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Instant Pot (or Stovetop) Chunky Pasta Sauce with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Herbs

It took me quite a bit of experimenting to get a winner, but this Instant Pot Chunky Pasta Sauce with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Herbs was so delicious, and you can make it on the stovetop if you prefer. And this tasty pasta sauce served with zucchini noodles is low-carb, low-glycemic, gluten-free, and South Beach Diet friendly. Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

Click here to PIN Instant Pot (or Stovetop) Chunky Pasta Sauce!

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Instant Pot (or Stovetop) Chunky Pasta Sauce with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Herbs found on KalynsKitchen.com

At my house I have a sunny patch of herbs that’s right out the front door, and even though I now have a pretty small vegetable garden, those herbs remind me of past gardens when I had masses of tomatoes and would make fresh tomato sauce with herbs every summer and freeze it. So about a month ago I got obsessed with the idea of making an Instant Pot pasta sauce with my favorite Italian Sausage, tomatoes, and fresh herbs. It seemed like a no-brainer until I’d tried several batches of sauce that burned on the bottom of the Instant Pot!

Then I decided to look back at some of my old pasta sauce recipe on the blog and I found a chunky pasta sauce recipe that I first made with slow roasted tomatoes, kind of a close relative to the Spicy Cherry Tomato Sauce for Zucchini Noodles that I make every summer. So Kara and I experimented until we had this Instant Pot Chunky Pasta Sauce with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Herbs, and it turned out to be such a winner!

And because the Instant Pot Pasta Sauce was so closely inspired by an earlier stovetop recipe I decided to combine the posts, so people can choose the method they prefer. If you want the stovetop recipe that’s been hanging out in the archives since 2008, you can find the link for that after the pasta sauce recipe below. Whichever way you make this tasty sauce (and whether you eat it with zucchini noodles or pasta) I hope you have fresh herbs from your garden; that’s what puts this over the top for me!

Instant Pot (or Stovetop) Chunky Pasta Sauce with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Herbs found on KalynsKitchen.com

Heat oil in the Instant Pot on SAUTE / HIGH HEAT. Squeeze sausage out of the casings and cook, breaking apart with a turner while you brown it. While sausage cooks, drain 2 of the cans of tomatoes. When the sausage is brown, push it to the side, add more oil, minced garlic, dried basil, dried Greek oregano, and ground fennel and cook 2-3 minutes more. Then add all the tomatoes and beef broth. Lock the lid, set the Instant Pot to HIGH PRESSURE, and cook 10 minutes, then QUICK RELEASE.

Instant Pot (or Stovetop) Chunky Pasta Sauce with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Herbs found on KalynsKitchen.com

When the pressure is released, check to see if you want your sauce to be a little thicker. If so, use SAUTE / HIGH HEAT to cook until it has reduced a bit and is the thickness you prefer. Then change to SAUTE / LOW HEAT, stir in chopped herbs and 1 T more olive oil and simmer about 5 minutes to finish the sauce.

Instant Pot (or Stovetop) Chunky Pasta Sauce with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Herbs found on KalynsKitchen.com

Serve hot, with zucchini noodles or pasta of your choice, and plenty of freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.

More Pasta Sauce Ideas from the Past:
Sausage and Basil Marinara Sauce

No Cook Pasta Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes

Roasted Tomato, Italian Sausage, and Basil Sauce

Instant Pot (or Stovetop) Chunky Pasta Sauce with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Herbs

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. (19.5 oz.) hot turkey Italian sausage or pork Italian sausage (squeeze meat out of casings)
  • 5 T olive oil, divided
  • 3 cans (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes, drain 2 cans and keep the liquid in the other one
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 2 T minced garlic (or more)
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried Greek Oregano
  • 1 T ground fennel
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup (or more) finely chopped fresh basil (or can use frozen basil if you have some)
  • 2 T chopped fresh oregano
  • salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste (I highly recommend using the fresh chopped herbs to finish the sauce, but if fresh herbs are not available you can still make a pretty good sauce by slightly increasing the amount of dried herbs.)
  • freshly-grated Parmesan for serving (optional but recommended)

Directions:

  1. Heat 3 T olive oil in the Instant Pot on SAUTE / HIGH HEAT. Squeeze turkey or pork Italian sausage out of the casings and add to Instant Pot and cook, breaking apart with a turner while you brown it. (Turkey sausage will release a bit of water, so cook until that’s evaporated.) While sausage cooks, drain 2 of the cans of tomatoes.
  2. When the sausage is brown, push it to the side, add another 1 T olive oil, minced garlic, dried basil, dried Greek oregano, and ground fennel and cook 2-3 minutes more. Then add 2 cans drained tomatoes, 1 can undrained tomatoes, and beef broth. Lock the lid, set the Instant Pot to HIGH PRESSURE, and cook 10 minutes, then QUICK RELEASE.
  3. When the pressure is released, check to see if you want your sauce to be a little thicker. If so, use SAUTE / HIGH HEAT to cook until it has reduced a bit and is the thickness you prefer. (This probably won’t take more than 5 minutes or so.) Then change to SAUTE / LOW HEAT, stir in chopped herbs and 1 T more olive oil and simmer about 5 minutes to finish the sauce.
  4. Season with salt and a little fresh ground pepper to taste. Serve hot, with pasta or zucchini noodles and freshly grated parmesan cheese. The sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for about a week or frozen for several months; reheat on low heat.

Notes:

Recipe created by Kalyn and Kara.

I used a 6 Quart Instant Pot for this recipe, but you can use any 6 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker.

