Instant Pot Spaghetti Sauce (with fresh tomatoes!)

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Making spaghetti sauce at home just got a LOT easier. When you use the Instant Pot to make it, you can throw all of the fresh ingredients in the pot, press a button and walk away until it’s done!

instant pot spaghetti sauce in a jar

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My Go-To Instant Pot Spaghetti Sauce

What’s great about this easy spaghetti sauce is that it’s oil-free with no added sugar. Instead, it gets a little natural sweetness from the addition of a carrot. This recipe is from my first cookbook, Everyday Detox, but it’s made even easier in the Instant Pot!

Because tomatoes have so much natural moisture, you don’t add any water to this recipe. If you’re used to cooking with your Instant Pot, you know how unusual this is, because the Instant Pot requires liquid to bring the pot to pressure.

How Do You Keep Tomato Sauce from Burning in the Instant Pot?

If you’re familiar with Instant Pot cooking, you may know that sometimes tomato products can cause a “burn” error while pressure cooking. This is more typical with prepared tomato sauces that are thicker in texture, because the Instant Pot needs plenty of liquid to build up steam pressure.

In the case of this recipe, the tomatoes contain more than enough liquid to bring the pot to pressure because they will release their moisture as the pot heats up, without burning or sticking to the bottom. Be sure to closely follow the directions, though. The spices can NOT touch the bottom of the Instant Pot or they may burn to the bottom, so sprinkle them on top of the tomatoes without stirring.

fresh tomato spaghetti sauce ingredients in Instant Pot

How to Make Fresh Spaghetti Sauce in the Instant Pot

This Instant Pot spaghetti sauce couldn’t be easier. I like to quarter my fresh tomatoes and onions to help their liquid release faster, but there’s not a ton of chopping involved, because everything can be left in rather large chunks. (I don’t even bother mincing the garlic at all.) Add the veggies to the pot, sprinkle some seasonings over the top, and then let the Instant Pot do its thing.

When the cooking time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes– which means that you essentially don’t touch the pot until 10 minutes after the pot has beeped, letting you know the cooking cycle is over. (The screen will read L0:10 when it’s time to release the pressure.)

immersion blender instant pot

Once you remove the lid, use an immersion blender to puree the ingredients into a smooth sauce. I like to stir in a little tomato paste at the end to thicken the spaghetti sauce and boost the tomato flavor, but feel free to season the final sauce to your tastes. It’s hard to go wrong with this easy homemade version!

instant pot spaghetti and sauce

If you enjoy this recipe, I think you’ll love my new book, The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook. It’s loaded with EASY recipes for your electric pressure cooker, using easy-to-find whole food ingredients. There’s nutrition information and a photo for every recipe, so I hope it will become your go-to resource for more healthy Instant Pot recipes.

instant pot spaghetti sauce in a jar
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5 from 33 votes

Instant Pot Spaghetti Sauce (with fresh tomatoes!)

This INSTANT POT SPAGHETTI SAUCE is made with fresh tomatoes in just about 30 minutes. With no added oil or sugar, it's a healthy & easy pasta sauce recipe!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Instant Pot, vegan
Keyword instant pot, spaghetti, tomato
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Pressurize Time: 10 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes
Servings 12 (roughly 40 ounces)
Calories 35kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh tomatoes , cut into quarters
  • 2 small yellow onions , cut into quarters
  • 2 large carrots , cut into large chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic (whole)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 ounces tomato paste (no salt added)

Instructions

  • Add the tomatoes, onion, carrot, and garlic to the Instant Pot. Sprinkle the oregano, basil, and salt over the top of the vegetables, but don't stir. (You don't want the seasonings to touch the bottom of the Instant Pot or you could get a burn error.)
  • Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to Sealing. Select Manual or Pressure Cook (the name of the button will vary by machine) and cook at high pressure for 20 minutes. It will take roughly 10 minutes for the pressure to build in the pot before the cooking cycle begins, so the pot will say "On" until then.
  • When the cooking cycle completes, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes. When the screen reads L0:10, move the steam release valve to Venting to release any remaining pressure. When the floating valve drops, it's safe to remove the lid.
  • Use an immersion blender to blend the cooked vegetables into a smooth sauce. Add in the tomato paste and blend again to make sure it's fully incorporated. It should thicken the sauce. Adjust any seasoning to taste, then serve warm over your favorite pasta.
  • This sauce should keep well in an airtight container for up to a week in the fridge, or you can freeze it for up to 3 months.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 35kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 317mg | Potassium: 372mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2545IU | Vitamin C: 15.1mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 0.8mg
Per 1/4 cup: Calories: 35, Fat: 0, Carbohydrates: 7g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 1g

best instant pot cookbook

Recipe Notes:

