Pressure cooker Italian meatball subs are a great way to make a quick, easy, and inexpensive shortcut meal for your family. Perfect for a busy weeknight!
Instant Pot meatball subs are a quick and easy dinner, thanks to frozen meatballs and a jar of sauce!
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Plunging hands into the cold mixture of eggs, bread crumbs, meat, and herbs to make homemade meatballs is strangely therapeutic.
Turning it over and through my fingers, making something out of nothing, brings a sense of deep satisfaction.
I can make a mean pot of from-scratch meatballs and marinara. And I love doing it whenever I get a chance.
But here’s the thing–I don’t often get the chance. I know you can relate.
Our days are filled with important responsibilities and commitments and little people who need to be fed.
Some days, mama needs a shortcut meal up her sleeve. Friend, this is one of those meals.
Shortcut Instant Pot Meatball Subs
Here’s what I’ve learned–it’s totally acceptable to take shortcuts.
Not only is it acceptable, but sometimes it’s necessary. Sometimes, we absolutely need quick and easy options.
Yes, making delicious, soul-warming food from scratch is an art form. But you know what?
Being able to throw together a few ingredients for a quick and easy meal that still tastes delicious is an art, too.
I love using frozen meatballs in my Instant Pot Hawaiian meatballs, Instant Pot albondigas soup, Instant Pot sweet and sour meatballs, Instant Pot Swedish meatballs, and cheesy Instant Pot Italian meatballs and rice.
In fact, I have a whole list of Instant Pot frozen meatballs dinner ideas for you!
That’s where these Instant Pot meatball subs come in. They’re simple to make, incredibly tasty, and an inexpensive weeknight meal for your family.
Of course you can use homemade meatballs if you prefer (I often freeze a batch to have on hand for busy nights), or just grab a bag from the grocery store.
Making Instant Pot Frozen Meatball Subs
While you don’t have to have a pressure cooker for this meal, it does make it a little faster.
Cooking meatballs in the pressure cooker is faster than using the stove top, but you can always cook on the stove if you don’t have a pressure cooker. My electric pressure cooker is an Instant Pot, which I love!
All you need is a package of frozen, fully-cooked Italian meatballs, a jar of spaghetti sauce, some cheese, and a package of sub rolls.
I like to “doctor up” jarred sauces a bit, so I’ve included my tweaks in the recipe as well. But feel free to omit those additions if you don’t have them or don’t want to use them.
How to Make Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Italian Meatball Subs
It’s really easy to prepare these Instant Pot Italian meatball subs!
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Frozen meatballs
- Jar of spaghetti sauce
- Optional seasonings: dried basil, dried oregano, Italian seasoning, garlic powder
- Hoagie buns or rolls
- Sliced provolone cheese
How to Make Subs with Frozen Meatballs:
Cook the meatballs. Now technically, frozen meatballs are already cooked, so really we’re just reheating them here. You’ll start by placing the trivet (or you can use a steamer basket, if you have one) in the insert pot of your Instant Pot.
Next, pour in a cup of water, then set the frozen meatballs on top of the trivet. Lock the lid into place and set the vent to the sealed position.
These cook for 6 minutes at high pressure, followed by a quick release.
Drain the water. Carefully remove the lid once the pressure has released and lift the trivet or steamer basket of meatballs out. Dump out the water, then put the meatballs directly into the insert pot.
Simmer with sauce. Add in the jar of spaghetti sauce and the herbs (if using). Use the Saute function to simmer the sauce for a few minutes until heated through, stirring occasionally.
If you find the sauce scorching to the bottom of the pan, add a little bit of water to thin it.
Make the sandwiches. Add meatballs and sauce to toasted sub rolls, top with cheese, then pop under the broiler until cheese is melted.
If you are worried about the buns getting soggy, you can also broil the cheese directly on the hoagie, then top with meatballs afterward. It’s up to you!
Easy Instant Pot Sandwich Recipes You’ll Love:
- Instant Pot French Dip Sandwiches
- Instant Pot Mississippi Chicken Sandwiches
- Instant Pot Sausage and Pepper Sandwiches
- Instant Pot Ranch Chicken Sandwiches
- Instant Pot Hamburgers
- Instant Pot Hawaiian Sloppy Joes
- Instant Pot Pizza Sloppy Joes
Need help getting started with your pressure cooker? Check out everything you need to know to get started making easy pressure cooker recipes!
- 14 oz frozen fully-cooked Italian meatballs
- 28 oz jar of spaghetti sauce
- 1/2 tsp dried basil*
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano*
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning*
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder*
- 4 hoagie sub rolls, toasted
- 8 slices of provolone cheese
- In the insert pot of your Instant Pot, add 1 cup of water. Place trivet into insert pot and set frozen meatballs on top of the trivet.
- Lock the lid in place and set the vent to the sealed position. Using the Manual/Pressure Cook button, select a 6 minute cook time at high pressure.
- Once the cook time is complete, perform a quick release of pressure. After the pressure has released and the valve has dropped, carefully remove the lid. Press the Cancel/Keep Warm button to turn off the pressure cooker.
- Gently lift out the trivet of meatballs and discard the cooking water. Place the meatballs directly into the Instant Pot, followed by the sauce and basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder (if using). Stir to combine.
- Use the Saute feature to simmer the sauce for a couple of minutes until it is heated through.
- Place toasted sub rolls onto a baking sheet. Top each roll with meatballs and sauce, followed by two slices of provolone cheese (alternatively, you can place the cheese directly on the roll and broil, then add meatballs on top of the cheese).
- Put baking sheet into the oven and turn on the broiler, allowing cheese to melt. Remove from oven and serve.
If you don't want to use pre-packaged frozen meatballs, you can also use homemade meatballs--I often make a double batch and freeze a batch for later.
Don't have a pressure cooker yet? Simply cook the meatballs in sauce on the stovetop.
Recipe adapted from The Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook by Barbara Schieving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 904Total Fat: 55gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 160mgSodium: 2784mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 8gSugar: 18gProtein: 49g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is not guaranteed for accuracy.
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