Want to make an easy Instant Pot Homemade Tomato Sauce with fresh tomatoes?
While I love my Quick and Easy Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce, I also enjoy making a sauce that takes longer with fresh plum tomatoes such as San Marzano tomatoes. Normally I’ll simmer it for hours on the stove after having spent a lot of time peeling, coring and seeding the tomatoes first. After buying a 15 pound box of San Marzanos recently (because I didn’t grow enough), I decided this was the year to figure out how to make my homemade sauce in the Instant Pot. I had a few things in mind before creating the recipe.
Here was my criteria for my new sauce:
- I didn’t want to peel, core or seed the tomatoes. While it’s an extraordinary taste, it takes a lot of time and I feel like I’m wasting most of the tomato, very little is left after you do all of that and you need lots of tomatoes.
- I really wanted to do it in the Instant Pot as I didn’t want to stir it all day.
- This sauce needed to have great flavor without a ton of calories. I wanted a healthy tomato sauce free of added sugar and not a lot of oil.
I believe my Instant Pot Homemade Tomato Sauce fits all 3 of my criteria. I used sweet onions and baby carrots instead of sugar. I used fresh herbs, garlic, plum tomatoes and a parmesan rind to add flavor. See what you think! It really doesn’t take much prep time, most of the time is spent pressure cooking, then simmering. You do need an Instant Pot and an immersion blender (paid link) is super helpful. If you don’t have one, this might be the recipe that changes your mind. Here’s the link to my immersion blender which I’ve had for years.
How do you make this sauce and how can you use this sauce?
I hope you like my Instant Pot Homemade Tomato Sauce. I make several batches and freeze them in 2 cup portions in vacuum sealed packages. When I need tomato sauce, I microwave it just until slightly thawed then add it to my pot. This sauce is a basic sauce, meaning you can add your own spices and season it the way you want in your dishes. It’s great in lasagnas, spaghetti sauce, over vegetables and pasta. Thicken it up with some tomato paste and you’ll have a great pizza sauce as well. It’s very versatile!
(This post does contain affiliate links which means that if you click on them and/or buy something I may earn a small commission -at no extra cost to you. I only recommend the things I actually use in my kitchen. By clicking and buying these items, you help keep my recipe blog running. Thank you!)
Instant Pot Homemade Tomato Sauce- No Peeling, Coring or Seeding!
- 6 lbs San Marzano tomatoes Roma or any other plum tomato, rinsed
- 4 T. olive oil use a good brand
- 10 garlic cloves minced
- 3 large sweet onions sliced and roughly chopped (Maui, Vidalia, Bermuda, Walla Walla, Sweet Imperial)
- 1 c. baby carrots roughly chopped
- 1/2 c. water
- 1/3 c. fresh basil finely chopped
- 1/3 c. fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1/3 c. fresh oregano finely chopped
- 1/2 c. red wine Cabernet works well
- 1 T. kosher salt
- 1 parmesan rind about a 2 oz piece See note at bottom of recipe.
- Press the "Saute," button on your Instant Pot and heat. Make sure to press the "adjust" button and set "saute" on the highest setting. Later in the recipe, you'll switch it to low but for now, the highest setting is needed.
- When hot, add the olive oil.
- Add onions and saute until softened and slightly brown about 10 minutes.
- Add carrots and garlic to the pot and saute a few more minutes. Be careful not to burn garlic, otherwise it will be bitter.
- Add water and whole tomatoes. If you have a 6 qt Instant Pot, you'll probably need to cut up a few of your tomatoes so they all fit in the pot. If you have an 8 qt, you should be fine. Mix the onions and tomatoes as best you can.
- Cover with lid. Press, "Manual,"(or Pressure cook on some models) and make sure it's on high pressure. Set time to 20 minutes. If your pressure cooker won't pressurize, add another 1/2 c. water. Usually there's enough liquid with the 1/2 c. water, tomatoes and onions to pressurize but if not, add a bit more.
- When finished, do a quick release (or natural is fine too), add basil, parsley, oregano, red wine, and salt. Use an immersion blender to blend all of the ingredients into a nice, smooth sauce. (If you don't have one, carefully (it's hot!) put the tomatoes into a food processor in batches and process until smooth. Add mixture back into the Instant Pot.)
