This Homemade Instant Pot Tomato Sauce is versatile, quick and easy to make. Whether you’re using it in lasagna, for Instant Pot spaghetti, or as a sauce for baked penne pasta, it has all the robust flavors you expect and is healthier than store-bought marinara.
>> You might also like these Instant Pot Baked Beans.
This recipe uses fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones so that you get all the health benefits of unprocessed ingredients. It doesn’t have a long ingredients list and is simple to prepare. When everything is ready, you can chuck it into the pot and turn your attention elsewhere.
As with our favorite pumpkin soup, this recipe needs to be blended after it has been cooked to produce a smooth, silky tomato sauce. The sauce can then be used in so many different preparations – as spaghetti sauce, in lasagna, as a quick pasta dish, etc. It makes enough to feed six people.
Ingredients You Need for This Instant Pot Tomato Sauce
Tomato sauce made in the Instant Pot is just like store-bought marinara. The tomatoes are stewed to develop flavor, then pureed with the other ingredients to make a robust, flavorful sauce.
You can use it for any purpose that you would use marinara sauce for. You can make a meat sauce with it just by adding ground beef or pork.
- Olive Oil – This healthier oil is best, but vegetable oils can be used as well.
- Fresh tomatoes – Fresh tomatoes give the best flavor, but you can use canned tomatoes if you don’t have fresh ones. There is no need to peel the tomatoes.
- Onion – An onion adds to the depth and flavor of this sauce, and should not be skipped if at all possible.
- Garlic – Much like the onion, garlic is rather crucial. Freshly cut cloves are best, but chopped garlic from the store will also work.
- Carrot – Carrot adds a sweetness to the tomato that helps balance the acidity.
- Tomato paste – This thickened, reduced form of tomato is very useful for deepening the flavor of your sauce. It also helps thicken it a bit.
- Herbs & salt – Last, but certainly not least, you need oregano, basil, and salt. Fresh and dried both work great. If you don’t have these herbs, mixed herbs can also be used.
How to Make Tomato Sauce in an Instant Pot
First things first, turn on sauté mode on your Instant Pot. When it’s hot, add the olive oil, onion, and carrot. Sauté for 3-5 minutes. Then add the garlic and sauté for 1 more minute, stirring constantly so the garlic doesn’t burn. Turn off sauté mode.
Add the fresh tomatoes to the pot, along with the tomato paste and water. Sprinkle the herbs and salt on top, and then stir together.
Lock the Instant Pot lid on and set the vent to seal. Press the pressure cook button and set the time to 20 minutes. When the time is up, allow for a 10-minute natural pressure release, then release the remaining pressure.
Blend the tomato sauce with an immersion blender until smooth. You could put it in the blender as well, if you don’t have an immersion blender. Just remember to keep the hole in the lid open, because the tomato sause is hot.
Season with additional salt, if necessary. I usually find that it will need a bit more salt when mixed with pasta, because the pasta itself will need some salt.
Note: You can thicken the sauce more by adding more tomato paste or by turning on sauté mode and allowing the sauce to reduce until your desired thickness is reached. Just keep in mind that when you add this sauce to pasta, the pasta will soak up any excess liquid, so it won’t be watery.
Additional Serving Information for Instant Pot Pasta Sauce
If you’re not a fan of spaghetti, there are plenty of alternative ways to enjoy this tomato sauce. It can be used on homemade pizzas, in lasagnas, served over any kind of pasta, with gnocchi, ravioli, or over vegetables for a low-carb meal.
Can I freeze the sauce?
If you’re cooking for one, easily freeze what you don’t eat. There’s something wonderfully comforting about a good tomato sauce, and it is always a handy thing to have in the freezer for when you need it.
Is tomato sauce the same as pasta sauce?
Tomato sauce and pasta sauce are very similar, though pasta sauce often has more seasonings. Tomato sauce is deliberately kept low on seasonings, so you can use it in any way you want. You can definitely use this tomato sauce as pasta sauce, for any type of pasta you like. You might add a bit more Italian seasoning, salt, and/or Parmesan cheese.
Should I peel the tomatoes?
No, this recipe does not require you to peel the tomatoes. Some great nutrients are found in the skins of tomatoes, so we don’t want to get rid of those. In the Instant Pot, the tomato peels are made very soft and they can easily be blended into the tomato sauce. You won’t even notice the difference.
How do you keep tomato sauce from burning in the Instant Pot?
We’ve all gotten that dreaded burn notice when cooking in the Instant Pot. We try to avoid that, and it’s actually very easy. You just have to make sure it has enough water in it. The tomatoes themselves have a lot of water, so you only need to add about 1/2 a cup of water to the pot.
To make sure 100% that you won’t get the burn notice, you can half or quarter the tomatoes before putting them into the Instant Pot. The only time I’ve ever gotten a burn notice for this recipe is when putting the tomatoes in whole. But even then, it’s only happened once.
Why Use An Instant Pot?
The Instant Pot is one of the most useful kitchen appliances you can buy, because it drastically cuts down on the cooking time for developing flavors in soups and stews, getting tough cuts of meat tender, and even baking a cheesecake. And there are many accessories that will help you get more out of your Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Pro Plus
Now you can control your pot wirelessly through an app. Cool-touch handles on the pot itself, and an automatic locking pressure release valve for greater safety. This one does it all.
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Homemade Instant Pot Tomato Sauce
Note: Made in a 6-qt Instant Pot
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion quartered
- 1 large carrots cut into chunks
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 pounds fresh tomatoes whole or quartered (6 medium or 4 large)
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 4 ounces water
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Turn on saute mode. When hot, add the olive oil, onion and carrot. Saute for 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute, stirring constantly so the garlic doesn’t burn. Turn off saute mode.
- Add the fresh tomatoes to the pot, along with the tomato paste and water. Stir together. Sprinkle the herbs and salt on top.
- Lock the Instant Pot lid on and set the vent to sealing. Press the pressure cook button and set the time to 20 minutes. When the time is up, allow for a 10-minute natural pressure release, then release the remaining pressure.
- Blend the tomato sauce with an immersion blender until smooth. Season with additional salt, if necessary.
There is no need to remove the skins from the tomatoes.
You can use dried or fresh herbs.
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Laura spends a lot of her time cooking and creating recipes to share. She loves traveling and learning about new foods around the world to bring into her own recipes at home.