Whether you’re in the mood for a fancy Italian dinner, or just want an easy comfort-meal, these Stuffed Italian Meatballs in the Instant Pot or Slow Cooker will satisfy and delight your tummy with their delicious garlic and herbed flavor and gooey cheesy filling.
Even though there’s not a drop of Italian in my blood, for some reason Italian food speaks comfort to me. If I’m down in the “depths of despair,” extra-tired (what mom isn’t?), or even if it’s just chilly outside, Italian food is just the thing to cheer me up. Well, Italian food and a bowlful of ice cream or a mug of hot cocoa…
On days when I’m super busy, the slow cooker is also one of my best friends. Whether I’m making a roast, chicken, or chili, it’s so nice to be able to dump all the ingredients into the pot in the morning when I wake up, and then have it be ready for a meal a few hours later.
Or if I just happen to forget to get things together in the morning, enter the Instant Pot. Same prep as the slow cooker, but done in 20 minutes.
Either way, these stuffed Italian meatballs are not a bunch of fuss, and the results are delicious. If I’m wanting the slow-cooked meal for lunch, then I usually prep the night before and the ingredients are all ready to go in the morning.
Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Meatballs.
These Italian meatballs are sorta the best of both worlds. They pair the delicious, comforting Italian flavors with the ease of the crockpot and/or Instant Pot. And to top it all off, they’re stuffed with cheese for added richness and depth of flavor.
Now, stuffing meatballs with cheese might sound like the opposite of ease, but trust me when I say that it’s really not that hard. And the results are totally worth it. Promise.
Stuffed Italian Meatballs.
I stuffed these meatballs with little chunks of cheddar cheese, but you can feel free to play around with other cheeses. Mozzarella would be equally as delicious, and maybe slightly more Italian. Pepper Jack would be fun too, if you like spicy! Or you can even leave the cheese out, if you’re dairy-free. The meatballs are just as tasty either way!
Adding in a few tablespoons of minced garlic and some Italian seasoning are an easy way to give these meatballs a deliciously homey flavor with a slight kick. If you’re family isn’t into spicy, you can cut back on the amount of garlic, but of course I think they’re just perfect the way they are.
Serve these stuffed Italian meatballs over your favorite zoodles, gluten-free pasta, or eat them plain!
More easy Instant Pot dinners.
Of course these meatballs aren’t the only dinners I enjoy making in my beloved Instant Pot or in the slow cooker. Here are a few more delicious options, if you’re on the lookout for more easy dinners!
- Zuppa Toscana
- Chicken Fajitas
- White Chicken Chili (also with slow cooker option!)
- Paleo Brunswick Stew
- Easy Instant Pot Eye of Round Roast
- Italian Wedding Soup
- Quinoa & Beef Stuffed Chard
- Fall-Apart-Tender Beef Short Ribs
- Easy Marinate Roast (also with slow cooker option!)
In the recipe card I’ve linked to some of the products from my affiliate partners that I like to use. Purchasing through these links won’t cost you anything extra. Thanks!
Stuffed Italian Meatballs
- 2 pounds organic ground beef
- 2-3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 eggs
- 30 – 1/2-inch cubes sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 – 15 ounce cans organic tomato sauce
In large bowl, mix everything but the cheese. Roll mixture into golf-ball sized balls. There should be about 30 of them, give or take.
Take a piece of cheese and press it into the middle of a meatball. Fold and smoosh the meatball around the cheese until it’s covered completely. Roll in your hands to round it out. Repeat until all meatballs are filled.
Cover bottom of Instant Pot or slow-cooker with sauce. Place a layer of meatballs on top and cover with sauce. Add remaining meatballs and cover with remaining sauce.
For the slow cooker:
I use this slow cooker.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours, depending on your slow-cooker.
For the Instant Pot:
Close the lid and set the vent to ‘sealed.’
Press ‘manual’ and set the time to 20 minutes.
When the cooker is done, quick release the pressure.
Serve over your favorite zoodles or gluten-free pasta.