  • I use this 6-quart Instant Pot Duo for my recipes, but I think this would work in the 8-quart pot, too. (You may want to double the recipe in that case, to have plenty of liquid to bring the pot to pressure.)
  • This recipe makes roughly two jars of tomato sauce. (Around 20-22 oz. each; it will vary based on the size of your fresh produce every time.)
  • The seasoning in this recipe is totally up to you– feel free to double the basil, add thyme, or even a pinch of red pepper flakes for a spicy kick. Sometimes I add a splash of syrupy balsamic vinegar and simmer it at the end using the Sauté function on the Instant Pot.
  • If you need a spaghetti sauce without tomatoes, try my Tomato-less Marinara Sauce recipe instead!

Reader Feedback: Do you make your own spaghetti sauce? Let me know what you’d like to see me make in the Instant Pot next!

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Comments

Susan

Have you found a good dairy replacement for recipes like this one? Thanks!

    Megan Gilmore

    This recipe is already dairy-free, so do you mean you wanted to add something dairy-like to it? Coconut milk is good for adding creaminess.

Julianna McKitrick

Did I miss it or did it not say to add tomato paste? I’m assuming it just goes in with everything else. Second question. In Texas summer comes early and I have lots of whole frozen tomatoes. Think I could use them in this recipe? If so should I thaw them first?

    Catherine Carmer

    Earlier in the post indicates tomato paste added after cooking but before blending.

Suzanne

Do you peel the tomatoes first, or just put them in with skin on?

Jennifer

Wow! Thank you so much for this recipe! I absolutely loved this recipe! So easy and it turned out wonderfully! I added a can of full fat coconut milk and used lots of fresh basil instead of dried, and it turned into wonderul tomato basil soup. I will definitely be making this again.

Megan

I have some whole tomatoes that I have frozen. If I use in this recipe can I use them frozen or should I thaw first?

Tania

This was so easy and so delicious! Thank you for this!

Marie

This will definitely be a part of my go-to meals during the week!

Lauren Conn

Carrots are not allowed on my diet plan. Any other suggestions on natural sweetness?

Christopher Franklin

Hello is there anyway I can use this recipe for food storage? I want to cook a lot and then seal it all up and put it away.

Cathy Scheid

Really delicious sauce, thank you for the recipe! I made a big batch with 5 lbs of tomatoes so I upped everything. Made the mistake of adding some celery, so now it’s got strings in it, but the taste is still right on. I omitted the tomato paste altogether for personal preference, but used a ladle to remove almost 2 cups of extra liquid before blending and it was just the right consistency.

    Kim Young

    I am doubling the recipe, do I need to change the time I cook it?

Carolyn Katz

I got the burn error 🙁

Karen Walkowiak

Hi, can you use Roma tomatoes or do they not have enough water?

Sarah

If you don’t have a pressure cooker how long do you cook vegetables?

Lola

Thank you for your recipe! I am going to make this today. I am new to instant pot so I just want to confirm the liquid from the tomato’s is enough? No added liquid? Thank you again 🙂

    Megan Gilmore

    Yes, I don’t add liquid to this. But the layering is important, so make sure the tomatoes cover the bottom, and all of the dry spices are on top when you start the cooking process.

Malka

Looks tempting!

Any chance you can please provide instructions also for stove top cooking for your Instant Pot recipes?
It would be great to have stove-top pressure cooker options as well as standard pot options, for those who don’t have either.

Thanks in advance.

Carole Taylor

could you cook meatballs on a trivet above the sauce.

Sonja

I’m making this right now, and I don’t know…I got the burn notice immediately! My tomatoes were from the garden but not really juicy. I turned it off and added a half cup of water and half cup of red wine. Crossing my fingers it turns out good.

    Sonja

    Sauce turned out great!! But Romas definitely DON”T have enough juice in them to not put any water in at all. I followed a similar recipe to this that added half cup of water and half cup of red wine. I’d definitely recommend adding a note about including water if you have Romas.

