This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Carando®. All opinions are entirely my own.
There’s hardly anything better than Italian meatballs on the table in a half hour, and having dinner taken care of for later in the week, too!
I’ve really grown to love my Instant Pot, and it finds its way into the cooking rotation at least once a week. Sometimes more frequently, if I’m making stock or something similar.
When it comes to weeknight comfort food, pasta is nearly always a go-to, and spaghetti with meatballs is a favorite.
Though, I’ll admit, making homemade meatballs during the week feels like a daunting task. I’m sure it can be done, but after a long day, sometimes a little extra help makes all the difference.
Carando meatballs come in two flavors, Sicilian and Abruzzese, and they’re found right in the fresh meat section at Giant Eagle. Their meatballs are made from premium pork, without fillers and with no MSG, which is why they’re a favorite when a simple, great tasting solution is needed! For this easy weeknight meal, I used two packs of Carando Abruzzese meatballs. They come 12 meatballs to a package, which is more than plenty for one night’s dinner with our family of four, but I wanted to ensure I had leftovers for later in the week.
Because, friends… The best thing about meatballs is that they not only get better with time, they’re also super versatile for meals!
I started the Instant Pot on sauté with a few tablespoons of olive oil int he bottom. Once hot, I added the meatballs (my 6-quart Instant Pot wouldn’t quite hold all 24 meatballs, so I did two batches) and let them brown up a bit on the outside before removing them. They’ll finish cooking later!
The browning leaves all sorts of yummy bits at the bottom of the Instant Pot, and a splash of beef or chicken stock helps to bring them up so you can incorporate them into the sauce. You don’t want to let those go to waste…
Then, in go the tomato sauce and the meatballs, and the Instant Pot gets set for 15 minutes. We all know it takes more than 15 minutes from start to finish when you use an Instant Pot, but since there isn’t a ton of liquid with these meatballs, and because it’s already hot from being on sauté mode for a bit, I found it doesn’t take that long to rise to pressure and then begin the cooking countdown.
Once done, you have an Instant Pot full of meatballs that are super tender, thanks to the sauce they simmered in under pressure.
I serve the meatballs simply with spaghetti that’s been simmered in salty water, cooked al dente, and then tossed in the thin, robust sauce from the meatballs.
And then (here comes the really good part), later in the week I make use of those extra meatballs I prepped.
The leftovers always go into the fridge, along with the remaining sauce. The longer they sit together, the better the flavors meld, and I swear the meatballs get even more tender (though it’s hard to believe that’s possible).
And, a few days later, open-faced meatball subs are on the menu, ready in about 15 minutes, and topped with loads of mozzarella—these are practically drool-worthy.
Slice the meatballs in half and lay them on square ciabatta rolls that have been slathered with leftover sauce. Then sprinkle a generous heap of shredded mozzarella on top. A slice of Provolone would be tasty, too, if you have it.
They get baked at 350°F for about 10 minutes, and then finished off under the broiler for another few minutes until they’re toasty on top.
Carando meatballs are an easy, quality weeknight solution for the whole family that taste great. Find them at your local Giant Eagle and be sure to grab this coupon to save $1 on your next purchase.
- 2 packs Carando Abruzzese meatballs
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup beef or chicken stock
- 1 15.5 ounce jar of marinara sauce
- Set your Instant Pot to sauté and add the olive oil.
- Once it reads "Hot" add 12 meatballs, and brown them for 4 minutes, rotating to brown the outsides. Remove the meatballs to a plate, and add the remaining 12 meatballs, brown them, and then remove them from the Instant Pot to the plate.
- Pour the beef stock in all at once, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the bits. Add the sauce, give a stir, then add the meatballs, stirring them to coat.
- Secure Instant Pot top in place, and place on "Manual" setting for 15 minutes. Once done, let the steam out all at once, or let the pressure release on its own.
- Serve with pasta.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Carando. All opinions are entirely my own.
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