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!
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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.
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.)
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!
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 (with fresh tomatoes!)
- 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)
- 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.
Per 1/4 cup: Calories: 35, Fat: 0, Carbohydrates: 7g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 1g
- 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!
Questions and Reviews
Have you found a good dairy replacement for recipes like this one? Thanks!
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.
Is it okay if I added the tomato paste with everything else?
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?
Earlier in the post indicates tomato paste added after cooking but before blending.
Do you peel the tomatoes first, or just put them in with skin on?
With the skin on!
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.
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?
I bet they would thaw in the pot!
This was so easy and so delicious! Thank you for this!
This will definitely be a part of my go-to meals during the week!
Carrots are not allowed on my diet plan. Any other suggestions on natural sweetness?
Red peppers or cherry tomatoes
2 or more dates.
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.
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.
I am doubling the recipe, do I need to change the time I cook it?
I got the burn error 🙁
Hi, can you use Roma tomatoes or do they not have enough water?
Those should be fine!
Interested if anyone has tried canning this? I’m thinking with the addition of some lemon juice in the bottom of the jar, it would canned quite well in a hot water bath. Anyone try it?
If you don’t have a pressure cooker how long do you cook vegetables?
I would simmer it for about 30 minutes covered.
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 🙂
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.
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.
could you cook meatballs on a trivet above the sauce.
Sure, I would think so!
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.
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.
Thank you Sonja, I have 4lbs of Roma’s so this helped me a lot!
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!
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.
Can you pressure can this?
Did you end up canning this recipe? I’ve never canned but I wanted to try it with all my garden tomatoes and I wanted to make spaghetti sauce and found this recipe. I’m anxious to try it.
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?
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.
Can I use frozen chopped tomatoes?
Great sauce. Recipe easy to follow, clearly written. I’m buying your book
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! ❤️❤️
Do the peels disappear and blend just like the rest of it? I just didn’t want chunks of peels in my sauce.
I have canned tomatoes. Would these work in this recipe?
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.
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!
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!
Hi! I’m going to try your recipe. Just wondering if it is possible to can this after it is done cooking?
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, Did you can it? Do ÿou have to water bath it?
So quick, easy and delicious! I usually struggle to be able to use all my garden tomatoes – not this year. Thank you!
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?
I’d love to make a big batch and can it. Have you canned this sauce before?
No Instapot… any suggestions to make it on stovetop? Tyia
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.
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!
I don’t have a emulsion blender. Would putting in my food processor work just as well!!
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!
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!
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!
Making my second batch today with homegrown tomatoes and a few romas. Excellent recipe and a great way to use up garden produce!
If I double the recipe how long should I cook it for?
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.
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.
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!
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!
I made this with Roma Tomatoes and doubled the recipe and it’s an amazing sauce! Thank you!!!
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!
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
This is amazing spaghetti sauce. Turned out perfectly, using my own onions,tomatoes and garlic.
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.
Delicious! Fresh and tasty. Love the addition of carrots instead of sugar. My next batch will include zucchini (shh)!
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!
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.
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
Amazing recipe! So easy too!!