Kari

I used garden tomatoes and fresh herbs. Totally nailed the flavor and didn’t miss the sugar at all with the carrots. I did however add 3 bay leaves and removed those before blending, and i needed to removed a couple cups of liquid before blending – maybe i have super juicy tomatoes? There are worse problems to have 😉. I also let “keep warm” function for a while after blending to let the flavors meld. Happy I found this! I hate peeling and seeding tomatoes!

Marilyn S

Great recipe to use up my harvest of garden tomatoes!First time using my Inst Pot & the sauce was great! Thank you for the recipe.

Karen Delsing

Can you pressure can this?

Cindy Trombley

Can’t rate the recipe until I try it, but I want to try this tomato sauce! Question, in the recipe it says use two lbs of tomatoes. In the recipe notes it says if you have 2 lbs of tomatoes you can double the recipe. If you’re doubling the recipe, isn’t it 4 lbs of tomatoes?

L

So easy. I found it to be a little this, so I hit saute on the lowest setting and simmered it down. No issues at all with sticking/burning to the bottom of the pot.

Nv

Can I use frozen chopped tomatoes?

Nancy

Great sauce. Recipe easy to follow, clearly written. I’m buying your book

Tina LESLIE

This is the easiest and most amazing spaghetti sauce recipe I’ve ever tried! After canning sauce for 35+ years…. I had given up because I never liked the sour taste. The secret is the carrots! ❤️❤️

Dawn

I have canned tomatoes. Would these work in this recipe?

Cathy cassidy

The recipe calls for 2 pounds of tomatoes. In the recipe notes you state — if you have 2 pounds of tomatoes you can double the recipe. I’m confused.

    Megan Gilmore

    Sorry for the confusion! The recipe was updated because it is more convenient to use 2 pounds of tomatoes and a whole can of tomato paste at once, but the notes weren’t updated to reflect that. It’s now fixed!

Debbie Barry

I have a zillion tomatoes from my garden, so was thrilled to find this recipe! Delicious-I added a squirt of anchovy paste and also tomato paste at the end, and then used my immersion blender. I’m cooling the sauce then putting into freezer bags. I have an 8-qt instant pot, so will double the recipe next time!

Kim Blackford

Hi! I’m going to try your recipe. Just wondering if it is possible to can this after it is done cooking?

    Megan Gilmore

    I’m afraid I know nothing about the canning process, so I couldn’t say for sure! Let me know if you try it.

    Kim Gillet

    Kim, Did you can it? Do ÿou have to water bath it?

Helen patton

So quick, easy and delicious! I usually struggle to be able to use all my garden tomatoes – not this year. Thank you!

Michelle W

I had about 16 tomatoes from the garden and no plan on what to do with them. Wednesday, I received my Insta Pot ad Thursday I made sauce. The recipe is easy and delicious. My tomatoes produced 6 cups of juice. I dipped some out before blending. It turned out perfect. No need to puree. I froze the sauce for the winter. When i cook it later I will add my meat and simmer the rest down to the consistency we love. Thanks for the great recipe. What will cook today in my Insta pot?

Mary

Delicious

Jodie

I’d love to make a big batch and can it. Have you canned this sauce before?

Jodi Mrzygut

No Instapot… any suggestions to make it on stovetop? Tyia

    Sarah DePRiest

    This was an excellent and easy recipe. I did add a half cup of water to the bottom and squeezed a few of the tomatoes while I was cutting to avoid the burn notice. I put four cloves of garlic in instead of two. Tweaks:
    After cooking and removing about two cups of liquid, I added more salt, probably a half teaspoon, added pepper, probably a half teaspoon, and some garlic powder, and added two teaspoons of sugar. Then I let it simmer on slow cook for about an hour, stirring every once in a while until it thickened up.

    Perfect.

Renee’

Great recipe! Instead of sautéing the garlic, I left pods in their skin and after cooking, I squeezed the garlic into the tomatoes. Great depth of flavor!

Cory

Sounds delicious – and pretty simple! I’m going to make this tonight, and I can’t wait to try it! My question is … According to your info, the sodium content is 370mg per serving, and I’m wondering why it’s so high, since nearly all the ingredients are vegetables …?? Even the tomato paste I have says it’s only 15mg sodium. I’m planning to make it without including the teaspoon of salt (unless you think that’s absolutely necessary …) Any thoughts about why the sodium content is so high and/or how I can adjust the recipe to lower it?) Thanks so much!