- Add the parmesan rind. Push the "Saute," button, then adjust it to the lowest setting. Simmer for about an hour (lid off), stirring occasionally, try not to let it boil. Taste, then adjust spices as needed- (You can also do this last part of simmering in a big pot on the stove as well). Remove rind.
- Cool ( I let mine sit overnight in the refrigerator), then pack 1-2 cups of sauce into vacuum sealed bags or Ziplock bags.
Wow nice recipe keep it up ? ?
Having trouble getting pressure up. Added more water. Is my pot too full? Any suggestions?
Usually when I have trouble getting my pressure up, it’s because my seal isn’t sealed around the lid. Beside not coming to pressure you might see steam coming out from all areas around the lid. The wire in the lid has to be exactly in the slot on the seal. Run your finger around the seal until it’s completely in. An old seal may have trouble.
Or it could be your onions didn’t have enough water in them and you may need to add another 1/2 c. water.
Sorry I didn’t see this until this afternoon, hopefully you got it figured out!
Love the recipe but I had to add extra water to get my Pressure Cooker to pressurize. I look forward to trying more of your recipes.
Glad you loved the recipe! Sorry you needed to add more water. It might depend on the tomatoes and onions and the amount of water they have in them. But glad it turned out. Usually 1/2 cup of liquid is enough to pressurize especially with the water from the onions. Glad you were able to figure it out! Thank you so much for telling me, I did add a note to the recipe for others who might have the same issue.
Originally I accidentally responded to the Roasted Tomato Jalapeno soup, so disregard that comment.
Can this recipe be canned?
Yes, I haven’t done it but I know someone who has.
I am making this now, and wondering whether the Parmesan rind is to be added in one whole piece, or perhaps grated? And if it’s to go in whole, does it disintegrate, or do you need to remove it before serving?
You just add the rind, then take it out later. Sorry I wasn’t more clear!
Your timing was perfect! Thank you for the quick reply.
. Before I make this Had a question . Can’t I add parsley basil lemon salt and pepper in with the tomatoes as they pressure cook.
You can add the salt and pepper in before you pressure cook, but I would add the basil, oregano and parsley afterwards. It helps give the sauce a “fresh” taste. There’s no lemon in this recipe btw.
Thanks so much for commenting! So glad you enjoyed it!
I have a bushel of plum tomatoes. I want to make this sauce but I don’t want to add any of the flavorings. Can I do this without the flavorings. I will be canning the sauce when I am finished making the sauce.
You can certainly make it without the garlic, basil etc but the flavor won’t be nearly the same.
I had to improvise a little with your recipe but it turned out great ! I used my fresh home grown tomatoes, a mix of cherry and large tomatoes in my instant pot . Don’t have an immersion blender or food processor but do have a Ninja blender . After simmering on stove I let cool overnight in fridge then blended well and froze in zip lock bags . One question , can grated parmesan cheese be substituted for the rind ? It’s just that I found the rind hard to melt and it left a sticky residue in pan . Thank you
I’m so glad it turned out great for you! The rind is just for flavor. It does get sticky sometimes but you remove it before packing everything up. You can leave it out if you want but I do love the flavor it provides. If you add grated Parmesan do it as you use the sauce, not before you freeze it. I like using the rind because it doesn’t add many calories but does add lots of flavor.
My back room table is loaded with tomatoes, garlic, onions, peppers…it all goes in! Don’t you love when people say, “I didn’t have this so I added that”? Guilty! Added some mushrooms after the onion/garlic/carrot just for a little moisture for clearing up the bottom of the pot before adding the tomatoes. Mine were Rutgers and other various hybrid varieties of tomatoes which have more moisture than Romas, so I didn’t need to add water with them. A dried hot pepper was a nice addition also.
Great recipe, thank you for sharing your work and creativity. Good wishes to all.
Your additions sound wonderful! I admit I made it again this weekend and added some hot peppers as well. 🙂 Thanks for the nice comments. Enjoy your sauce!
This was brillant. Greetings from Prince Edward Island Canada. I used a mixture of Martino Rosa Roma and Icicle Orange Roma (Baker Creek Seeds) . ‘Liquid Gold’ (Local to Atlantic Canada, Single Estate) Olive oil, my own garden herbs and onions, carrots. The flavour is to die for, thank you so much for this post. It’s been printed, laminated, and locked up. A true winner
Thanks for your sweet comments! So glad you loved it! Wish I could try those tomatoes. They sound wonderful!
