These low carb instant pot meatballs are made with chicken and taste like pasta primavera! They’re a healthy, gluten free and whole30 compliant spring meal for only 300 calories!
Instant pot Wednesday!
That’s not actually a thing. It just so happened that we had our first Cilantro Lime Instant Pot Rice recipe L-A-S-T Wednesday. Andddd, we have an Instant Pot recipe TODAY.
Guys. Have you got an instant pot yet?
They are MAGIC.
Unless you forget to, you know, put the cooking bowl inside before you put your rice and water in.
I don’t know how I forgot to tell you that last weekend. I ACTUALLY DID THAT. I thought I broke the Instant Pot since there was rice and water ALLLL in the electric-makes-it-work bits. Mr. FFF even had to get a shop vac out to BLOW AWAY THE RICE.
Anyway. There is no rice in this recipe. Just making sure you don’t do silly things like I do.
I am pretty much head over heels for the fact that you and I can sauté AND cook our meatballs and vegetables ALL IN ON VESSEL NOW. If you’re anything like me, you’re ALL ABOUT LESS dishes to clean up.
The chicken meatballs (don’t use turkey – it didn’t taste as good!) have this golden brown outside that EXPLODE with JUICINESS and BURSTS of fresh basil in every. Single. Bite.
Layer that on top of ultra-crisp fresh zucchini noodles and a tower of our favorite spring veggie friends – peas! Asparagus! Tomatoes! – and you can call this easy PEAS-y recipe (just laugh with me) the champion of your light-and-healthy-spring-food-loving HEART.
P.s I know there are no tomatoes in the pictures. I kinda forgot to add them. DON’T DO THE SAME. DON’T BE ME.
Always giving you all the facts.
The meatballs themselves are based of the paleo sweet and sour meatballs from last year, that basically BROKE THE INTERNET. Apparently, you guys are meatballs fanatics and like really, really yummy food.
Which is why I love you. ❤
But we switched up the beef fo’ chicken and added ribbons of spring-time-fresh basil and ALL THE VEGETABLES.
If, cilantro made money of course.
However, I tried to buy one of those “living basil” plants from the grocery store. AND IT DIED AS SOON AS IT GOT HOME.
Living basil, my foot.
Anyway. I’ll stop being basil-bitter.
This meatball-and-veggie combination is similar to a pasta primavera. Excepppppppt, without the pasta and we added meatballs. I guess that means that just the FLAVORS are similar.
Things to note: the “sauce” is just chicken broth. If you use zoodles, they will NOT absorb it, and you may need to use a spoon to eat this dinner. TOTALLY okay, that’s what I did.
If, on the other taste bud, you use cauliflower rice, you won’t have this problem.
Again, both are VRY good life choices. Just ALWAYS giving you the SCOOP.
The ONLY scoop that I can’t help you with is the one that will get springy-herby-fresh meatballs into your HUNGRY mouth.
I suggest you make it a BIG ONE.
Instant Pot Meatballs Primavera
For the meatballs:
- 1 Lb Lean ground chicken (don't use turkey)
- 1 Large egg
- 2 Tbsp Fresh basil, minced
- 6-7 tsp Coconut flour *
- 1 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp Sea salt
- Pinch of pepper
- 1 Tbsp Avocado oil
For the veggies:
- 1/2 Tbsp Avocado oil
- 1 Large red pepper, sliced
- 1 Bunch Asparagus, chopped
- 2 Cups Snow peas
- 1 Cup Reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 Cup Cherry tomatoes, halved
- Zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice
- Fresh basil, sliced (for garnish)
In a large bowl, mix together all of the meatballs ingredient (except the oil) until well combined. Form into 16 large meatball and set aside.
Turn your Instant Pot onto the "sauté" setting and add in 1/2 Tbsp of the avocado oil. Once the oil is heated, add in the sliced pepper, asparagus and snow peas. Cook, stirring frequently, until the veggies just begin to color, about 3 minutes. They cook a lot under pressure, so don't over-cook them here!
Remove the veggies from the Instant Pot and add in 2 tsp of the remaining Avocado Oil. Add half of the meatballs in, on the outside of the pot where the oil pools, and cook until golden brown, flipping once, or about 2 minutes per side. I find that using a fork to loosen them off the pot and to flip is the easiest. Transfer to a plate and add in the remaining 1 tsp of oil. Add in the rest of the meatballs and cook the same way.
Once cooked, add the rest of the meatballs back in and pour the vegetables into the pot, over top of the meatballs. Pour in the chicken broth.
Cover the Instant Pot, making sure the lid is locked and the vent is set to "sealed." Turn the Instant Pot onto manual mode and cook, using high pressure, for 10 minutes. Once cooked, allow the instant pot to steam release naturally, opening the lid only when the little button drops down.
Once cooked, stir in the halved cherry tomatoes.
Serve over cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles, garnish with basil and DEVOUR. ***
*You should only need 6 tsp of coconut flour, but I tested this a few times and sometimes needed an extra tsp.
**I have the 6 quart Instant Pot, and I found it was easier to brown the meatballs in 1 large batch and one smaller batch. If you cram them in too tight, they can be hard to flip.
***The chicken broth doesn't thicken, this is normal. If you serve over zucchini noodles, you may not need to pour over all the broth - make it as "liquidy" as you like!
FOR THIS RECIPE, I RECOMMEND:
WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS PER SERVING: SMART POINTS: 4 POINTS+: 8. OLD POINTS:7
(per 1/4 of the recipe, about 4 meatballs, not includes zoodles or cauli rice)
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