Make and store homemade tomato sauce a different, simpler and quicker way with your Instant Pot®!
This year’s tomato harvest is proving to be another great one.
It’s September and I’m not sure I see an end in sight, with both the tomatoes growing in my parents’ high tunnel, as well as the plants I have growing in my container gardens.
Last year, the bounty lasted until October and I remember wondering if the last few would ripen before the first frost.
You can only eat so many tomatoes on salads and sandwiches, or chopped up and tossed on pasta or pizza, or in a marinara.
If you’re not careful, you’ll end up with overflowing counters and crisper bins, as the tomato yield outpaces your ability to eat.
Enter: tomato sauce made with fresh tomatoes.
My mother cans tomatoes the old fashioned way, boiling them down, blending them, and then canning them so that they can sit beautifully on her pantry shelf for months and months and months.
I don’t have that kind of patience (except once when I made a slew of strawberry preserves and canned them … ten years ago).
Instead, I make and store tomato sauce a different and more simple way … the Instant Pot comes to the rescue again!
For this batch, I sliced the tops off ten to twelve heirloom tomatoes from the garden, ranging in size—some small, others huge.
They were mostly yellow, which turns the sauce more of a deep golden orange color, rather than a deep red you see in most jarred sauces.
I sliced most of the tomatoes in half—but some of the larger ones I quartered since they were nearly the size of my head.
The high tunnel has been producing some HUGE tomatoes this year.
Into the Instant Pot they went, with a cup of water and some onion powder, salt and pepper, and then cooked for forty-five minutes on the manual setting.
Once time was up, I let the pressure release naturally for about twenty minutes, then I removed the lid and let them cool completely.
I spooned all the tomatoes into my food processor, gave them a whirrrrrrr on high for about thirty seconds, and then my lovely sauce was done!
Save one jarful for the fridge to use this week for farmhouse spaghetti, I put the rest of the sauce in zip top freezer bags (flattened) and threw them in my freezer chest to use later. Done.
You could add other spices or herbs to your mix as you’re cooking the tomatoes or blending them up, but I wanted to keep this super basic so that it could be used for everything from pizza sauce to jambalaya, and I wouldn’t be married to the idea of Italian-only or other flavors.
Don’t have an Instant Pot?
Try homemade slow cooker tomato sauce instead!
- 10 to 20 tomatoes, various sizes
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- Slice the tops off each tomato. Roughly chop them, then toss them into the Instant Pot. Add the salt, pepper, onion powder and water. Give a stir, then lock the lid and cook for 45 minutes on manual pressure.
- Once done, let the pressure release manually for 15-20 minutes, then remove the lid and let the tomatoes cool completely. Once cool, spoon them into a blender or food processor and puree until it's as smooth as you like.
- Store the sauce flat in 1 or 2 cup portions in zip top freezer bags in the freezer.