Pumpkin Tomato Basil Meatballs is a delicious fall twist on a classic dish! Easy, nutritious, and full of flavor!! Options for both stovetop and Instant Pot.
This post has been updated with new pictures and Instant Pot instructions.
The beginning of October calls for just about everything pumpkin, and yes, savory dishes too! Although pumpkin generally only makes an appearance a few months out of the year, I go at pumpkin in FULL FORCE to eat enough for the rest of the year. My favorite pumpkin dinner dishes include Pumpkin Chorizo Chicken Chili and Pumpkin Seed Pesto Butternut Squash Gnocchi. I’ve already been playing with a lot more this year. Like take for example, these meatballs. We kind of love meatballs in this house, especially my kids. Gussy them up with a delicious tomato sauce, some pumpkin, top with basil and it’s winning meal for me.
The pumpkin taste is pretty subtle, but just the right amount. I used an entire 15 oz can of pumpkin puree, but you can feel free to add even more. My meatballs were a blend of sausage and ground turkey, but once again, you can use your favorite ground meat. I baked the meatballs because they don’t quite fit in a large skillet. This recipe makes about 45 meatballs! Enough to have plenty of leftovers. While the meatballs are baking the tomato pumpkin sauce is cooking in a pan. Add the meatballs back to the skillet once complete.
I happen to make this meal early in the day (foodblogger problems with afternoon lighting), and the flavors melded together perfectly. I think it tasted even better the next day. Serve with traditional spaghetti, or spaghetti squash (my favorite!)
- 12 oz ground turkey
- 12 oz ground pork sausage
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 2 tsp dried sage
- ¾ cup almond flour
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ large white onion, chopped
- 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
- 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes*
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp salt + more to taste
- Salt to taste
- ½ cup chopped fresh basil
- For the Stovetop:
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Make your meat balls. Combine meat with garlic powder, basil, sage, and almond flour. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Whisk the egg, and add to mixture. Roll into 1-2 inch balls and place on a large roasting pan. Bake for approximately 22-25 mins, or until meatballs are cooked through. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, make your sauce. Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Coat the pan with olive oil and add the onion. After a few minutes, add the garlic. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Add the canned tomatoes and pumpkin. Mix well and reduce heat to medium low once the sauce begins to bubble. Slowly add in vinegar and salt. Simmer for at least 15-20 minutes. Add the meatballs once cooked. Let cook with the meatballs for an additional 15 minutes.
- Top with fresh basil to serve over noodles, zoodles, or spaghetti squash.
- For the Instant Pot:
- Preheat your oven to broil.
- Make your meat balls. Combine meat with garlic powder, basil, sage, and almond flour. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Whisk the egg, and add to mixture. Roll into 1-2 inch balls and place on a large roasting pan. Place in oven and broil for just a few minutes until golden brown (will not be cooked all the way).
- Now set your Instant Pot to saute. Add in oil to coat the pot, then place onion in the pot. Saute for 2-3 minutes until fragrant, add garlic and saute another minute.
- Now add canned tomatoes, pumpkin, vinegar, salt, and tomato paste. Place meatballs in the sauce mixture. Press cancel.
- Now secure the lid, and select the manual function. Cook on high pressure for 7 minutes. Use a natural release for 15 minutes. Release any remaining steam, then remove the lid.
- Top with fresh basil to serve over noodles, zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash.