There’s nothing like an Italian red sauce for a comforting, filling meal. This Instant Pot meat sauce is a snap to make and excellent served over pasta, polenta, or in lasagna.
My mom makes the best meat sauce. The best. It’s one of those meals that I just can’t quite replicate perfectly. Or at least I always feel like it’s not quite right. My sons, on the other hand, will tell you that mine is as good as Grammy’s — maybe even better. (Mom’s is always best, right??)
This red sauce is an adaptation for the Instant Pot, for those of us who need to get dinner on the table in a hurry without stirring a pot on the stove for hours.
An easy meat sauce that comes together in under an hour in an Instant Pot, but tastes like it’s been simmering all day? It’s a winner.
Notes on this Instant Pot meat sauce recipe
This recipe calls for Italian sausage and ground beef. If you prefer a different kind of ground meat, that’s perfectly fine. Ground chicken or ground turkey will make a little bit lighter red sauce. (I just wish they’d stop using Styrofoam to package it!)
The red pepper adds a bit of sweetness to the sauce, the pepper flakes, a bit of spice. The red wine gives the sauce a richer flavor, but if you prefer to leave it out, the meat sauce will still emerge from the Instant Pot tasting great.
This recipe calls for canned tomatoes. If you’re a home canner, feel free to substitute your homemade version in equal amounts. Not everybody has tackled home canning yet, though, and I wanted this easy meat sauce recipe to be easy enough for everyone to make. You can also use fresh Roma tomatoes; use about eight cups of chopped Romas to replace the canned tomato products.
If you do not have an Instant Pot, no worries. Simply follow the instructions, but use a large stock pot instead. For a really flavorful sauce, cook over medium-low heat for two-to-three hours, stirring often to prevent sticking.
Of course this sauce is delicious on pasta. But with half of the people in my household avoiding wheat, we don’t eat it that way very often. Most of us have come to prefer eating it scooped over a hot bowl of polenta or cooked spaghetti squash. It’s a must in homemade lasagna, and it’s a tasty topping for baked potatoes.
★ Did you make this Instant Pot meat sauce? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! ★
Instant Pot Meat Sauce
This rich and flavorful meat sauce is easy in the Instant Pot. Serve it over pasta, polenta, or just alongside a loaf of crusty French bread for dipping!
- 2 pounds ground Italian Sausage mild
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 1/2 red pepper chopped
- 2 cups tomato sauce 15 ½ ounce can
- 1 3/4 cups diced tomatoes 14 ounce can
- 3 3/4 cups tomato puree 29 ounce can
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 cup red wine optional
Turn the pressure cooker on to saute mode. Add in the ground beef, sausage and onion. Brown meat and drain any excess grease.
Add remaining ingredients and close the lid on the pressure cooker. Turn the pressure valve to sealing.
Set for a manual high-pressure time of 12 minutes, allowing for a quick pressure release at the end of the cooking time.
If you prefer a different kind of ground meat, that’s perfectly fine. Ground chicken or ground turkey will make a little bit lighter red sauce.
This recipe calls for canned tomatoes. If you’re a home canner, feel free to substitute your homemade version in equal amounts.