A simple Italian tomato sauce that is used in so many dishes, this Instant Pot Marinara Sauce is a freezer friendly tomato sauce to keep on hand! Make a big batch of it and stock your freezer so you have this delicious sauce whenever you make pasta, pizza, or meatballs!
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A simple marinara sauce is a recipe that is so useful to have in your recipe archives. It's a quick dinner to have this sauce over some spaghetti, or to slather on pizza. Pasta with marinara sauce is such a comfort food to me. I love making it whenever I can and my kids love it too! Pile this sauce on some pasta and then grate ALL the parmesan cheese over it! It doesn't get much better than that!
Here are some of my favorite ways to incorporate marinara sauce:
- Slather it on Beer Pizza Dough
- Top Sourdough Discard Pizza Dough
- Cook Pepperoni Pizza Meatballs
- Simply use a Sourdough Dinner Roll to dip
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- It's freezer friendly! Make a big batch of Instant Pot Marinara Sauce and then divide it into freezer friendly containers like these. The sauce will keep in the freezer for up to three months. When you need it, simply take out one of the containers in the morning and defrost it in the refrigerator to use for dinner that night.
- No fresh tomatoes needed! This recipe uses canned tomatoes that are readily available in the grocery store. No need to save up your tomato harvest, or if you aren't a gardener, you can still make this delicious sauce!
- The Instant Pot does the hard work! When my grandma made marinara sauce, she would let it sit on the stove for hours and hours to cook down. This one only takes 20 minutes to cook and you have a delicious sauce for your family!
What is Marinara Sauce?
Marinara sauce is simply a tomato sauce. It differs from spaghetti sauce slightly because it is usually thinner and does not have the added vegetables that you would usually add to a spaghetti sauce, such as carrots and onions.
If you want a heartier sauce, Bolognese is the way to go. A Bolognese sauce is full of meat and vegetables and much thicker than this marinara sauce.
When purchasing canned whole tomatoes, try to find a San Marzano variety. They have a lower acidity than other tomatoes and make for a sweet sauce without adding any sugar.
Ingredients You'll Need
The ingredients are simple and straightforward. No mystery ingredients here!
- Tomatoes- We are making tomato sauce after all! You want whole tomatoes so you can puree them yourself and they cook down with the rest of the sauce.
- Olive oil- to sauté the garlic
- Garlic- as an aromatic to add flavor
- Basil- No need to chop the basil. The immersion blender will do that later
- Italian seasoning and basil- for added flavor
- Salt and Pepper- to taste
Let's Make Instant Pot Marinara Sauce!
This process could not be simpler! First, turn the Instant Pot on sauté. Next, add the olive oil. Chop or grate the garlic into the Instant Pot. When chopping garlic, I like to use a microplane to make quick work of grating the garlic. Sauté the garlic and olive oil for 1 minutes, until you can just smell the garlic. Garlic burns so quickly, so you don't want to sauté it for too long.
Once the garlic is sautéed and you can just smell it, add the two cans of tomatoes, no need to drain them. Top the tomatoes with the fresh basil and the dried Italian seasoning.
Seal the lid of the Instant Pot and pressure cook the tomatoes on high for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release for 10 minutes. Release any remaining pressure and puree the sauce with an Immersion blender. Be careful because the tomatoes are very hot! Once the sauce is pureed to your liking, serve over pasta or on pizza and enjoy!
How To Freeze Marinara Sauce
Once the sauce is pureed to your liking, allow it to cool in the Instant Pot. The sauce needs to be completely cooled before you add it to your freezer, or you run the risk of changing the temperature of your freezer and defrosting other items.
When the sauce is completely cooled, ladle the sauce into freezer friendly containers. You can purchase them, or I like to keep the soup containers when we get take out. They are perfect to freeze soups and sauces in.
Label the take out containers with a sharpie and note the date in which you are putting the container in the freezer. Doing this prevents confusion when you go into your freezer and wonder how long a sauce has been in there. This sauce will stay in the freezer for 3-4 months, though to be honest, I've had sauce in the freezer longer and it was still delicious!
Tips and Tricks
- Give the marinara sauce a taste once you puree it. Adjust the seasoning by adding salt and pepper. If it seems a little too acidic for your liking, add a tablespoon of sugar. That will cut down on the acidity of the sauce.
- To heat things up, add a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes!
- You don't have to just use it over pasta! This sauce is great to dip bread, mozzarella sticks, or to slather on chicken parmigiana.
- If you prefer a thicker sauce, turn the Instant Pot to "sauté" once it is done pressure cooking. Sauté it for 5-10 minutes and that will thicken the sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
You want to use whole canned tomatoes instead of crushed tomatoes, because you want the flavor of a full tomato and then cook it down yourself in the sauce. If you were to use crushed tomatoes or diced tomatoes, they are already cooked a good portion of the way through. Whole canned tomatoes gives you the freedom to cook them fully and then to season them as you would like.
This sauce will last 4-5 days in an airtight container.
If you don't have an immersion blender, simply add the sauce to a full sized blender. Be careful though, you don't want to over fill the blender as the sauce can spill over. Blend the sauce in batches if you are using a regular blender.
Other Recipes To Try!
Did you love this Instant Pot Marinara Sauce? I'd so appreciate it if you would give this recipe a 5 star review! That will help other hungry readers find my recipes!
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- Caramel Apple Cheesecake Dip
- Sweet and Salty Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Homemade Chunky Applesauce
- Halloween Funfetti Cheesecake Bars
- All in One Apple Cake
Instant Pot Marinara Sauce
- 2 Cans Whole Tomatoes 28 Ounces
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- ¼ cup Olive Oil
- ½ tablespoon Italian Seasoning
- 2 tablespoon Fresh Basil
- 1 tablespoon Sugar OPTIONAL
- Turn your Instant Pot on "saute" and add the olive oil and garlic. Cook for one minute, or until the garlic becomes fragrant. Stir frequently as you do not want the garlic to burn.
- Add the whole canned tomatoes, basil, and Italian seasoning. You do not need to chop the basil. Turn off "saute" and turn the Instant Pot on "HIGH".
- Seal the lid and cook on HIGH for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release for 10 minutes.
- Release any remaining pressure and open the lid.
- With an immersion blender, puree the sauce to your liking. Season with salt and pepper. Taste the sauce and if it is too acidic for you liking, add the 1 tablespoon of sugar. Serve!
- If the sauce is too thin for your liking, turn the Instant Pot on "saute" for 5-10 minutes after you blend it. That will thicken the sauce and cook it down further.
- Add crushed red pepper flakes for a spicy sauce!
- Serve over pasta, on pizza, or dip mozzarella sticks.