Category: Gardening

Easy Instant Pot Tomato Sauce

Last year I canned tomatoes for the first time.  This year I decided to tackle tomato sauce.  But,  if you’ve learned anything about me, it’s that l like things to be as easy as possible in the kitchen!  So, when people were telling me that I needed to blanch tomatoes, take the skins off, deleted them, roast them with lots of seasonings, and other things, I thought…surely this has to be easier.

Of all the produce that our garden has produced this year, our tomatoes are some of the best.  Big, firm, and standing tall!  They may have been slow to turn, but I’ve been patient as I knew this would be worth it in the end when I have homemade tomato sauce this winter!  I’ve discovered that the older I get, the more joy I get in preserving our food through freezing and canning for use later.

My Instant Pot ready for making tomato sauce!

The Recipe

Thanks to my friend Jenny over at In the Kitchen with Jenny and my other friend Mary, over at a Natrual Soul, I talked through things and did indeed find that it could be easier!  So, between these friends and my Instant Pot, I now make what I’d like to consider is the worlds easiest tomato sauce.

Instant Pot Tomato Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: varies
  • Tomatoes
  • 1 Onion
  • Minced Garlic
  • ¼ c water
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Place the trivet in the bottom of your instant pot and pour the water in the bottom.
  2. Fill the pot with the tomatoes, washed and whole, along with the onion that has been cut into quarters!
  3. Drizzle olive oil over all and season liberally with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the lid on with the valve set to steam and turn on to manual for 5 minutes.
  5. Once done, do a quick release.
  6. Drain all the juices from the tomatoes and onions and place in a blender and blend until smooth!
  7. Can or freeze.


After cooking in the Instant Pot

Cooks Notes:

  • There aren’t a lot of measurements on this recipe because it is a lot up to the cook!  Some batches I put more onions in, sometimes it was more garlic!
  • 1/4 cup of water may not seem like a lot, but the tomatoes produce so much of their own juices that you don’t need any more!
  • No, I don’t remove the skins or seeds!  The seeds don’t bother us and I believe the skins add a thicker texture!
  • Yes, it really is that easy!  I have a large drawer full of tomato sauce ready for the winter thanks to this recipe and my mom (who does my canning)!

I hope you find this recipe helpful and as easy as I did!  Enjoy tomato sauce year round!

Tomato Sauce

Other tomato sauce recipes from Iowa Bloggers:

Healthy Roasted Tomato Sauce from Farm Girl Cook’n

Easy, Homemade Roasted Tomato Sauce from Simplify, Live, Love

Traditional Slow Cooker Sunday Red Sauce from Ally’s Sweet & Savory Eats


Garden Update, 7/24/2017

Can you believe two weeks have passed since the last garden update?! We went on our family vacation, the county fair is over, and I’ve been busy with meetings and training’s for work! I feel like I just blinked and two weeks were over!

Like I said, we went on our family vacation and enjoyed 5 days in Branson again!  I do promise there will be some posts coming about that when I get some time to breathe, but here’s a sneak peak at the highlight of the trip for me!

Yup, that’s me parasailing!  Parasailing is something that I’ve always wanted to do and I discovered that you could do it on Table Rock Lake, so T made sure that it happened for me and it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done!  It literally took my breath away (in a good way) and I can’t wait to do it again!


Garden Update, July 10th, 2017

It’s time for a garden update, which means 2 weeks has passed!

Keeping Busy

Our family has been busy with a variety of home projects, working evening construction with my dad, and some fun family days! The Monday before the 4th of July, T and I both took the day off to spend with the boys!  We headed to Dubuque for a family fun day and took in the Fenelon Place Elevator, the National River Museum & Aquarium, and then headed to Galena, IL to Chestnut Mountain Resort for segway tours!  We had a great day together!

Lilies, Lilies, and More Lilies

My lily bed is at prime blooming right now and while the rest of my gardens are pretty too, I’m obsessed with the lilies, so I decided to mostly feature those during this update!

I simply love the deep, rich color of this lily!


A Garden Update, 6/26/2017

Two weeks have flown by since the last garden update! Not only has our family been busy working and playing, our garden has been super busy growing, developing, and producing!

Keeping Busy

This is the first year that we have not had a baseball player since R started T-Ball about 10-12 years ago!  I thought we would have several weeks with downtime and room to relax, but that hasn’t been the case.  We are doing a large construction job on weekends and evenings with my dad.  In addition to that we’ve built a new deck at our own house this summer and are still working on that!  It’s all good though!  Lots of quality bonding time!  😉

Fruits & Vegetables

Our vegetable garden is finally growing rapidly and getting close to producing!  Our green beans are blooming, which means green beans come next!  Our red onions are getting bigger each week along with the carrots.  We’ve also officially picked a small handful of strawberries which has been the most exciting thing in the last two weeks!  They are so sweet and it’s exciting to know that in the next couple years I won’t have to buy strawberries anymore!


Carrot tops growing!
Green beans in bloom! Next comes the bean itself!
Yummy, ripe strawberries


Garden Update, 6/12/17

Two weeks has passed since the last garden update! We’ve had lots of sun, a little rain, and are now in what seems like a drought!  Even with the lack of rain (thanks to my watering) the flowers are growing like crazy!  I love taking a “tour” of my gardens almost every day to see what is blooming as it changes almost daily!  Come along with me on a tour!

flower boxes

My flower boxes beneath my windows are filling in slowly, but surely!  I love the coral color of these Fuschias and how they pop against the boxes and the siding!


