Insalata Caprese Mini Meatballs
This recipe offers a fun twist on not only the traditional party meatball but on the classic insalata caprese. The caprese salad is named for the beautiful isle of Capri and is now loved around the world. The mozzarella used in both the salad and in this dish is now widely made with cow’s milk, but if you want to be authentic, find some made from buffalo milk. Now that’s Italian!
Servings Prep Time
5servings 20minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
5servings 20minutes
Cook Time
  • 1/2pound ground beef
  • 1/2pound ground pork
  • 2large eggs
  • 1tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2cup old-fashioned oats
  • 20 mini mozzarella ballsalso called ciliegine
  • 3tablespoons avocado oildivided
  • 14.5ounce tomatoesdiced, drained, 1 can
  • 2cups Water
  • 20leaves basilfresh
  • 5 pearl tomatoessliced into 20 slices
  • 1tablespoon olive oil
  • 1tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  1. In a medium bowl, combine beef, pork, eggs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, celery seed, onion powder, smoked paprika, and oats. Form into 20 meatballs.
  2. Press 1 mozzarella ball into the middle of each of the meatballs.
  3. Press the Sauté button on the Instant Pot. When display reads “hot” add 2 tablespoons avocado oil and heat up the oil.
  4. Place 10 meatballs around the edge of the Instant Pot. Sear all sides of the meatballs for 3–4 minutes. Remove meatballs from Instant Pot and set aside.
  5. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon avocado oil and sear remaining meatballs for 3–4 minutes. Remove meatballs from Instant Pot and set aside.
  6. Discard extra juice and oil. Add seared meatballs to a 7-cup glass dish. Add drained diced tomatoes
  7. Add 2 cups water to the Instant Pot. Add trivet. Place the glass dish on top of the trivet. Lock lid.
  8. Press the Manual button and adjust time to 20 minutes. When the timer beeps, let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Quick release any additional pressure until float valve drops and then unlock lid.
  9. Skewer a meatball, a basil leaf, and a tomato slice on a toothpick. Repeat 20 times.
  10. Drizzle skewered meatballs with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

For more recipes by Michelle Fagone, you can purchase her Instant Pot Cookbook here!

Excerpted from The I Love My Instant Pot© Recipe Book by Michelle Fagone. Used by permission of the publisher, Adams Media, a division of Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved. Photography by James Stefiuk.