There’s something so satisfying about a plate of pasta with a hearty, flavorful marinara sauce. It’s a meal that can be put together in a hurry, when you’re low on groceries or have no idea what to make, and it’s both inexpensive and appealing. This recipe for Instant Pot marinara sauce with extra veggies makes a huge batch of sauce, equivalent to three jars of pre-made sauce. Instant Pot veggie marinara sauce is fabulous to have on hand in the freezer for whenever you need the makings of an easy spaghetti dinner.
This veggie marinara sauce recipe uses carrots and celery in addition to tomatoes, onions and garlic, with a touch of extra virgin of olive oil. You can use this sauce to top pasta, grilled chicken or zucchini noodles, or to use as a dip for breadsticks. You use it for baked pasta dishes like Baked Caprese Tortellini. It’s also a great choice for our World’s Best Crock-Pot Italian Chicken recipe.
To start the sauce, puree the onion, garlic, carrots and celery in a food processor with the olive oil. This veggie puree becomes a flavor base for the sauce.
For years, I didn’t have a food processor, but if you don’t have one, you can put the carrots, celery, onion and garlic in a blender with a little water, process them until they are very finely chopped, drain them using a fine strainer, and then add them to the olive oil.
Put the veggie puree into the Instant Pot, season with salt and black pepper, and cook using the Instant Pot’s sauté function. Cook and stir for about 15 minutes. This step is optional, but it helps develop the flavor of the vegetables before you add the tomatoes.
I had my Instant Pot for a few months before I realized you can adjust the heat for the sauté setting. I recommend the medium or “normal” heat setting for this step. Press “Sauté,” then press “Adjust” until the “Normal” setting is highlighted.
Once the veggies have softened and mellowed in flavor, add the crushed tomatoes. Once the tomatoes are in the pot, you add dried basil, Italian seasoning, more salt, red pepper flakes, and a little sugar or agave syrup to counterbalance the acidity of the tomatoes. Doesn’t it look delicious already?
The final step is to cook the sauce at high pressure for 20 minutes. At the end of the cook time, let the pressure release naturally (about 20 minutes), and remove the lid.
At the end, you’ll have a huge batch of yummy sauce that you can use to create several no-fuss meals. This recipe makes the equivalent of three jars of commercially prepared marinara sauce, so what you don’t use immediately you can store in the freezer. The sauce will keep fresh in the freezer for 6-12 months.
Extra sauce will keep in the freezer for 6-12 months. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 83Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 448mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 2g
Extra sauce will keep in the freezer for 6-12 months.
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Photos by Marsha Maxwell, Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com, Valeria Asakova/Shutterstock.com.