We are back to school already in middle Tennessee. The first day was August 2nd! Growing up in Maryland, that is a mind bender for me. We always got out mid to late June and sometimes went back after Labor Day. August feels like it should be another month of summer fun, but that’s not the way we roll down here. Hard to believe, but I have a second grader and I am beginning to understand that overly recited phrase, “Don’t blink.” Time truly does move so fast.
With the start of school comes the start of soccer practices, gymnastics, homework, and schedule overload. Meal planning is truly the only thing that gets me through. I have to start leaning on quick, healthy meals to stay on track with nutrition and keep my sanity. Our tendency when things get hectic is to reach for the processed foods like jarred Ragu. When we do that, we are unknowingly reaching for spoonfuls of sugar and sodium too. Making wholesome food for your family doesn’t have to be hard. In the weeks to come, I’ll share recipes that are working for our family for both dinners and those pesky school lunches.
Deep breath, moms and dad. We can do this.
Here is a recipe for a fast and easy marinara sauce that you can have Instant Pot to table in 35 minutes. You can double or triple this recipe and freeze the sauce to use on a busy school night. Planning ahead eliminates some of the stress in the middle of two soccer practices and an hour of homework, trust me.
Serve over pasta (bonus points if you choose a whole wheat kind), zoodles, or try it over an eggplant or chicken parmesan. I served it here over Aldi USA Eggplant Cutlets which are breaded and frozen. I air-fried them for ten minutes at 400 degrees and they are oh-so-good and quick!
Check out this video to see a tutorial on how to whip up this sauce!
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- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 Onion Small Finely Diced
- 1 TBSP garlic Minced
- 1 TBSP oregano
- 1 tsp Basil Dried
- Pinch Red Pepper Flakes optional
- 1 28 oz Can Petite Diced Tomatoes in juice
- 1/2 cup Water or Broth
- 1 tsp Salt
- Remove lid from Instant Pot and set pot to Saute.
- Add olive oil to bottom of inner liner pan and allow to heat.
- Add onions and garlic. Saute for about a minute and a half.
- Add oregano, basil and red pepper flakes. Continue to saute for another minute. You just want to soften the onions, not brown them.
- Turn pot off.
- Add can of diced tomatoes including juices.
- Add water or broth as well as the salt.
- Stir thoroughly.
- Replace lid, turn knob to Sealing, and set Instant Pot to Manual 25 minutes High Pressure.
- When timer goes off, use a quick release to remove pressure.
- When the pressure is fully released, turn the pot off and carefully remove the lid.
- The sauce will be a little thin, so set to Saute and allow liquid to reduce down for five minutes, stirring frequently.
- When your sauce reaches desired thickness, turn the pot off, allow sauce to cool and then serve!