Garden Update, 06/01/2017

It’s been over two weeks since I’ve given you an update on my garden! I can’t believe it! It’s actually been 3 weeks! So, why did I wait an extra week?! Well, thanks to Iowa weather, it’s been cold and rainy! That means not much of anything has been growing! Thankfully we’ve had a few warm days, here and there, so things are slowly taking off! Come along for a tour!


The window boxes and front planter are slow growing, but they still look good!  I’m guessing the lack of sun and heat has caused them to be more delayed!

The flag pole area is slowly growing in as well!  The flowers in the top bed are filling in better than the bottom one, but I love the contrast!  I can’t wait till it all fills in!

North Flower Garden

The North bed is growing great guns!  The dianthus I got from Natural Plus Nursery this spring is blooming like crazy and I love the bright pink blooms!  The Spurge is done blooming!  The Tickseed (the really small one on the right) is getting over taken by the phlox, so I think those will need to move at the end of the summer!  My Iris’ bloomed right after I took the picture and then the great Iowa wind broke them off, so they are now in my home in a vase!  We also added mulch to this bed this past weekend and I love how it looks now!

The wild bed is slow taking off, but the daisies are now in almost full-bloom!  There are also some fun pink blooms, but you can see them behind the tall grass, so I added those to the picture! 😉

My lilly bed has taken off well as well!  My miniature Iris are blooms like crazy (as you can see) and the miniature rose bush is ready to burst!  I planted two new lily bulbs this spring, so I’m anxious to see those!  (Well, I actually planted 4, but only two made it up!)  We also added edging and mulch to this bed and we both love how it turned out!  Yay for little changes!

It’s a new one!  Can you believe it?!  T actually gave me permission to have another small flower bed!  (He thinks I have more than enough! LOL)  We have a really neat sign in our front yard with an F and our house number on it and this is at the base now!  I can’t wait to see those marigolds fill in and take over!

Finally, the vegetable garden!  This wet, damp spring has been rough on it!  Our yard slopes down into the backyard and so our garden is very wet and holds the water well!  All the rain has kept it more than muddy and clumpy, which is not ideal growing conditions!  We have now replanted a couple times, but finally are getting some things growing!  Green Beans, radishes (almost ready), a few tomato plants, and cucumbers are finally up!  Our strawberries are looking fantastic too!

Well, that’s it for the tour!  I hope you enjoyed it and I can’t wait to see what the next two weeks bring now that we finally have had several days of sun and it’s getting warmer!  How are your gardens looking?!  Feel free to share!

Garden Update, May 8th 2017


Can you believe two weeks have flown by since the first garden update?!  How does time fly faster each week?  Thanks to Iowa weather, we had almost a week straight of rain and cold temps, so I was wondering if I was ever going to get to dig in the dirt!  Praise the good Lord, the sun came out last week and the rain stopped, so dirt has dried up and I went shopping for my flowers with my mom!

I’m so excited to give you a tour of my gardens this week because I finally got my annual flowers planted and even snagged a couple new perennials as well! So, let’s just get to showing you all the goodness!

If you followed along last year, you’ll know that I have flower boxes and a plantar by my front door, a raised bed around our flag pole and a couple pots that all get annuals.  I also have a spot that I call the North bed which is all perennials and thanks to my friends at Natural Plus Nursery, it seems to get something new each year!

North Perennial Bed

So, we’ll start with the North bed!  This year I added a Firewitch that will bloom pink!  I’m so excited about this as the leaves are a completely different shade green as the other items in this bed and the pink will be a fun color!  It will also be a shorter plant so, it’ll offset all the phlox I have in this bed!  I’m looking forward to seeing how it grows and spreads throughout the year!



2017 Garden Update, 4/24/2017

Can you believe it?! Gardening season is finally here! Well, according to the weather forecast, it’s gardening season for a day or two then it’ll be cold and wet again! Geesh!  But, I couldn’t wait any longer, so it’s officially the first Garden Update post!  Last year, I waited until the end of May and well…that is just too long!  So, here it is!

So, is there a lot to update you on with the gardens?  Have I actually done a lot in the gardens yet?  No, not really, but I am so stinking excited this year to share it all with you, that I figured we might as well start from the very beginning, right?!

Vegetable Garden

I basically badgered T this weekend to till our vegetable garden until he gave in!  It seemed dry on the top…well, maybe he was right and it was too wet.  However, he’s as stubborn as I am, so by the time he had tilled half of it, he told me I was planting it, so planting we did!  We put in cucumbers, green onions, radishes, tomatoes, and a row of green beans!  I’m hoping the sun and warm temps today will give those little seeds a jump start otherwise, I’ll never live this down!  (I think you can see from the picture how wet it actually can see where we packed it down in between rows!)  There is still the other half of the garden to till and plant (when and if it ever dries up) along with 2 other sections that are adjoining!

Vegetable Garden
April 23rd 2017 Vegetable Garden



Garden Update, 8/4/2016

If you’re counting, you know it’s been longer than two weeks since our last garden update! I credit that to two things: life is busy and the blooms are slowing down!  I’ve realized that I need some late blooming perennials for my flower beds! (I sure hope my specialist at Natural Plus Nursery is paying attention! 😉 )  Other than the phlox and a few lilies…things are just about done and starting to look drab!  Here are a few snapshots of the gorgeous blooms left that I do have!

garden 4


Garden Update: 7/18/2016

We’re back for another garden update which means it’s been two weeks already! Those two week periods seem to be going faster and faster as the summer rolls along! I don’t have a lot of words today, just a lot of pictures for you, so I hope you enjoy!

garden 1The North bed is doing great!  The Tickseed that I purchased from Natural Plus Nursery this spring is blooming like crazy (the red & yellow flower).  The phlox are finally in full bloom and they are some of my favorite as they are so vibrant!