Instant Pot Tomato Sauce Recipe


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Instant Pot Tomato Sauce is the best easy no peel tomato sauce recipe. Homemade pasta sauce has never been simpler or quicker to make!

Instant Pot Tomato Sauce

Whether you have an abundance of tomatoes from your garden, or found a great deal on fresh tomatoes at the grocery store or farm stand, this is one of those simple classic recipes that’s perfect for helping you use up all the extra tomatoes you have laying around.

I love how easy it is to make homemade tomato sauce in the Instant Pot – I find it a lot easier than making it on the stove, and I’m sure you’ll love it, too!

Serve it over spaghetti with meatballs along with a side of garlic bread for a classic comfort food dinner. Or try serving it over spaghetti squash for a healthier version of the classic!

An overhead image of a small bowl of tomato sauce surrounded by tomatoes and a cloth napkin.

What Is The Best Tomato For Tomato Sauce?

The most widely available tomato in the United States that’s great for making tomato sauce is Roma tomatoes. It’s not as sweet as a San Marzano tomato, but it has a meaty texture and few seeds. The caveat is that it has a thicker skin that most people would want to peel.

If you want to skip peeling the tomatoes, and make a no peel tomato sauce, smaller tomatoes and heirloom varieties have thinner skins that blend well. This is the option I went with, but whether you choose a tomato that has thinner skin, or a tomato that has fewer seeds, is totally up to you.

How To Make Marinara Sauce In The Instant Pot With Fresh Tomatoes

Start by sautéing the onions and carrots in olive oil. Once the sweet onions are translucent, add the water, place the tomatoes on top, mix the tomatoes and onions together, and sprinkle the spices over the top of the tomatoes. That’s an important step – the spices will want to stick to the bottom of the pot and burn, so sprinkling them on top of the tomatoes creates a buffer for them.

Cook the sauce in the Instant Pot, then let it naturally release for 10 minutes. Use an immersion blender to purée the spaghetti sauce, then thicken the sauce for a bit by setting the Instant Pot to Sauté on the Low setting.

A process collage showing what the tomatoes looks like before and after cooking in the Instant Pot.

How Do You Sweeten Tomato Sauce Without Sugar?

Carrots are a great way to sweeten tomato sauce without sugar. That’s why there are carrots in this recipe – once they’re sautéed and fully cooked, they add a lovely sweet element. It’s a great way to get more vegetables in, too!

I recommend using organic carrots, because the ones I’ve tested taste naturally sweeter than the conventional varieties. Baby carrots also tend to be sweeter than full-sized carrots, so they’re another great option here.

A picture showing what the tomato sauce looks like after the tomatoes are pureed inside the Instant Pot.

How Do You Get The Acid Taste Out Of Spaghetti Sauce?

The best way to minimize the acidic taste in tomato sauce is to add a pinch of baking soda. Since it neutralizes the acid, it can really mellow out the flavors. It’s important to only add a pinch at a time, and fully mix it into the sauce and taste it before you add more. A little goes a long way with baking soda, and you definitely don’t want to add too much.

A small bowl of tomato sauce with the light glistening off of it.

How To Make Tomato Sauce Creamy

A little butter makes a world of difference in making tomato sauce a little creamy, velvety, and smooth. Before adding any dairy to an acidic sauce, like tomato sauce, I’d recommend using the baking soda trick in the section above. By neutralizing the acid, it prevents the risk of dairy curdling when exposed to acid (this is especially true if you’re planning to add milk or heavy cream to your sauce).

Homemade tomato sauce in a clear jar with fresh tomatoes in the background.

Optional Additions

This is a recipe for a basic vegetarian tomato sauce, but you can definitely add things to it if you’d like. Some great options are:

  • If you have tons of fresh herbs on hand, use them instead of the dried herbs (fresh basil is a dream in tomato sauce!). Just be sure to use 3 times as much as the recipe calls for (generally, dried herbs are 3 times more potent than fresh herbs).
  • Add some meat to your spaghetti sauce. Classic additions are browned ground beef, sausage, hamburger, or ground turkey.
  • If you have a parmesan rind hanging out in your refrigerator, add that in while the sauce cooks! It adds a dreamy salty and creamy flavor to the sauce.
A small bowl of tomato sauce topped with freshly grated parmesan.

Keep In Touch

I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime

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A Pinterest pin image with pictures of making Instant Pot tomato sauce and with title text.

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If you like this recipe, be sure to check out our entire pasta recipe section! Some reader favorites are:

Yield: Approximately 5 cups

Instant Pot Tomato Sauce Recipe

The best Instant Pot tomato sauce recipe with fresh tomatoes.

