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Quick and Easy Tomato Carrot Marinara Sauce (Instant Pot Pressure Cooker)

Everybody needs an easy marinara sauce in their kitchen repertoire. Made with ingredients we aim to keep on hand for meals at a moment’s notice, this sauce comes together as fast you can boil pasta water. You know me—I pull out my pressure cooker whenever I can. Like for this flavorful tomato carrot marinara!

farfalle pasta with sauce in dish

Fresh carrots enrich this version made with canned diced tomatoes, garlic, onions and dried herbs. When the carrots are cooked to very soft, you puree everything into a smooth sauce. For an extra velvety feel, add a tablespoon of butter, just at the very end.

Marinara sauce originates in the southern Italian port city of Naples. Minutes after her fisherman husband returned, a mariner’s wife could quickly cook up a garden-fresh marinara–thus the name for quick tomato sauces.

I’d wager there are as many interpretations of marinara as there are fisherman’s wives. One sauce might be kept chunky, another blended smooth. You’ll see marinara recipes with and without onions, many with fresh herbs, and some made rich with tons of butter.

Ingredients for Quick and Easy Tomato Carrot Marinara Sauce | Letty's KitchenTomato carrot marinara sauce is super easy to make in the Instant Pot or stovetop pressure cooker, so of course that’s how I make it. Hello timesaving devices!

First, sauté the aromatics, the onions and garlic, with the carrots. Add everything else to the pot, lock the lid in place and cook 10 minutes. quick release the pressure by turning the dial to Vent. If using a stovetop pressure cooker, run the pressure cooker under cold water to release the pressure.

Without a pressure cooker, cover and cook over medium low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, or until until the carrots soften.

Tomato Carrot Marinara Sauce in bowl, overhead shot with immersion blender

Puree the sauce using a blender or an immersion blender. With an immersion blender, (affiliate link) my other favorite timesaving tool, you will have silky flavorful tomato sauce in 30 minutes flat.

Amazing. No supermarket bottled tomato sauce even comes close–freshly made tomato carrot marinara sauce for the win!

Tomato Carrot Marinara Sauce recipe notes:

  • This recipe makes plenty for one night’s pasta dinner, with enough left for another meal. I usually freeze the remainder for later. Spread it on pizza, or bump up the flavor of your minestrone soup—marinara style!
  • I like DeLallo whole grain pastas. Their vegan organic whole wheat farfalle, (affiliate link) with its butterfly or bowtie shape, easily catches the smooth marinara sauce in its twists and folds.

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18 comments

  • Theresa

    Good morning Letty,

    I have an electric pressure cooker. How long would cook this for? Reply · 21 February, 2017

    • Hi Theresa–
      This marinara is written for pressure cookers, both electric and stovetop. So 10 minutes under pressure. I hope you love it! Reply · 21 February, 2017

  • Mary

    Yum, can’t wait to try this with my Instant Pot! Reply · 21 February, 2017

    • thanks Mary! Glad to know Instant Pot was the one you bought! I am loving mine too! Reply · 22 February, 2017

  • Raelene

    I’m in love with my instant pot and will definitely be trying this! Thanks Letty! Reply · 21 February, 2017

    • Thank You Raelene! You will love this recipe! Definitely a go-to for me! Reply · 22 February, 2017

    • Ann-Marie Bihary

      Delicious! My son just declared this the best pasta I have ever made. I need to make more sauce snd freeze it. Any suggestions on best way to freeze it? Reply · 12 February, 2020

      • Yay! This sauce freezes well. Freeze what you would use in one meal. I use plastic recycled yogurt tubs. Reply · 12 February, 2020

  • I’ve only made marinara a couple times and this post just reminded me I need to make it more often! It truly is simple to prepare and I love that you can make it in bulk and freeze it for later uses. Digging the idea of a pureed marinara as well! So tasty, healthy, and brilliant! Reply · 27 February, 2017

    • Thanks Julia! Marinara is such a versatile sauce. I added a cup to my last veggie soup for extra flavor! Reply · 27 February, 2017

  • Pureed carrots always remind me of baby food. In this case you must have one sophisticated baby! GREG Reply · 7 March, 2017

    • Ha ha Greg–you are funny! Silver spoon me. Reply · 9 March, 2017

  • Gina

    Could I use garden fresh tomatoes? Would I use a food scale and just weigh out 29 oz? Reply · 27 September, 2017

    • Hi Gina,
      Yes, you can use fresh tomatoes–same weight. You will need to peel them–usually before you cook and puree the sauce. Though the other day I had ample tomatoes and I put them through a Foley food mill to get rid of the skins. If you have a high speed blender, you might be able to puree the skins enough that they become part of the sauce. You could say food mills are the original blenders! (The food mill link is an affiliate.) Reply · 27 September, 2017

  • Justin

    What do you do with the carrots? I followed your instructions and ended up a pot of sauce with the carrots left over. Reply · 16 December, 2017

    • Hi Justin! Thank you for catching that grave miss–you sauté the carrots with the onion and garlic and puree them right into the sauce. I fixed the recipe. Reply · 16 December, 2017

  • Erika

    What if you don’t use an instant pot? Reply · 5 September, 2018

    • Hi Erika, Without a pressure cooker, figure 20 to 30 minutes until the carrots soften. Otherwise everything else is the same. Enjoy! Reply · 5 September, 2018

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