instant Pot, press the Manual button, and set the time for 10 minutes at high pressure.
When the pot beeps, immediately release pressure.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the meatballs from the pot to a plate and set aside.
Press the Saute button and bring the cilantro sauce + broth to a simmer. Cook down for 10 minutes.
Optional: add 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder to the sauce as it simmers to thicken it. This will coat the meatballs, but is not keto.
Once the sauce is reduced (or thickened if you choose), add the meatballs back and stir to coat with the sauce.
Use the remaining cilantro sauce to drizzle over the top of your meatballs or mix with your side dish. Serve!
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Hi — I don’t have a stainless steel insert for my Instant Pot. What do you suggest as a substitute?
What goes inside your Instant Pot? Like, what does your food cook in? That’s the stainless steel insert. They all come standard with one.