Instant Pot Homemade 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. This Spaghetti Sauce is perfect for any Italian meal, pizza, pasta or even soups.
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What is Marinara Sauce?
Marinara Sauce is a tomato sauce that is made with tomatoes, garlic, carrots, onions,oil and herbs. It is a staple in every Italian kitchen. It's a sauce made with tomatoes, onions, herbs and garlic. Marinara Sauce is also known as Spaghetti Sauce. 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. The taste varies based on the type of tomatoes and you certainly forget the store bought marinara sauce
Why make Marinara Sauce in an Instant Pot?
Obviously the traditionally this sauce is made on a stove top in a large skillet or a sauce pot. This Instant Pot Marinara Sauce 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. This recipe uses fresh tomatoes, with no sugar or artificial preservatives and low sodium. You can make this Spaghetti Sauce and freeze it in bags and it will stay good for a couple of months.
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
Ingredients you need to make this
So what do we need to make this easy Instant Pot 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.
Step by Step instructions
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 this Spaghetti 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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