To Cook Zucchini Noodles:
Here are Three Ways to Make Zucchini Noodles if you haven’t done it. I use the Paderno Spiralizer, and like the thicker size noodles. To cook zucchini noodles, heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan. (You can add a few sliced garlic cloves to season the oil. If you do that, only cook the garlic until you barely smell garlic; don’t let garlic brown or it will taste bitter.) When the oil is hot, add the zucchini noodles and cook until barely tender and heated through, not more than 2-3 minutes. Season with a little salt and serve with sauce or topping of your choice.

Click Here for Original Stovetop Version

All images and text ©
Instant Pot (or Stovetop) Chunky Pasta Sauce with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Herbs found on KalynsKitchen.com

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This sauce served with zucchini noodles would be suitable for most low-carb or low-glycemic diet plans, and all phases of the South Beach Diet. Tomatoes do have some carbs, so it’s probably too high in carbs for Keto or people who want to strictly limit carbs.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. Or Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, you can sign up for a free membership with Yummly and use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information. Another option is entering the recipe into this Recipe Nutrition Analyzer, which will calculate it for you.

Instant Pot (or Stovetop) Chunky Pasta Sauce with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Herbs found on KalynsKitchen.com
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27 comments on “Instant Pot (or Stovetop) Chunky Pasta Sauce with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Herbs”

  1. Kalyn, the frozen basil came in handy a few times this past winter…thanks for the tip.

    Pastas are best & fun when they are free-flowing…taste & create and you’ll come up with gems like this.

  2. That looks delicious Kalyn. Perfect comfort food. In fact I have most of the ingredients lurking in my freezer…

  3. Great idea — I have the last few containers of slow-roasted tomatoes in my freezer, too. I try to make them last until tomato season arrives in late July, when I can make more!

  4. Three cheers for sausage (shosshage, in our household) pasta. With pasta, tomatoes and some herbs, it’s my favourite way of using Italian sausages, and your dish looks positively mouthwatering!

  5. So funny. I come here this morning and what do I read?

    I laid out some frozen roasted tomatoes in my fridge just last night to make a sauce for todays meal.

    Roasted tomatoes make sauces taste so much better in my opinion. Yours looks delish!

    I am soooo excited that a new season is around the corner!

  6. I have roasted tomatoes left in my freezer that I’d better start using up! This looks delicious!

    We’ve already planted part of our garden …

  7. Oh Kalyn, just from looking at the pitcure I know I wanna try this sometime soon.
    *Goes back to read in more detail and start her shopping list*

  8. I’ve got too much stuff still in the freezer — with all the traveling I did this winter, I didn’t use nearly enough of it! Plus, I have some leftover red wine that I think would amp this up even further, so I’m definitely going to get to making this recipe, probably this week. Thanks for posting it!

  9. Looks amazing! You have inspired me to create my own version with what I have in the fridge. Thanks!

  10. This is my kind of rustic sauce. Bring it!

  11. Several variations of this dish are staples at our house, Kalyn. We use high-fibre pasta!

    I cannot wait to plant tomatoes!

  12. Now that is one tasty sounding pasta! Roasted tomatoes are so good.

  13. Mmmm, looks so nice and hearty. Perfect tummy-warming food.

  14. Thanks for all the good vibes about this dish. I feel a little relieved to hear that I’m not the only one who stockpiles a bunch of stuff in the freezer and kind of forgets about it! And yes, there are endless versions of this dish.

    Planting tomatoes! To say I can’t wait would be the understatement of the year! I planted some more herbs tonight.

  15. Yes indeed I do wish I had that dish waiting for me. Since I am not a South Beach-er I do tend to indulge in the comfort pasta more then I ought. Your pasta looks just fabulous.

  16. Excuse me for my long silence.
    My best regards in the future.

  17. This sounds awesome, Kalyn! If you didn’t have any slow-roasted tomatoes, I’ll bet sun-dried tomatoes would work, in a pinch. I make my own in my dehydrator.

  18. Yes, I do think sun-dried tomatoes would work, just a bit chewier than the roasted ones. Great idea!

  19. Hi Kalyn,
    This looks delicious. We can’t get turkey sausage here in the UK, but it occurred to me that I could make this using turkey mince (ground turkey) and herbs/spices. Do you have any suggestion as to which herbs and spices to use to replicate the taste of your Italian sausage please?
    Jen

  20. Jen, great idea to use ground turkey and make your own sausage. I bet you could google “Italian Sausage” and get a real recipe, but to me the most essential thing is fennel, followed by hot chile flakes. I’m guessing it might have a bit of dried oregano and garlic too.

  21. This looks great Kalyn. I love slow roasted tomatoes! I have a mental block for pasta right now, especially since Brown Rice Pasta is higher on the glycemic index than whole wheat- am I right about that? I will have to wait until I am at my target weight for this!

  22. Natalie, I’m not sure about the GI of brown rice pasta, but brown rice is 55 and the pasta would be higher than that, so it makes sense.

  23. Just like you I realized that I had some stuff in the freezer to start using up. Used some of my basil today.

  24. When I think of favorite dishes – I think of ones like this. So satisfying! I would like to die in right now!

  25. I would love to tuck into some of that right now! Fabulous, hearty, comfort food… mmm….

  26. Great dish Kalyn. One thing I miss in my kitchen…a freezer larger than a postage stamp.

    Although, there’s always room for sausages, shrimp and baggies of soup and sauce.

    One of these days I do hope you share a pasta dish with Presto Pasta Nights.

  27. this looks SO good Kalyn!! Good and meaty!! my favorite!!

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