This Instant Pot Meatball and Pasta Soup is flavourful, light, yet filling. Juicy meatballs, vegetables, fresh spinach, and perfectly cooked pasta are suspended in beautiful and clear broth. Delicious and satisfying soup any time of the year made easily in your pressure cooker. Jump to Recipe
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Oh, Instant Pot, what a complicated relationship we have. It’s now been almost three months of me using Instant Pot and although I am not one of those people who thinks that it’s a life-changing appliance, I strongly like it. The main thing to remember is that Instant Pot is not a magical solution and it won’t work for every family. I have another pressure cooker recipe created and scheduled to publish (most likely next week) and then I plan to finally write a post about all the things you need to know about Instant Pot before buying it and why you may not even want to get it.
For now, though, let me say that aside from my SodaStream and Nespresso, Instant Pot is one of the more used appliances in my kitchen. I use it about 2-3 times a week. I still have a few qualms about Instant Pot but I’ll address them in one of my future post.
Let’s talk about this Instant Pot Meatball and Pasta Soup. Is making it in a pressure cooker faster than making it on the stove? Here’s a revelation: NO!!! It is not faster. In fact, it might even be one or two minutes longer. But why? Why? Why would you even want to use your Instant Pot to make this Meatball and Pasta Soup? It’s actually simple. It’s the simplicity. Making Instant Pot Meatball and Pasta Soup means that you don’t have to watch the pot on the stove, you don’t have to remember to add the pasta later in the cooking process. Or, if you are like me and don’t like cooking pasta in the soup on the stove directly, you don’t have to watch two pots and cook pasta separately.
I usually find that cooking pasta in the soup makes the broth cloudy because of all the starch from the dough. It is usually not a problem for the taste of the soup but visually it is not too appealing. So, whenever I make a pasta soup, I cook the pasta separately and once cooked (just a bit too al dente), I add it to the pot with the soup, thus keeping the broth clear. One of the magical properties of Instant Pot is that it makes really clear broth and even cooking pasta in the soup keeps it still beautiful and golden.
I have mentioned it before in my Instant Pot Borscht recipe post, how bringing the pressure cooker to pressure takes a long time. This Instant Pot Meatball and Pasta soup cooks for 5 minutes but it takes 18-20 minutes to build pressure and then 4-5 minutes to release the pressure. Add to that the time it takes to chop and lightly sauté the onion and the whole soup takes about 40-45 minutes to make. I am pretty sure it would have taken the same time to make on the stove also. But Instant Pot-ting it (that’s a verb, right?) is so much easier and more convenient.
Back to my Instant Pot Meatball and Pasta Soup. It’s so easy to make. All you need to do is sauté an onion, add frozen veggies, frozen meatballs (try my dill meatballs or lentil-turkey meatballs), dry pasta, your favourite stock (I use Better Than Bouillon for my stock), then cook in your Instant Pot for 5 minutes. Once cooked, add fresh spinach and serve. Easy-peasy and delicious! You get a flavourful and filling soup filled with juicy meatballs, vegetables, fresh spinach, and beautifully cooked pasta, and all of this beauty is suspended in clear broth. It’s just a perfect soup for the cold winter months and even spring and summer time.
Now, I have to talk a little bit about the vegetables. You need to use frozen veggies as the long cooking time and the time to come to pressure will cook fresh veggies to mush. Even frozen vegetables will be soft but I notoriously like soft vegetables. If you prefer your vegetables to be firmer then you could:
- omit the frozen veggies and add more spinach in the end
- omit the frozen veggies and add frozen peas and/or frozen corn together with the spinach
- you could try using hot/boiling broth which should reduce the time it takes to come to pressure and thus the time the frozen vegetables are in the Instant Pot (I haven’t tried this option)
Also, watch this video to see how easy this soup actually is!!
This Instant Pot Meatball and Pasta Soup is flavourful, light, yet filling. Juicy meatballs, vegetables, fresh spinach, and perfectly cooked pasta are suspended in beautiful and clear broth. Delicious and satisfying soup any time of the year made easily in your pressure cooker | imagelicious.com #instantpot #pressurecooker #soup #meatballs #pasta
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 small onion
- 2 cups frozen vegetables (170 g)
- 1 pound frozen meatballs (about 30 mini meatballs)
- 1 cup dry pasta (120g, short pasta like ditali)
- 8 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- salt, pepper to taste
Finely chop the onion.
Press the sauté function on your Instant Pot and wait for it to heat up.
Add the vegetable oil to the pot and sauté the onion for about 5 minutes until it just starts to soften and turn colour.
Add the frozen veggies, frozen meatballs, dry pasta, and the stock to the pot.
Press Manual or Pressure Cooker button (depending on your model) and use the arrows to select 5 minutes. It will take about 18-20 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure, depending on how cold the stock is.
Once the 5 minutes of pressure cooking are up and your Instant Pot beeps that it's done do a manual quick release. I like putting a small kitchen towel on the pressure release valve to contain the steam a little bit. It took about 4 minutes to fully release the pressure.
Open the lid, stir in the fresh spinach into the soup. Adjust seasonings as needed and serve.