    Megan Gilmore

    The nutrition information on my site is automatically calculated using generic ingredients that were entered into a database by anonymous people… so there’s no telling how much sodium might have been in the tomato paste, or if there is simply a typo in an ingredient. So I’d just check the labels on your ingredients at home to make sure the sodium is in check!

      Cory z

      Thanks so much for the speedy response, and for the info! The label on my tomato paste said 15mg sodium, so I’m thinking/hoping the finished sauce wasn’t much higher than that… It was a great, simple, easy-to-follow recipe and very tasty. I think I’m going to add some more garlic and some cinnamon to give it a bit more flavor. Also, I’d like it to be just a bit thicker, so I’m thinking of adding some cornstarch, or maybe another 6oz can if tomato paste (but I feel like the addl tomato paste would be “cheating,” and also would increase the sodium)… I’m a total basic/beginner in the kitchen, so I’m open to any other thoughts! Thanks again!

Lisa

Making my second batch today with homegrown tomatoes and a few romas. Excellent recipe and a great way to use up garden produce!

Kim

If I double the recipe how long should I cook it for?

    Megan Gilmore

    The cook time will stay the same, but it will take longer for the pot to come to pressure with more volume, so the overall time it’s in the pot will naturally be a little longer.

Penny

My daughter shared this recipe with me and I’m so glad she did. We’ve both had a good crop of Roma and Better Boy tomatoes and aren’t able to eat them fast enough. Since we stick to veggies with a low glycemic index, we left the carrots out and I can’t tell a difference. It’s sweet enough with the fresh tomatoes and herbs. I love knowing exactly what’s in my food.

Jamie Roberts

This is the best and easiest homemade tomato sauce I’ve ever made! I added a bell and two cajun bell peppers to the sauce from my garden as well and it came out perfectly. And how wonderful not to have to peel the tomatoes! Thanks!

    Jamie Roberts

    Since my original comment, I’ve made three potfuls of this. It’s one of my favorite recipes ever and this is the first summer I’ve been able to deal with my abundance of tomatoes, thanks to you!

Monique Poirier

I made this with Roma Tomatoes and doubled the recipe and it’s an amazing sauce! Thank you!!!

Cami

My garden tomatoes were getting out of control, so I made this today. I actually had enough for two double batches (I have two instant pots), and I love how it turned out! I did drain off a few cups of delicious liquid, which I froze for future use in a soup. I added green bell pepper and zucchini because they were from the garden, too, and I love the flavor. Definitely a keeper!

Aprille O'Hara

I cannot believe how good this is with so little effort. I’ve cooked on stove all day and never had it taste so good. Simple ingredients with big flavor. Thank you for sharing

Heather

This is amazing spaghetti sauce. Turned out perfectly, using my own onions,tomatoes and garlic.

Dennis

Outstanding sauce. We are in a farm share (CSA) and had gotten a bit of a tomato surplus going. What an awesomely simple and delicious way to deal with it! We had CSA carrots, onions and even fresh basil to use as well! The only other variation I added was a 1/4 tsp. baking soda to calm the acidity. Got big thumbs up all around the table.

NaNcy

Delicious! Fresh and tasty. Love the addition of carrots instead of sugar. My next batch will include zucchini (shh)!

Christine

Made this today with my garden tomatoes. I had mostly Roma’s which seemed to be on the dryer side so I added 1/4 red wine and 1/4 cup water, but I did end up removing a few ladles of liquid before blending so perhaps I didn’t need the extra liquid after all! I also added some red pepper flakes, black ground pepper and some fresh green pepper from my garden. Wow – this was super fast and easy and so fresh tasting. I made a sauce last week where I scored, boiled, peeled, de-seeded, chopped and cooked the tomatoes for hours and it was so much work. Thanks for making the process easier!

Cindy

Great recipe. I used a little less tomato paste and much more garlic, and i removed a cup of liquid before blending it as my tomatoes are very juicy.

Shirl

This is delicious and so easy! When I think of all the peeling and seeding I’ve done in the past , well never again! Thanks so much for this recioe

Christen Gerber

Amazing recipe! So easy too!!

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