Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

Don’t you love it when you come home from a hard day of work to find your loving Italian grandmother hovering over the stove stirring a huge pot of spaghetti sauce that she has been working on all day?

Boy, I do. Except that it never happens to me. First of all, I’m German. Second, no one in this family has time to hover over anything other than a toddler trying to learn to use a potty.

But here is a way to get something that tastes like someone’s loving grandmother slaved over it without all the fuss.  The secret? A pressure cooker.

I know the thought of a pressure cooker freaks some people out. It is kinda weird that they shoot steam yet are somehow safe to use, but they are.  They also make dishes that normally take a long time (pot roast, dry beans, chicken stock) taste amazing in a much shorter time frame.  Try one out!



  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 – 1.5 lb ground turkey
  • 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes – crushed by hand
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1.5 Tbs Oregano
  • 1.5 Tbs Basil
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • Sugar (optional: if tomatoes are sour)


  1. Heat oil in pressure cooker over medium heat.
  2. Sauté onion until soft and translucent – about 3 minutes.
  3. Add turkey and cook until brown.
  4. Add tomatoes, sauce, and paste to pan.  Stir.
  5. Add bay leaves, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper.  If tomatoes are tasting sour, add a pinch of sugar. Stir.
  6. Close lid on pressure cooker. Bring to pressure and leave at high pressure (NOT high heat) for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Turn heat off and let pressure release on its own. This takes around 15 minutes.  If you are in a rush you can run cold water over the closed lid and release it faster.
  8. Remove lid and remove bay leaves.
  9. Serve over noodles or spaghetti squash.