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Quick and Easy Tomato Carrot Marinara Sauce

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 flavorful tomato carrot marinara sauce comes together as fast you can boil pasta water.

Quick and Easy Tomato Carrot Marinara Sauce | Letty's Kitchen

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.

Fresh carrots enrich this version, enhanced with 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.


Ingredients for Quick and Easy Tomato Carrot Marinara Sauce | Letty's Kitchen

You know me—I pull out my pressure cooker whenever I can. Tomato 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. Without a pressure cooker, figure 20 to 30 minutes until the carrots soften.

Quick and Easy Tomato Carrot Marinara Sauce | Letty's Kitchen

If you puree your sauce using an immersion blender, 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, with its butterfly or bowtie shape, easily catches the smooth marinara sauce in its twists and folds.

Wishing you a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something quick and delicious!

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4.5 from 2 votes
Quick and Easy Tomato Carrot Marinara Sauce | Letty's Kitchen
Quick and Easy Tomato Carrot Marinara Sauce
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Bright with carrots, onions, garlic and dried Italian herbs, this tomato sauce comes together quickly. While the sauce cooks in the pressure cooker, boil the pasta and whip up a crisp green salad. Makes about 3 cups of sauce.

Course: Component
Cuisine: Vegetarian
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped, about 2 cups
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, diced, about 3/4
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, optional
  • Fresh parsley leaves
  1. In a pressure cooker, heat the olive oil over medium flame.
  2. Add the onions, garlic and carrots. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes.

  3. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, oregano, and salt.
  4. Lock the lid in place and cook on high pressure 10 minutes. Quick release the pressure.
  5. Puree using an immersion blender if you have one. Otherwise, puree in batches in a regular blender and return to the pot. If you are adding the butter, stir it in now. Taste, adding salt if you think it needs it, and cook a few minutes more. Season with about 10 grinds of black pepper.
  6. Serve with your favorite pasta, sprinkled with fresh parsley leaves.


  • 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

  • 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

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