Homemade marinara sauce with fresh tomatoes just tastes REALLY REALLY GOOD. But it takes FOREVER to simmer on the stovetop. That is why I love this easy instant pot marinara sauce. It tastes like is has simmered for hours on the stove, but in reality it is done in less time.
How Fast is This Instant Pot Marinara Sauce?
Italian sauces taste better simmered for hours on the stovetop. I get it. They make the house smell wonderful with their Italian aromas. BUT….I don’t have hours. I have kids that need to get to basketball practice. Or cheer. Or piano.
That is why I love the Instant Pot. It tastes like it has simmered for hours. But really only takes less than an hour. And this recipe saves you even more time, as you don’t have to blanch those fresh tomatoes to remove the peels. Keep them on, they will just be blended into the sauce and no one will be the wiser.
To Peel the Tomato or Not Peel the Tomato?
Well if you are looking to gain the most healthy benefits of the tomato – eat the skin! (I think this is pretty much across the board when it comes to fruit and vegetables – the skin always has more nutrients!) But don’t take my word for it. Read up on it in this article on WebMd. On WebMd they state that “Tomato peels contribute a high concentration of carotenoids”. Carotenoids are high in anti-oxidants and contain Vitamin A, C and E. Tomatoes really are a super food in their own right!
So yes, eat the skin, it is good for you! And with this instant pot marinara recipe, the skin is blended in, so even picky eaters won’t notice that there is ‘skin’ in their sauce.
How to Make Instant Pot Marinara Sauce
First you will need your instant pot with this recipe! I am sure it could be made on the stove top and simmered for hours, but the point of this recipe is homemade marinara sauce that is done in less time.
I admit I don’t use my instant pot as often as I like, so when I can create a recipe specifically for it, I feel a little bit better about making room to store the instant pot in my kitchen closet.
You will use both your sauté setting on the instant pot + the manual pressure cooker setting to make this marinara sauce. I used fresh tomatoes from the garden and a mixture of heirlooms and red tomatoes, but you could only use one variety. If you are using store bought tomatoes, I would advise adding a pinch more of sugar as vine ripened garden tomatoes taste a little sweeter naturally than tomatoes that have traveled a distance to the grocer.
You will also need tomato paste which will enhance the flavor of the sauce. Chopped onions will add a savory touch and chopped carrots will add natural sweetness. This recipe also calls for red wine – if you must you could omit this, but I love how it adds another depth of flavor to a red sauce.
Italian spices such as basil and oregano add an herbal flavor and (optional) fennel gives this an authentic flavor. If you are opposed to the sweet-anise spice fennel, I encourage you to try it in this sauce. It’s flavor really adds an additional authentic Italian taste. I assure you this will not turn out ‘licorice’ tasting!
How to Store Instant Pot Marinara Sauce
After your instant pot is done pressure cooking, you will need to do a slow release on your cooker. Next, either use an immersion blender to blend it all together OR purée in small batches in a blender.
If using right away – great! No need to store. Make some spaghetti noodles and enjoy this fresh red sauce with it! If you are like me though, the whole point of using your instant pot is to meal prep or freezer meal prep. Divide your sauce in 2-3 cups increments and store in freezer safe containers. Yes, this marinara sauce freezes well! If you are storing in a deep freezer, this sauce will last for months!
Are you ready to make some easy instant marinara sauce? We can’t wait to hear how this turns out for you! Tag @badtothebowl on social media.
Easy Instant Pot Marinara Sauce
- 4-5 lbs of fresh tomatoes*, chopped in large chunks with stem removed
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 1/2 cup carrots, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 6 oz. tomato paste (regular or Italian)
- 2 t. dried oregano
- 2 t. dried basil
- 2 t. salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp crushed fennel seed (optional)
- On Instant Pot sauté setting, water sauté your onions about 10 minutes.
- Add diced carrots and garlic cloves, water sauté about 2-3 minutes more.
- Add water and tomato chuncks.
- Close lid on Instant Pot and set to manual for 20 minutes.
- When finished, vent slowly. Remove lid and stir.
- Add wine, tomato sauce, spices, sugar and salt. Stir to incorporate.
- Using immersion blender, blend until smooth.**
- Put Instant Pot back on sauté mode and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve immediately with pasta and salad OR let cool then divide in 2-3 cups and store in freezer safe containers.