Instant Pot Tomato Sauce is the best easy no peel tomato sauce recipe. Homemade pasta sauce has never been simpler or quicker to make!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes


  • 3 Tablespoons good quality olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 large carrots (peeled and chopped, organic is best)
  • 4 medium cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 pounds tomatoes (washed and quartered, see notes for varieties)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano


  1. Set the Instant Pot to the Sauté mode on high. Once it’s hot, add in the olive oil. Add in the onions and carrots, and sauté while stirring frequently until the onions and golden and starting to turn transparent (about 5 minutes). Add in the garlic and sauté until aromatic (about 30 seconds). Add in the water, and use the end of a wooden spoon to scrape up any of the flavorful bits on the bottom. Turn the Instant Pot off.
  2. Add in the tomatoes, and mix with the onions. Sprinkle the spices over the top of the tomatoes (not on the bottom of the pot).
  3. Close the lid of the Instant Pot, and set the steam release valve to the sealing position. Select Manual (or Pressure Cook depending on your model), and then cook the tomato sauce on high pressure for 20 minutes.
  4. After the Instant Pot has finished cooking, allow it to natural release for 10 minutes before moving the steam release valve to the venting position to let the pressure fully release. Carefully remove the lid.
  5. Using an immersion blender, purée the sauce until it’s smooth.
  6. Set the Instant Pot to the sauté mode, and sauté on low for about 60 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened up (you want to avoid boiling the sauce). Alternatively, you could skip this step and mix in a 6-ounce can of tomato paste to thicken it. Taste, and adjust the spices.


See the full written post for notes on which varieties of tomatoes are the best to use (based on your taste preferences).

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 74Total Fat: 0.6gCarbohydrates: 8.2gNet Carbohydrates: 6gFiber: 2.2gSugar: 4.7gProtein: 1.5g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.


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Try making this easy Instant Pot Tomato Sauce for your next pasta dinner!

The best Instant Pot tomato sauce recipe with fresh tomatoes.

16 thoughts on “Instant Pot Tomato Sauce Recipe”

    • Hi Vanessa, It’s hard to translate it into cups since it varies so widely based on the size of the tomato. Assuming your tomatoes are about the size of a baseball, it would be roughly 9 tomatoes. That number could definitely be higher or lower though if you’re using larger or smaller tomatoes. Hope that helps! -Alexa

  1. Made this for the third time in a month!! Using up my and friends garden tomatoes. This is the best & easiest marinara I’ve ever made.Thank you for this recipe. This batch I added a yellow pepper & some red wine. Bon Appetite👍🏼

    • Hi Marianne, So happy you like this tomato sauce recipe so much! It really is such a great way to use up garden tomatoes. Your additions sound like they’d be delicious! -Alexa

  2. I have made this recipe a few time using the 3lb carton of vine tomatoes from Sam’s Club. It comes out great each time. I choose to add the paste rather than simmer. Even with my ingredient level variations, this recipe never fails me.

  3. I made it. I am not that particular about pasta sauce. This is a great recipe and process. Super easy. I will make it again. You could add more vegetables ie: squash, peppers. I did run the sauce through a food mill before I simmered it down but only because I don’t like seeds (mouth feel) in my food. I plan to add cream to the sauce for a tomato soup.
    My instant pot did not hold 10# of tomatoes. It was easy to adjust the recipe. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  4. This recipe was very easy and a great way to use a bunch of beautiful farmers market tomatoes. I did strain the sauce after blending it; I didn’t want the seeds or small skin pieces. After that, it tasted like a delicious tomato soup! We also had leftover tomato paste from a can, so I tossed the rest of that in and simmered it in the IP for about half an hour. I love that the carrot brings sweetness, so I didn’t need to add any sugar.
    Thank you for this recipe!

  5. Alexa: Hi! I’ve made this twice. Absolutely the easiest and tastiest marinara/tomato sauce EVER! My picky husband even likes it!!!!! I’m wondering, my freezer is full to the max with garden produce, so I’d like to hot water bath/can the jars. How long would you recommend I boil the jars for?

    • Hi Kathy, So happy to hear you love this tomato sauce so much! Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about canning to know if this recipe is able to be safely used in canning, or what steps would need to be taken to make it safe for canning. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful with this! -Alexa

  6. I found your recipe and am going to try it tonight. However I was puzzled when you wrote about adding spices and I wondered if I had misread the recipe. I see herbs in the list of ingredients but not spices although I do often add red pepper flakes to tomato sauce.


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