Greetings from Prince Edward Island, Canada, again. I just took a zip lock bag out of the freezer, about two cups, reduced it a bit (on the woodstove) and cooked some Penne, poured the sauce over it and sprinkled some Parmesan cheese over top. My God, what a beautiful taste of summer. You could also toss some sausage bits in the sauce or some Pancetta or Capocollo, the possibilities are endless. The pectin in the skins really helps to thicken it up when heated. Now the challenge, is can I make this with tomato powder. I grew 40 plants this year and dehydrated them into slices. Then into the Vitamix to make a powder. I’m feeling brazin…
That’s wonderful! I love freezing sauce and having a great meal ready in minutes. Sounds like a fabulous dinner! Never tried tomato powder, let me know how it goes. 40 plants, yum, I would be in heaven! I usually do about 25 but that’s all I really have space and sun for.
Fantastic recipe! I had some Trader Joe’s Chicken Sicilian sausage in the house so I browned that and just added it for the last hour to simmer in the sauce! Oh my. I My Italian husband was nuts about it!
Yum! Chicken Sicilian sausage sounds wonderful! Glad you loved it! Made my day!
Perfect recipe! Loved the flavor and so happy I tried this. Made two batches and will freeze some and gift some.
I’m so glad you loved it! It would make nice gifts for sure! Enjoy!
Is the wine just for flavor? I want to try this recipe but I don’t want to add the wine.
It would taste great without the wine. You don’t have to add it, I just like it for flavor. You could add a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar for added flavor.
I believe I have the 6 quart instant pot and the 3 chopped onions pretty much fills it! Did I do something wrong ? Or should I pressure cook those so they carmalize faster to make room for the tomatoes?
No they will cook down quite a bit. Can you chop them finer maybe? Or if they are huge don’t put as much in.
Great sauce, and thanks. I scaled this down to 2/3 recipe with 4 lbs tomatoes, because I wasn’t sure how well it would fit in the 6 qt. I may do the same next time–I don’t like it too near the top when I use the immersion blender! I peeled most of my tomatoes, because I prefer my sauce that way. They were fresh off the vine from my greenhouse that morning, so they were easy to peel. 🙂 At my elevation (9,000 ft) I had a hard time keeping this from boiling. The LOW saute setting was too hot. I tried the slowcook settings on medium (too cool), then high, which was probably best. Picky Goldilocks, I want it just right!
Thanks Laurie! Glad it turned out well!
I love this recipe, most time I only have 2 pounds of tomatoes in the winter and too much to count in the summer time. I will can some up this summer for winter time. Thank you for the recipe!!
You’re so welcome!!! Enjoy!!!
Best sauce ever! I used it as a base for cabbage soup. Added sweet corn also. It was great!
Thank you so much for commenting! So glad you liked it! I love the idea as a base for cabbage soup!
I made this with just over 5 pounds of yellow tomatoes. I decreased the onion but kept the carrots and garlic the same measurements. I used 3/4 cup water and half a cup pinot noir (because that is what I had). I didn’t have a parmesan rind but just put a chunk in and let it melt in there. I decreased the simmer time to 40 minutes because my IP was pretty hot on the low saute mode. It tastes great. Can’t wait to try it after it has sit over night in the fridge. I am planning on using it to make lasagne. Great recipe! Thanks!
Gina, Thanks so much for your comments. I’m so glad you like it! I haven’t tried it with all yellow tomatoes but sure it’s delicious! Great idea about the parmesan, it adds a nice taste and I’m sure the pinot noir will be great. Thanks again!
I’ve never made home-made tomato sauce before (from 100% scratch), but this was so easy I figured I would give it a shot, and it really is amazing!!
I’m going to be trying some of the other suggestions in here – especially adding hot peppers.
The one thing I was wondering – would you have any suggestions on making it thicker? I know I could add a can of tomato paste to thicken it up… but I don’t want to do that, it just seems like blasphemy!
So glad you liked the recipe! Yes to make it thicker I do add tomato paste sometimes when I’m adding the sauce to recipes. You’re right it does seem like blasphemy, but it’s easy to thicken it that way and it does add a nice flavor to the sauce. Thanks for the nice comments!
I did skin my tomatoes first. I just popped them in boiling water for 1 minute, then an ice bath. Also, I didn’t add the Parmesan rind,( just didn’t have on hand!) Taste incredibly good and I canned mine for the winter. Thanks! This is a keeper.
