Instant Pot Turkey Romesco Meatballs


Swedish meatballs meet Italian meatballs in this international Instant Pot mashup of flavor and quick cooking function. Traditional Swedish style meatballs are often prepared with ground beef or pork and combined with organ meats such as liver. These meatballs are then served with a creamy gravy.

In contrast, the Italian style meatballs contain more herbs and are typically served in a tomato based red sauce. Borrowing ideas from both cuisines, this recipe uses a Swedish style base meatball with ground turkey and liver tossed with Italian herbs and covered in a creamy romesco style sauce. By combining the two, we have a nutritionally sound meal that’s easily prepared in your Instant Pot.

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Organ meats, such as liver, are one of the most nutrient dense foods and therefore are commonly consumed in ancestral diets. Organ meats are not only incredibly nutrient-rich but they also provide a high amount of protein.

Liver is an inexpensive choice for many to add to their diets and can easily be combined with other meats as I’ve done in this dish to enhance flavor and nutritional value. You can find liver direct from the butcher or you can also use a prepared liver sausage like braunschweiger or liverwurst. If you opt for the prepared liver sausage, just check the label to be sure there isn’t additional preservatives or sugars.

Instant Pot Turkey Meatballs in Creamy Romesco Sauce

Turkey Meatballs

Calories 397, Protein 30g, Total Carbs 18g, Fat 23g

Prep time: 20 min

Closed Pot Time: 20 min

Serves: 4


  • 1 pound ground turkey (or chicken)
  • 3 ounces ground liver of any kind, preferably from pasture-raised animals (can use braunschweiger or liverwurst if desired)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon amaranth (optional, provides a firmer meatball – can use 1/4 cup panko instead)
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt (decrease to 1/4 teaspoon if using braunschweiger or liverwurst instead of ground liver)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream or coconut milk

Creamy Romesco Sauce:

  • 1 red pepper, roasted and pureed (use one from a jar or roast it yourself until skin is blackened then peel it and pureé in a blender)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 – 15 oz can crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon almond meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream, plain Greek yogurt or sour cream

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Combine all meatball ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
  2. In a blender, pureé all romesco sauce ingredients.
  3. Pour sauce into the Instant Pot.
  4. Shape turkey mixture into 1 inch balls or use a small cookie/ice cream scoop and drop balls into the sauce.
  5. Secure lid on the pot and close the pressure-release valve.
  6. Select MANUAL and cook at high pressure for 6 minutes. When cooking is complete, use a quick release to depressurize and serve.

Note: The liver/braunschweiger will cook up a different color than the turkey so don’t be alarmed if the inside of your meatballs have small “pink” spots.


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