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instant pot pasta sauce

Instant Pot Pasta Sauce- ‘Everything But The Kitchen Sink Pasta Sauce’

Jar of Instant pot pasta sauce

Hearty, delicious & healthy!  You will never believe that this Instant pot Pasta Sauce is made with leftover veggies, cheese and meats in your fridge.  I call it my “Everything But The Kitchen Sink” pasta sauce.

Whenever leftover veggies and cheese start piling up in my refrigerator, I make this sauce :).  It’s also a great sauce to make when you’re short an ingredient or two.  You can never tell by the end of it, it tastes so good.

Weeknight Dinner Made Easy

I’ve always got a jar of this sauce in my freezer.  It makes weeknight dinners a flash.  Simply boil pasta, drain it, add this sauce to the same pot, simmer it for a few minutes, grate some parmesan cheese over it, and your one-pot dinner is done!

You can easily skip the meat and make a vegetarian version of this pasta sauce.

pasta sauce in instant pot

Plenty of Vegetable Choices

The choices are endless with this sauce. You can pretty much add any veggies you have lying around. Here are some that I have used successfully- mushrooms, celery, eggplant, zucchini, squash, carrots, cabbage, onions, garlic, spring onions, leeks, chives, spinach, kale, turnips and peppers.

Plenty of Meat Choices

Jar full of Instant Pot pasta sauce

As with veggies, you can add any meat or a combinations of meats that you have on hand. I have tried making this sauce with all kinds of ground meat and sausage, chopped cooked sausage, leftover mortadella,  salami, shredded chicken, bacon and prosciutto.

Choices for Sauce 

I typically have a can of crushed or diced tomatoes in my pantry. If I’m using diced, I like to puree it a little with my hand blender before adding to the pot.

I also keep a jar of my preferred marinara sauce, which also works great in this sauce. If you have any leftover tomatoes to use, just throw them in there, finely chopped, and they’ll blend in well.


This is a great sauce to sneak in a ton of veggies in a pasta sauce.  If your little one is picky about chunks of veggies, pulse each vegetable a few extra times in the food processor, then increase the cook time to 5-6 minutes.  The veggies will almost dissolve in the sauce, and no one will ever know 😉

Serving Suggestion

I always make a big batch of this sauce. This works great with a simple boiled pasta; makes a great instant pot ravioli lasagna, as a pizza sauce with some fresh or shredded mozzarella and hand-torn-basil; for meatball sandwiches.

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5 from 1 vote
Instant pot pasta sauce, by Spice Cravings. The Everything But The Kitchen Sink Pasta Sauce is exactly what it sounds like, it's got a ton of veggies, aromatics, meat, cheese & tomatoes! I've always got a jar of this chunky, delicious, & super healthy sauce in my freezer. Make this sauce to clean up the fridge, when leftovers of veggies & cheese start piling up. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie
'Everything But The Kitchen Sink' Instant Pot Pasta Sauce
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Resting time
5 mins
Total Time
15 mins

The Everything But The Kitchen Sink Pasta Sauce is exactly what it sounds like, it's got a ton of veggies, aromatics, meat, cheese & tomatoes!  I've always got a jar of this chunky, delicious, & super healthy sauce in my freezer.  Make this sauce to clean up the fridge, when leftovers of veggies & cheese start piling up.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 2 32oz Jars
Calories: 640 kcal
Author: Spice Cravings
Veggies for blending(use whatever you have on hand. I use a total of 2.5-3 cups chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 medium carrots cut into chunks
  • 2 cups crimini mushrooms
  • 1 small onion cut into chunks
Meat (skip for vegetarian sauce)
  • 1 lb ground chicken or beef or turkey (or a combination)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated or similar blend
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil hand torn
  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped
  1. Prep: In a food processor, throw in garlic cloves and pulse 5-6 times, to chop them fine. Add carrot chunks and repeat the process till carrots are finely chopped. Add mushrooms and pulse 5-7 times to chop them fine as well. Remove in a bowl. Add onion chunks and pulse 5-6 times to chop. Add to the chopped veggies. The reason I do onions separately is so that they stay chunky and don't release their juices.
  2. Heat olive oil in instant pot on SAUTE mode (high). When display reads HOT, add ground meat and don't stir for a minute or so, this allows the meat to brown on one side. If making this sauce vegetarian, skip this step. Break up the meat with a wooden spoon or spatula and stir. Add chopped veggies and saute for another minute. Add spices and crushed tomatoes or marinara sauce. If using crushed tomatoes, add more seasoning and spices (check ingredient section). Stir everything together. If the sauce looks thick, add 1/4-1/2 cup water. Close lid. Vent set to Sealing. Pressure cook on Manual/Pressure Cook for 3-4 minutes.

  3. Wait 5-7 minutes before manually releasing pressure (NPR5/7). Open lid after pin drops. Stir in grated parmesan cheese and garnish with basil or parsley before serving.
Stove Top Method
  1. This sauce can also be easily cooked in a big stock pot or sauce pot. Follow all steps and cover and cook on medium-heat, for about 12-15 minutes, stirring every 3-4 minutes.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.


Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition Facts
'Everything But The Kitchen Sink' Instant Pot Pasta Sauce
Amount Per Serving (1 32oz Jar)
Calories 640 Calories from Fat 270
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 46%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 203mg 68%
Sodium 2085mg 87%
Potassium 3025mg 86%
Total Carbohydrates 46g 15%
Dietary Fiber 12g 48%
Sugars 23g
Protein 54g 108%
Vitamin A 241.9%
Vitamin C 65.5%
Calcium 42%
Iron 52.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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