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.
Homemade Pasta Sauce: 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 use any type of pasta with this homemade tomato sauce, including spaghetti, penne, rigatoni, bow tie pasta, et cetera.
Plenty of Vegetable Choices
You can easily skip the meat and make a vegetarian version of this pasta sauce. 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
As with veggies, you can add any meat or a combinations of meats that you have on hand. I have tried making this meat sauce recipe with all kinds of ground meat and sausage, chopped cooked sausage, leftover mortadella, salami, shredded chicken, bacon and prosciutto.
Choices for Homemade Tomato 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 with this Pasta Sauce
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.
‘Everything But The Kitchen Sink’ Instant Pot Pasta Sauce
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes or Marinara sauce
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 teaspoons Italian seasoning or Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute. Use only 2 tsp if you use marinara sauce instead of crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt : adjust based on seasoning blend
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper : adjust based on seasoning blend
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper : adjust to heat preference
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
Instant Pot Recipe
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- This sauce can also be easily cooked in a big stock pot or sauce pot. Follow all steps above and cover and cook on medium-heat, for about 12-15 minutes, stirring every 3-4 minutes.