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How to make Instant Pot tomato sauce

My friend scored a 1/4 bushel of grape tomatoes for free. That’s a LOT of tomatoes! And because she’s an awesome friend she immediately declared them OURS. We were RICH in tomatoes! It was amazing.


Lots of tomatoes!

We plotted and planned a weekend of sauce making.  She brought the tomatoes over to my house and we set to work making Instant Pot tomato sauce .

This would work just as well with with larger tomatoes.  Just do a quick chop if they are bigger.  We tossed the grape tomatoes in the Instant Pot whole.

What you need for Instant Pot tomato sauce:

We kept our sauce super simple.

  • Tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Basil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

That’s all!

How to make tomato sauce in the Instant Pot:

We had a large kitchen colander.  We filled it with grape tomatoes for washing.  It just happened this was also the perfect amount to fit in the pot.

While one of us was washing the tomatoes, the other put the Instant Pot on saute, added a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and got to work softening up the garlic (about six cloves).  Then we added the tomatoes, a handful of basil, salt and pepper to the pot.

We put on the lid, made sure the vent was closed and set it on manual for five minutes.  We allowed a natural release and then used an immersion blender to process it.

That’s all.  Simple and DELICIOUS.


We roasted the garlic and tomatoes in the oven for the third batch before putting them in the Instant Pot.  This was the idea of a guy friend who join our sauce making party and it was a great one!  The house smelled so good!

We simply filled a casserole dish with a layer of tomatoes, tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper.  We cut the top off three whole heads of garlic and placed them on aluminum foil.  We drizzled the garlic with olive oil, then seasoned with salt and pepper and wrapped in the foil.  We cooked the tomatoes and garlic at 400 degrees until soft, about 30 minutes.

Roasted tomatoes and garlic

For more variations you can try adding:

  • Onion
  • Italian seasoning blend
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Peppers
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Carrots

What to do with all that sauce?

We were going to boil pasta, but we wound up just straight up dipping bread in it.  It was so good.  We ran to the bakery twice that weekend for fresh loaves of bread.

Instant Pot Tomato Sauce and Bread

Of course, the obvious answer is to eat it with pasta, risotto or as pizza sauce.

My friend ate a big bowl of it with a spoon as tomato soup! (Speaking of, here’s my favorite Instant Pot tomato soup recipe.)

Freezing tomato sauce:

The 1/4 bushel of grape tomatoes made three full cycles in a 6-court Instant Pot.  That’s a lot of sauce!  We used cool freezer bag helpers to fill with cups of tomato sauce.  We sealed the bags and laid them flat in the freezer.  This way the sauce takes up very little room in your freezer.  The bags are easily stacked once frozen.

If you like to freeze soups and sauces, you need these ziplock bag racks.  They hold the bags so you can easily get food inside without making a big mess.

I’ve used the sauce to make French bread pizza for my daughter and her friend, inside a pan of lasagna, and, yes, eaten more of it as dip for hunks of bread.  I also gifted some to a loved one and am planning a lady’s brunch with the sauce featured.

Making Instant Pot tomato sauce is SO EASY and tastes amazing.


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