Instant Pot Turkey Meatballs and Yellow Rice! Tender skillet meatballs cook together with a flavorful yellow rice. Quick, easy and sure to be an instant favorite!

overhead shot of turkey meatballs and yellow rice on gray plate with white background

Do you have a favorite go-to recipe that you make in the instant pot? I am SO excited to share this recipe with you because it has become one of my VERY favorite instant pot meals!

There are a lot of instant pot recipes out there – but only a few really special ones. This Instant Pot Southwestern Chicken and Rice has been a long-time favorite (dozens of you agree!) at my house. This Instant Pot Turkey Vegetable Lasagna Soup is also crazy flavorful and always a hit.

This Instant Pot Turkey Meatballs and Yellow Rice recipe is now up in my instant pot hall of fame. It is quick and easy, but full of flavor and SO delicious!

You might also like these best ever gluten-free meatballs!

close up shot of turkey meatballs and rice on gray plate and marble background

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How to Make Meatballs in the Instant Pot

I especially love instant pot recipes where the protein and side all cook together. The turkey meatballs are cooked alongside a flavorful, homemade yellow rice making this a complete one-pot meal.

I love the saute function on the instant pot – such a game changer! In this recipe the turkey meatballs are browned to perfection which adds so much flavor. My kids love meatballs of any kind and this meal is one of their favorites.

Growing up my Mom would always make “yellow rice” from a box. As a kid I loved the savory flavor and color of that rice, but these days I don’t love the MSG and artificial ingredients in the flavor packet. This rice gets its yellow color from turmeric.

After the rice cooks, it is tossed with parmesan cheese, parsley and toasted almonds which really takes everything to the next level.

turkey meatball with bite on fork and yellow rice on white plate

Tips for Making Instant Pot Turkey Meatballs and Rice

– As you cook the meatballs you may need to swirl the instant pot around to get the olive oil under each meatball.

– You may want to turn the instant pot OFF for a little (then back on again) if it gets too hot. I usually do this one or two times when making the meatballs so nothing burns on the bottom of the instant pot.

– A small, flexible spatula (one of my favorite kitchen tools!) works best to flip the meatballs to brown on all sides.

– Don’t be alarmed at the rice-to-water ratio! Instant pot rice recipes typically need a rice-to-water ratio closer to 1:1 which is different than stove-top recipes.

Want more tasty instant pot recipes? Try this Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese you can easily make in the instant pot! For another delicious turkey recipe, try these Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs.

image for pinterest of meatballs and rice on gray plate with marble background

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overhead of turkey meatballs and rice on white plate
4.95 from 17 votes

Instant Pot Turkey Meatballs and Yellow Rice

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Instant Pot Turkey Meatballs and Yellow Rice! Tender skillet meatballs cook together with a flavorful yellow rice. Quick, easy and sure to be an instant favorite!

Ingredients

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons gluten-free panko
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil + more olive oil for cooking the meatballs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest zest of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

For the Rice:

  • 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice juice of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley minced
  • 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds toast at 350F for 6-8 minutes until golden
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Instructions 

  • In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients for the meatballs. Mix to evenly combine. Roll into about 16 meatballs (about 1-2 inches in diameter)
  • Press the SAUTE button on the instant pot. Let the instant heat up slightly, then add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the meatballs (you may have to cook them in 2 batches) and let cook until brown on one side. As you cook the meatballs you may need to swirl the instant pot around to get the olive oil under each meatball. You may also want to turn the instant pot OFF for a little (then back on again) if it gets too hot. Using a small spatula flip the meatballs to brown on another side 1-2 minutes. Continue until the meatballs are browned on all sides. (They don't need to be cooked through - just browned.) Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining meatballs if needed.
  • Turn the instant pot off for a moment if it's too hot. Press the SAUTE button again and add the rice and garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes then add the chicken stock and lemon juice. Scrape the bottom of the pan to pull up any brown bits. Add the salt and turmeric and stir to combine. Add the meatballs back to the pot.
  • Close the instant pot with the lid and press MANUAL or high pressure and set the timer for 4 minutes. Once the time is up allow the instant pot to natural release for 10 minutes. Release the rest of the pressure manually.
  • Remove the meatballs from the rice and transfer to a serving plate. Add the parmesan cheese, parsley and toasted almonds. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve with the meatballs. Enjoy!

Notes

MAKE IT DAIRY-FREE: Omit the parmesan cheese or use vegan parmesan cheese. It will still be super flavorful!
MAKE IT NUT-FREE: Omit the almonds.

Nutrition

Calories: 426kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 836mg | Potassium: 492mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 115IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 1.7mg

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Hi, I'm Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I'm here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hello Erin, thank you for the lovely recipe!! Could I use an onion instead of onion powder though? What about garlic? 🙂 Thank you.

  2. Hi there! If I wanted to cut this recipe in half to make a smaller portion, do you think it would still work? This looks amazing! Thank you.

  3. If I wanted to use frozen turkey meatballs, would you suggest skipping the sauteeing first and just dump them in with the other ingredients? Have a bag sitting in the freezer!

  4. Do you add the olive oil into the meatball mixture or is the 1.5 Tbsp olive oil for browning the meatballs themselves?

  5. 5 stars
    I made this last night, it was so good! The whole family loved it! Have you ever doubled the rice portion? Just wondering if it would work? Thank you!

  6. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe! It’s one of my new favorites for the IP. Great served with steamed broccoli! The only change I made was using pork instead of turkey since we are Thanksgiving turkey overloaded right now. 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    This is delicious and you were right about it being kid-approved! I would like to make a bit more rice, could you tell me how to modify the liquid/proportions and timing for about two times the rice yield?

  8. Hi! This looks great! Do you think if I made it with brown rice I’d have to adjust the liquid content or cooking time?

    1. I don’t think this will work with brown rice! It requires a longer cook time and the meatballs will overcook.

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