Lemony Spaghetti with Chicken Meatballs

Lemony Spaghetti with Chicken Meatballs

It was one of those T-ball nights that could have gone one of two ways: cereal for dinner or an Instant Pot creation. The norm has been a quick taco, egg sandwich or snacks before practice and then back home for more snacks, but not this time.

With a little forethought, I realized frozen store-bought chicken meatballs can be prepared in the pressure cooker and ready when we got home! Not much prep required for this one. Maybe 10 minutes of work, and then set it and let it go. It will be waiting for you as soon as you walk in the door.

Pinch of Yum had posted this recipe which inspired this dinner. While making Lindsay’s homemade chicken meatballs would have definitely taken this to the next level, I just didn’t have time for that! Leveraging the pressure cooker to heat my frozen store-bought fully cooked chicken meatballs, made this possible. I suppose I could have just microwaved them, but that wouldn’t have allowed these time saving meatballs to simmer in a delicious lemony, buttery sauce and be ready for us as soon as we got home.

Here’s what you can do on one of those nights that you have just a little time to prep, not enough time to eat, and craving something new. We get home somewhere between 6:30 and 7 on T-ball nights which is just in time for my little player and coach dad to be “hangry”, tired and need their dinners NOW.


  • Spaghetti (about 3/4 box or more depending on how many people you have)
  • 1/4 cup pasta stock (reserved from pot)
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1-2 spoonfuls of minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • grated lemon zest (if you have time for it, you don’t need much)
  • 1 lemon (quartered)
  • 1 bag of frozen store-bought fully cooked meatballs
  • grated parmesan cheese (optional)
  • cracked pepper to taste


  1. Make the spaghetti ahead of time right before you leave the house. Make sure you reserve 1/4 cup of salted pasta water! When it’s done, drain, return to pot, toss in olive oil and cover until you return home. It’s okay to let it sit out for several hours, so no need to refrigerate. Mine stayed right there on my stove.
  2. While the water is coming to a boil and the pasta is cooking, get your pressure cooker ready. In the pressure cooker goes 6 tablespoons of butter, pasta water, a spoonful (or 2) of minced garlic (jarred is fine), 1/4 cup of white wine, some grated lemon zest and a quartered lemon. No need to squeeze the lemons because that’s what the pressure cooker will do!
  3. Add the frozen meatballs to the liquids in the pressure cooker.
  4. Set it for 6 minutes on Pressure Cook and Keep Warm settings and start.
  5. When you get home, release whatever steam is left and add the spaghetti to the meatballs and sauce, and toss all together. Finish with optional grated parmesan cheese and cracked pepper to taste.

Note: My kids preferred this with extra butter on top of their portions, or as we say here is Rhode Island, “buttah”, but my husband and I preferred it as is. Enjoy!


  • Nature’s Promise (free from) Chicken Meatballs or whatever frozen fully cooked turkey meatballs you can find