I’m so glad! Thanks so much for telling me!
This recipe is amazing. I canned 10 pints! I added 1/4 tsp of citric acid to each jar to ensure the acidity was right. Thanks for taking the time to develop and publish this recipe.
Thanks so much Michelle for telling me! Wow 10 pints! That’s great! So happy you liked the recipe.
Do you have a dairy free alternative to substitute for the Parmesan rind?
Unfortunately I don’t have a dairy free alternative. The parmesan imparts a nice rich flavor but for those who can’t have dairy, just leave it out. I will say however, it is just the rind, and for some (like my mother) where eating dairy always bothers them, the rind doesn’t seem to be a problem for her. But obviously check with your doctor or just skip the rind if you’re unsure.
Pingback: Quick and Easy Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce - Gourmet Done Skinny
Can’t wait to try this but have a question about the skins – once you use the blender, does it chop up the skins pretty well? I just don’t want my sauce to have large bits of skin in it. I’ve roasted tomatoes in the oven then blended it all in a blender, and the skins were still there. I may remove the skins first but if the blender chops them up fine enough so that they aren’t that noticeable, I may skip the step! Thank you.
I think it depends on your blender. For me, my immersion blender does a great job chopping it all up. But see what you think. Mine does not have big chunks of tomato skin in it.
My cheap Rival immersion blender did not make the skins totally disappear like my Cuisinart food processor does. I don’t mind their presence and consider this a good recipe for when the tomatoes first get ripe. I was comfortable with the level of material in the pot using 4 pounds of tomatoes. It was up to the 2/3 marking. Once it comes time to process 50 pounds, the big stock pot and the food processor will have to come into play. I also added 12 ounces of paste to get the consistency I like on my pasta sauce.
Yes I do tend to add paste depending on what I’m using the sauce for. I have made my own paste, but it’s frankly not worth all the tomatoes you need to make it. So adding paste into this one works well.
Can this recipe be doubled in a 8qt pot all at once, or do I have do it in batches? Thx
This recipe is for an 8 qt or 6 qt Instant Pot. If you have a 6 qt, it’s a tight fit and you may have to cut up the tomatoes to get them to fit, but for an 8 qt, you’ll be fine the way the recipe is. If you want to double it, you’ll have to do it in batches as the recipe already fills up the pot. Hope this makes sense!
Hi Amy. Good recipe! I have an 8qt IP and was able to get 8lbs in my pot. I did cut and quarter the Roma’s and along with a cup of water it was just enough. I also increased spices to half cup. I ended up with 7 pints which filled up my canner. I added a 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid and a 1/4 teaspoon of kosher to each pint. I processed for 35 minutes. Doing another batch tomorrow. Thx!
Thanks for sharing! That will help others who wish to can this recipe. I really appreciate it!
We’ve had a community garden for a couple of years now, and harvest LOTS of tomatoes. This is a simple but super yummy recipe, and is our standard recipe at this point for making sauce. Love it.
Thanks so much for telling me! You made my day!
I used frozen tomatoes from my garden,!
So glad you like it!
I followed the recipe as stated but add a few more ingredients per my experience. I grow cherry tomatoes in my basement, so I used 6 1/4 lbs. of the cherry tomatoes that I had frozen. I had a couple huge yellow onions on hand, so I roughly chopped them. For the baby carrots, I chopped one large, peeled carrot that came out to a cup chopped. I added 3 small chopped bell peppers and 2 medium chopped celery stalks to the sauté with the onions. I also added a tsp of ground fennel seed to this step. Since my tomatoes were frozen, I did have to add an additional 1/2 cup of water to get the pressure cooker to pressurize. Since my tomatoes were frozen, I pressure cooked on high for 22 minutes.
After the pressure cooking was done, I did a quick release, added 1 can of tomato paste, and used my immersion blender until the mixture was smooth. This step eliminated most of the visible seeds. Then I added the fresh chopped herbs, salt, and 1 cup of dried shitake mushrooms. I set my pressure cooker on salute at level 2, and let it simmer for a couple of hours.
The resulting sauce was wonderful. It was thick (not watery), and so flavorful. I will definitely be making this again with the changes I described.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for telling me!
Any benefit or harm if I replace the water with the red wine.
It probably would be ok, but I haven’t tried it. Maybe do 3/4 cup wine and 1/4 water, not sure about all wine.