Instant Pot Spaghetti Sauce (with fresh tomatoes!)

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.

5 from 6 votes
instant pot spaghetti sauce in a jar
Instant Pot Spaghetti Sauce (with fresh tomatoes!)
Prep Time
8 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Pressurize Time:
10 mins
Total Time
38 mins
 

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
Servings: 12 (roughly 40 ounces)
Calories: 35 kcal
Author: Megan Gilmore
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
  1. 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.)

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

Per 1/4 cup: Calories: 35, Fat: 0, Carbohydrates: 7g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 1g

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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 one jar of tomato sauce, but you can easily double it if you have 2 pounds of fresh tomatoes on hand. In that case, you can use an entire 6-ounce can of tomato paste and freeze the extra sauce for an easy future meal.
  • 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.

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.

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