Instant Pot Marinara Sauce is an easy marinara sauce recipe that is a must have in every kitchen. Made with only fresh tomatoes, minus all artificial ingredients and sugar. Perfect for any Italian meal, pizza, pasta or even soups this marinara sauce will soon replace the store bough jarred sauce. Vegan. Gluten-Free. Low-Carb.
Living in Europe, definitely has some perks when it comes to food and travel. Honestly I am absolutely enjoying the vegan / vegetarian food scene here in Germany. Given it’s close proximity to Italy, the Italian food here is so much more delicious with so much variety that it’s unbelievable. The couple years that we are here, you are going to see a lot of Italian recipes on the blog, cos Italian food here is like what Mexican food is to America. So stay tuned and make sure you subscribe to our blog.
As you walk down the streets of Erlangen Altstad, you can’t help but enjoy the aroma of fresh pasta or pizza sauce from the Italian restaurants. I have been obsessed with just the mere variety of tomatoes here.
If you follow us on Instagram, you would have probably seen our story on the variety of tomatoes here at the farmers market. After seeing all those tomatoes I couldn’t help but I had to go home and make some fresh Marina sauce myself.
Not sure why it took me so long to post this recipe on the blog, when I have been making it all this while.
Marinara Sauce is a staple in every Italian kitchen. It’s a sauce made with tomatoes, onions, herbs and garlic. It’s a very versatile sauce and is used over pasta or on the pizza. Although you make make different variations of Marinara Sauce by adding capers, olives, wine etc. I like to keep mine simple and easy.
What is the difference between Marinara Sauce / Tomato Sauce / Spaghetti Sauce?
Marinara Sauce – This is a quick sauce made from tomatoes, onions, herbs and garlic. It can be left chunky and the finished sauce is fairly loose. The taste is of fresh tomatoes.
Tomato Sauce – Is a complex sauce as it’s made from pureed tomatoes and seasoned with onions, carrots, celery and bay leaf. The sauce is left to simmer until thick and tastes sweeter.
Spaghetti Sauce – When you start adding, proteins, seafood or cheese to the Marinara sauce it becomes Spaghetti Sauce or Bolognese Sauce
Instant Pot Marinara Sauce
Obviously the traditionally this sauce is made on a stove top in a large skillet or a sauce pot. This Instant Pot version will definitely save you hours of constantly monitoring and stirring. It definitely tastes like it’s been simmered all day but it comes together in less than 30 minutes.
🍅🍅🍅It’s made with fresh tomatoes, no canned tomatoes.🍅🍅🍅
🚫No sugar added
🚫No artificial preservatives
🧂 Low sodium
Marinara Sauce Ingredients
So what do we need to make this easy Marinara Sauce.
Fresh Tomatoes 🍅 – Harvest those tomatoes from your kitchen garden and make some sauce. It’s a great way to use up those tomatoes and make a large batch of Marinara Sauce. Although Roma or San Marzano are popularly used to make Marinara sauce but honestly I just use what I have handy. Mostly Heirloom or Roma.
Onions – Onions are a great way to add flavor and texture to the sauce.
Carrot 🥕 – The main purpose of the carrot is to induce it’s sweetness and thicken the sauce with it’s fibrous texture. It acts as an acidity regulator. If you don’t have a carrot handy, you can always skip it however then you will need to add a little sugar to your sauce. I prefer adding a carrot than sugar as I like to minimize my sugar content whenever possible.
Herbs 🌿 – This is what adds all the flavors to your sauce. I like to add basil, oregano or parsley. Fresh, dried anything works.
Garlic – I love garlic in everything, it adds a nice flavor to the sauce. Mainly it takes away the blandness of the sauce.
Water / Broth – Depending on what I have handy, I add that. Sometimes water, sometimes vegetable broth. Ofcourse the broth adds it’s own taste to the sauce as well. So if you like the taste of fresh tomatoes than add water.
Oil – Adding oil optional. I like to add oil as I like to saute the onions, garlic and herbs a little before I pressure cook them. You can completely skip adding oil, if you like your sauce oil free. I have used olive oil for this recipe.
How to make Marinara Sauce in Instant Pot?
It’s pretty straight forward, nothing fancy. I keep all my ingredients ready first. I chop the tomatoes, onions, carrot and herbs & mince the garlic.
I heat some olive oil in the inner pot and toss in the minced garlic. Cook it for a minute and then add the dried herbs and onions.Saute for a couple minutes until you get the aroma of garlic.
Throw in the tomatoes, carrot, fresh herbs and water or broth and pressure on high for 15 minutes.
Allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes and then quick release the rest of the pressure. Using a blender, blend the sauce until your desired consistency, chunky or smooth or in between. You could also use a Potato Masher to mash up all the ingredients if you like the sauce chunky.
What makes red tomato marinara sauce orange?
Back when I started making this sauce, I used to always wonder why my sauce was not the bright red sauce like the recipe I see online. Then I realized most online recipes used canned tomatoes in some form or the other. However this recipe calls for fresh tomatoes only. When using fresh tomatoes you have to remember a couple things.
First, the carrot we added in place of sugar as an acidity regulator, does give a little orangish ting.
Next when you use a blender to puree the mixture the tomatoes oxidize when exposed to air. However if you are using a vacuum blender you will realize the color doesn’t change.
It can also happen when sometimes although the tomatoes look red, but they are not fully mature from the inside.
How to fix the orange color?
Although the color of the sauce doesn’t bother me, sometimes when making this for a crowd you want your dish to be perfect. So what I typically do then is, stew a couple whole tomatoes. Remove the skin and hand mash them and mix them into my sauce for the bright red color. It will definitely improve the color.
Can I can this Marinara Sauce? Is it Freezer Friendly?
Yes!!! If you want to can this sauce, pour the hot sauce to sterilized canning jars, sealing tightly with new lids, and follow canning instructions for your jars.
You can also allow the sauce to cool down and transfer it into freezer safe containers or or bags and it will stay good for a couple months.
What to use Marinara Sauce for?
We all know it’s great over Pasta and Pizza.
Ratatouille, spread this sauce before laying out those thin cuts of veggies.
Dress up those veggie meatballs with this Marinara Sauce, yum!
Dip those mozzarella sticks, garlic bread or mini toasts in this Marinara Sauce.
Tip : Make batches and store in summer, will come handy for back-to-school. I typically top his pasta with this sauce and pair it with homemade Apple Chips. Often this pasta is also our Friday night meal and I pair it with Vegetable Quinoa Soup.
I hope you consider trying this recipe,as it’s so delicious and rich in taste. Try it yourself. When you do try this recipe, don’t forget to tag us on Instagram @dbellyrulesdmind. Take a picture and send it our way.
More Italian Instant Pot Recipes from the blog
- Press the Saute button and heat the olive oil in the inner pot.
- Add the garlic. Cook it for a minute and then add the dried herbs and onions.Saute for a couple minutes until you get the aroma of garlic.
- Throw in the tomatoes, carrot, fresh herbs and water or broth.
- Close the lid, seal the vent and pressure cook on high for 15 minutes.
- Allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes and then quick release the rest of the pressure.
- Using a blender, blend the sauce until your desired consistency, chunky or smooth or in between. You could also use a Potato Masher to mash up all the ingredients if you like the sauce chunky and would like to retain the red color of the sauce.
For best results read notes in the post.
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