Getting Real with Food

Getting Real with Food: 2.10.21

Do you have a kitchen gadget that you can’t do without? For me, it’s a toss up between my air fryer and Instant Pot. People often ask me which one they should get, and my answer depends on the season and what types of foods they love to make.

In the warmer months, I use my air fryer a lot more. Why? It keeps the house cooler. I use it in place of the oven, and it’s the perfect solution to cook with less oil and healthier ingredients. When it’s cold outside, I use my Instant Pot constantly. From soups, oatmeals, dips, you name it, it’s my go-to. It makes delicious, easy and healthy pasta dishes like this one a cinch to whip up! This Easy & Cheesy Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs transforms a delicious classic into a simple weeknight dinner. Throw everything in, and you’re good to go!

easy & cheesy instant pot spaghetti and meatballs 
makes 24 meatballs

1 lb. ground chicken thigh
1 c gluten-free (or regular) bread crumbs
1 egg
¼ c yellow onion, chopped
1/8 c lemon juice
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 c Mozzarella cheese
½ c cheddar cheese
10 oz. dried spaghetti noodles
25 oz. jar of pasta sauce
2 c chicken broth


  1. In a small bowl, combine chopped onion, minced garlic and lemon juice; set aside.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients (garlic powder, oregano, paprika, salt, pepper and bread crumbs), and set aside.
  3. Place ground chicken in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the dry ingredients and egg; mix thoroughly.
  4. Mix in the onion, garlic and lemon juice, followed by the cheese.
  5. With a tablespoon, measure and form 24 meatballs. You can either refrigerate them up to 2 days or make them right away.
  6. Generously grease the insert of a 6-quart Instant Pot. Form a layer on the bottom with the meatballs.  They should be touching one another but not smushed.
  7. Pour in the chicken broth. Break the spaghetti noodles in half, and place on top. Make sure the noodles are going different directions so they cook evenly and don’t stick together.
  8. Pour the spaghetti sauce over the noodles. DO NOT STIR. Make sure the noodles are covered as much as possible.
  9. Place the Instant Pot lid on, and lock the steam release valve. Set to high pressure for 8 minutes. Once the screen reads LO 00, quick release (unlock the steam release valve). WAIT until the float valve drops COMPLETELY before opening the lid.
  10. Once you take the lid off, stir with a large spoon. Top with parmesan cheese and fresh basil, and serve with a large salad!

Follow Alaina’s blog at and find her on Instagram @honestfoodie_blog and Facebook and Pinterest at honest grub, honest foodie.