Instant Pot Marinara Recipe

This Clean Eating Instant Pot Marinara is my best yet!

Over the past year or two, I’ve really zeroed in on trying to make a completely delicious marinara sauce. I struggled at first. It was not a recipe that came naturally to me. As you can see by the links below, I’ve made a few attempts. They’ve all been great, but not exactly what I was aiming for.

Clean Eating Instant Pot Marinara in a jar with the lid off. It's sitting next to a bowl of pasta with the sauce ladled over the top and a fresh sprig of basil sitting on top.

To me, marinara needs to have that “fresh vegetable” feel, taste, and texture to it. I want more of a “fresh tomato” sauce than a “jarred tomato” sauce recipe. Everything about marinara sauce should be fresh, light, and not overly salted. More like an accent than a heavier sauce.

So this time, I wised up about not only my ingredients but my process, too. The result was a refreshingly light sauce that tasted like the tomatoes had just been picked from the garden. Mission accomplished!

I don’t know anything about canning, so I can’t tell you if this can be canned or not. I do know it will freeze relatively well for up to about 2 months. It doesn’t have a super long “shelf life” in the freezer, but it can be frozen. Freeze separately from the pasta.

I served this over chickpea pasta for extra protein. It was delicious! But regular, whole-grain pasta will work. Cook the pasta separately.

I have to say that this is truly the best marinara I’ve made so far. I think most folks will want to add some salt to this. But I’m trying to cut back on salt, so I never add any during cooking. Just a little at the table if it’s needed. I leave the addition of salt up to you. But it’s definitely delicious without it, too.

More Healthy Marinara Recipes

Instant Pot Marinara Recipe Card

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Clean Eating Instant Pot Marinara Recipe

Instant Pot Marinara

This wonderfully fresh sauce cooks up in minutes in your Instant Pot!
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Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 5 cups (approximately)
Calories: 92kcal


  • 2 lb. roma tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried, ground rosemary
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup fresh, chopped basil
  • salt to taste at serving


  • Start a large pot of water to boil.
  • Wash and prepare the tomatoes (I always cut out that little part at the top where the stem was attached).
  • Once the water is at a full boil, carefully place the tomatoes in the water for about 40-60 seconds, or until the skins start to peel away.
  • Remove them from the water and allow to cool enough to handle them.
  • Slip the skins off and place the tomatoes bowl. (discard the skins)
  • Add the oil to your IP insert and press the “Sauté” button.
  • Stir in the onions and sauté them until they become translucent.
  • Turn the IP off and add all the other ingredients EXCEPT the fresh basil.
  • Push the “Manual” button on the IP and adjust time to 15 minutes.
  • Once the IP finishes cooking, do a quick release with the vent valve.
  • Remove the lid and use a potato masher to mash the tomatoes.
  • Stir in the fresh basil while the sauce is still hot.
  • Transfer to a holding container until you are ready to use the sauce. Make sure to store in the refrigerator.


  • If you want to make this on the stove, blanch the tomatoes as instructed. Sauté the onions in a large stock pot, then add everything else into the pot and cook until the tomatoes are easily mashed with a potato masher. (about 30-40 minutes give or take. As soon as you turn off the heat, stir in the basil and then mash everything.
  • Add salt to taste at the table.


Please note that the nutrition data is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 201mg | Potassium: 537mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1780IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 3.5mg

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  1. What if I added the basil at the beginning in the IP?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Amy – If you want to do that, then I recommend dried basil. The fresh stuff doesn’t hold up as well in the IP and won’t give as strong of a flavor. You can do it, of course, you just won’t get as strong of a flavor. Hope that helps!