Instant Pot Orange Beef Meatballs

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Who doesn’t love meatballs for appetizers, potlucks, and even just a super simple dinner. Instant Pot Orange Beef Meatballs have the flavor of take out orange beef but so simple you can do it at home in the instant pot. Topped with sesame seeds and green onions for an easy take out dinner at home.

Instant Pot Orange Beef Meatballs In a Black Bowl

Can I Make My Own Meatballs?

The recipe is just for the meatballs. We make the rice on the stove while the meatballs are cooking in the instant pot. The recipe for orange meatballs is made from pre made meatballs however, you can make your own meatballs. If you do, freeze them for an hour before so they will hold their shape.

Instant Pot Orange Beef Meatballs topped with sesame seeds and spring onions

Orange beef is a Chinese or Asian take out food you can find in the states. Often it’s made with bottom round steak or flank steak and lightly sauteed. Instead, this recipe uses frozen meatballs that are not Italian flavored. Make sure your package just says home-style meatballs and not Italian.

Streamer basket insert inside the instant pot

Instant Pot Orange Beef Meatballs

For this recipe you will either need a steamer insert like you see above or a trivet. I prefer the steamer insert as it works to keep the meatballs off the bottom of the pot. I picked mine up at my local Ikea for around $5. The basket has a detachable handle which is fantastic for using in the instant pot.

Frozen Meatballs Inside The Instant Pot

Water and Instant Pot Size

Place the frozen home-style meatballs on top of the trivet after placing 1 cup of water in the bottom of the pot. With the instant pot it’s very important to make sure to add enough water. This is 1 cup water to an entire bag of meatballs. That’s all that’s needed for the instant pot duo plus 6 quart. You may need to add a little more water for the 8 quart pot. Keep it the same for the 3 quart.

Sauce in liquid measuring cup for Instant Pot Orange Beef Meatballs

The key to making tasty meatballs is to add the sauce at the end. Steam the meatballs first then turn off the pressure mode and go to saute mode. Then drain the juice from your pot and saute the sauce around the meatballs. Don’t leave the water in the pot when done. It won’t help the sauce thicken.

Beef Meatballs In The Instant Pot in Orange sauce

As the pot warms the sauce will start to thicken pretty fast. Be sure to stir lightly making sure the sauce is on the meatballs and not sticking to the bottom of the pot. Once the sauce thickens around the meatballs turn off the saute mode so it doesn’t burn.

Instant Pot Orange Beef Meatballs on a white background in a black bowl

The orange beef meatballs can be paired with rice or noodles. We like to have the beef meatballs with rice. However, the meatballs go well with ramen noodles sauteed with some soy sauce or teriyaki sauce.

Instant Pot Orange Beef Meatballs with a plaid napkin in a black bowl

If you like these meatballs don’t forget to try a few more instant pot meatball recipes. Here is a list of a few more we have here on the site.

Instant Pot Meatball Recipes

Instant Pot Orange Beef Meatballs In a Black Bowl

Instant Pot Orange Beef Meatballs

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Orange Beef Meatballs made in the instant pot and topped with spring onions and sesame seeds.


  • 28 oz frozen beef meatballs; home-style not ItalianĀ 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar (may use honey instead)
  • 1 cup water
  • spring onions for topping
  • sesame seeds for topping


  1. Pour water into the pot. Insert steamer basket. Pour in meatballs. Make sure the meatballs are all around the steamer. Place lid on the pot. Close valve. Set to pressure cook and set timer to 6 minutes. 
  2. Once the instant pot stops counting and beeps; release pressure. Remove meatballs to a bowl. Drain liquid from instant pot. Add meatballs back to the pot. 
  3. Set instant pot to saute mode. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, mix together garlic, ginger, soy sauce, orange juice, corn starch, and brown sugar. Whisk well. 
  4. Pour mixture over meatballs. Stir lightly until the sauce starts to thicken. Once it thickens turn off instant pot. Serve meatballs over rice topped with spring onions and sesame seeds.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 363Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 1654mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 4gSugar: 19gProtein: 20g

For more on our nutrition disclaimer

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