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Porcupine balls were a classic childhood favorite made from a boxed flavored rice mix and beef, garnering their name from the “spikes” coming out of the meatballs. This healthy, low carb Instant Pot porcupine meatball recipe is a twist on this family classic.
Do you remember porcupine meatballs from when you were a child? Super yummy, quite fun to eat (I mean, the name alone made them taste better, right?), and also fun to make.
But not exactly low in carbs or loaded with healthy ingredients.
Enter these healthy, low carb porcupine meatballs made in the Instant Pot. The keto meatballs are sure to be a hit with everyone and you can pair them with your favorite cooked vegetables or a crisp tossed salad for an easy weeknight dinner.
Easy Instant Pot Dinner For The Family
Are you as enamored with your Instant Pot as I am? Seriously, these handy kitchen tools make dinnertime so much simpler. Everything comes together in one pot, cooks quickly, cleans easily, and you don’t have to stand over it.
Another great perk to using the Instant Pot for your dinners is that it doesn’t heat up the house like the oven or need all day like a slow cooker, so your house isn’t made even hotter during the summer months and you don’t need to think about dinner while you’re having your morning coffee.
I use THIS INSTANT POT, but any programmable pressure cooker that you have will do. And if you don’t have one? Well, I totally suggest changing that as soon as you’re able.
For this keto meatballs recipe, you’ll mix all your ingredients together in a bowl, sauté the meatballs in the Instant Pot liner, then cook them under pressure and they are ready to serve. Super easy!
What Ingredients Are In A Low Carb Porcupine Meatballs Recipe?
So how do you make this traditional high carb comfort food into a low carb meal for the family? Easy!
You swap out boxed rice mix for real, flavorful spices and cauliflower rice. And it tastes so much better for it, too.
So what will you need to make these low carb meatballs?
- Ground beef
- Cauliflower rice (bagged is fine)
- Celery salt
- Garlic powder
- Olive oil
- Tomato sauce (you could also use my sugar free pizza sauce here!)
- Beef broth
- Worcestershire sauce
How To Make Healthy Keto Meatballs In The Instant Pot
This is a fun recipe to assemble, and an easy one. In fact, get your kids in the kitchen with you! This is a meal older children can even make on their own, if you’ve taught them kitchen safety. It’s that simple.
Just gather a mixing bowl, your ingredients, your Instant Pot, and your favorite meatball scoop (or your hands!).
How To Make Porcupine Meatballs
To start, pull out your large mixing bowl. Add in your ground beef, riced cauliflower, half of your diced onion, celery salt, garlic powder, dried parsley, black pepper, egg, and some of the tomato sauce.
Mix it together really well with your hands (or a spoon if you prefer).
Now shape it into meatballs. While you can totally go old-school here and do it all by hand, you can also use a “cookie scoop” to do it.
Saves time and mess, plus makes them all come out the same size which really helps them cook evenly. Once I started doing it this way, I’ve stuck with it!
Cooking Your Meatballs In The Instant Pot
This one of the many reasons the Instant Pot is fantastic. Set it to sauté mode and let it heat up. Add the olive oil the rest of the diced onions. Once it’s sizzling, sprinkle in the garlic powder and let things cook until fragrant (your onions will become translucent).
Isn’t it fabulous that you don’t need to use a skillet for this step like you do when you make porcupine meatballs in the slow cooker? One-pot cooking is fantastic!
Now pour in your beef broth, using a spatula or spoon to scrape the “bits” off the bottom of the Instant Pot pan. This simple step actually adds a good bit of flavor, so don’t skip it!
Once that’s all mixed together, gently pour in the rest of the tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce, then stir it all together.
Lastly, add the meatballs. Now it’s time to seal your Instant Pot and wait for dinner to be ready!
Pro Tip For Making Your Porcupine Meatballs Not Greasy
If you use beef that ends up rendering a lot of fat, layer up some paper towels and lay it on top of the sauce before you disturb them with a spoon to serve.
This will soak up a little of the sauce…and all of the grease!
Serving Your Pressure Cooker Meatballs
Now they are ready to serve!
You can make something as simple as roasted broccoli for the side (and even dip it in some of the extra sauce!), a summery cucumber and tomato salad, or jazz it up for company (or just because you want to!) with a wedge salad.
Everyone is going to love this simple, classic, now-healthy comfort food dinner. Your kids will enjoy the “fun factor” of eating porcupine meatballs and the adults will enjoy the awesome flavor enhanced by some nostalgia for this favorite childhood meal.
- 2.5 Pounds Ground Chuck
- 1 (12 ounce) Bag Chopped Cauliflower Rice
- 1 Onion, finely diced, divided
- 1 Teaspoon Celery Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder, divided
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 Egg
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 (15 ounce) Can Tomato Sauce, divided
- 1 Cup Water or Beef Broth
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
- In a large mixing bowl, combine beef, cauliflower, half of the onion, celery salt, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, dried parsley, black pepper, egg, and 2 tablespoons tomato sauce.
- Shape into meatballs.
- Set electric pressure cooker to “saute” function until hot.
- Add olive oil, onion and remaining ½ teaspoon garlic powder.
- Cook until softened, stirring often.
- Pour beef broth or water into the pressure cooker and scrape the bottom to remove stuck bits.
- Stir in tomato sauce and worcestershire sauce.
- Add meatballs and cover with lid, setting the pressure valve to sealing. Set to cook on “pressure cook” or “manual” for 15 minutes at high pressure.
- When the cycle completes, quick release or allow pressure to release naturally. Serve meatballs topped with sauce.
You can use a large scoop to avoid rolling out meatballs.
If your meatballs render a lot of fat, use several paper towels (folded together) to remove the grease. Gently, lay paper toweling over the sauce and let the excess oil soak into the paper before removing and discarding the paper towels.
McCormick Celery Salt, 4 oz
365 Everyday Value, Parsley, 0.25 Ounce
McCormick Garlic Powder, 3.12 oz
Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil, First Cold Pressed, Low Acidity, 68 Ounce
Muir Glen Organic Tomato Sauce, No Sugar Added, 15 Ounce Can
365 Everyday Value, Organic Worcestershire Sauce, 5 Ounce
Instant Pot IP-LUX60 V3 Programmable Electric Pressure Cooker, 6Qt, 1000W
Norpro Stainless Steel Scoop, 50MM (3 Tablespoons)
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Serving Size5 meatballs
Amount Per Serving Calories 245 Total Fat 12g Carbohydrates 10g Fiber 3g Protein 22g