So, my Instant Pot came in the mail today. And I decided the inaugural meal should be a homemade marinara. I’ve never made my own marinara before and I have always wanted to. And it just sounded really yummy. So I pored through a bunch of recipes online, looking at the various ingredients for inspiration, and then figured out a combination of flavors that would work for us.
True confession: I love marinara but yesterday I wanted a hearty bolognese. So I started out by sautéing a pound of mild Italian sausage in the Instant Pot to get all that yummy meat flavor in the bottom of the pan. Then I removed the meat. After that, the recipe for marinara and the recipe for Bolognese are the same. I put the sausage in the fridge, because it needs to be added back into the sauce a mere thirty minutes before serving. That’s the only change you need to make for the Bolognese variation, I promise! Also – if you are not a fan of veggies, leave all the veggies except onions out of this sauce.
How many of you love marinara, but don’t have time to watch a hot pot all day with kids running around? I know I could never make marinara if it wasn’t for the Instant Pot. It is super easy to adapt this recipe for a slow cooker too. It takes 6 – 8 hours in the slow cooker though instead of just 35 minutes or so in the IP. Just do the sautéing in a skillet, and transfer items to the slow cooker or refrigerator from there.
Instant Pot Garden Vegetable Marinara with Bolognese Sauce Variation
- 1 Large Onion (Diced)
- 1 Zucchini, (Halved and sliced)
- 1/2 Squash (Sliced)
- 1/2 Pound Mushrooms (Sliced)
- 1–2 Carrots (Sliced)
- 1 Tablespoon garlic (Heaping, minced from a jar)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Coarse Kosher Salt
- 35–40 basil leaves (Chopped, or 1 Tablespoon Dried)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Parsley
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 28 Ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 14.5 Ounce Can Diced Tomatoes (with Sauce)
- 1 14.5 Ounce Can Tomato Sauce
- 1 6 Ounce Can Tomato Paste
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 Pound Sausage (OPTIONAL – for Bolognese)
- Set your Instant Pot on the sauté setting.
- Add a tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 the onion, mushrooms, 1/2 the zucchini, and the squash to the Instant Pot.
- Sauté until the mushrooms soften. Remove all veggies from the pot.
- Add the remaining olive oil, onions, carrots, zucchini. Add all the garlic and spices. Add all of the tomato cans. Stir to combine.
- Cover and set to high pressure for 30 minutes.
- Quick release and add the sautéd veggies (and sausage if desired). It’s the perfect time to heat up some pasta and garlic bread if you want some. If you will not use all the sauce, extra sauce can be refrigerated or frozen at this point with or without the meat and veggies.
- Serve over any pasta or vegetable substitute. Makes about three quarts, so save some for later! You can freeze it in a zipper bag.