Instant Pot Italian Meat Sauce

instant pot italian meat sauce

My recipe for Italian Meat Sauce in the Instant Pot will be a game changer for meal planning. Luckily, my mom and I are both obsessed with our Instant Pot, and when I was visiting over the holidays, we made some amazing pasta sauce, in a crazy short amount of time. There are short ribs, carrots, onions, Italian sausage, and other delicious spices that made this a hit with the whole family. Pour it over spaghetti squash or zoodles to make it paleo, or freeze it for later. I definitely plan on making this regularly, since most restaurants have dairy in their Italian food, and dairy is the one thing I’m still very careful to avoid in my diet. Although I’ve relaxed my standards this past year, the new year is a great time to get back to my favorite paleo foods, and work on eating healthier, exercising more, and stepping up my meal planning game.

Instant Pot Italian Meat Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8-10
  • 1 lb pork spare ribs
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cans (28oz) tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 2 tbsp or ice cube of red wine
  • 1 pkg sweet Italian sausage
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 cup of chopped carrots
  • 1 cup of chopped onions
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • a couple grinds of fresh ground black pepper
  1. In a large pan, sear short ribs and Italian sausage in olive oil, 2-3 minutes per side, then add to instant pot.
  2. Then, in a large pan, cook ground beef, ground pork, chopped carrots and onions, until meat is no longer pink.
  3. Add cooked ground beef, pork, carrots, and onions to the instant pot, with honey, tomato paste, tomato puree, chopped rosemary, thyme, dried basil, and red wine.
  4. Then, add to instant pot some sea salt to taste approximately 1 tsp and add a few grinds of fresh ground black pepper.
  5. Close lid of the instant pot and make sure pressured release valve is sealed. Cook on high pressure manual for 60 minutes, then let it release naturally.

Keto Cauliflower Cottage Pie

keto cottage pie

If you’re not familiar with Keto, then don’t worry…Today’s post is from Louise Hendon. She’s the co-founder of The Keto Summit, a site dedicated to providing you with practical advice, recipes, and tips for starting Keto. She’s also the author of The Essential Keto Cookbook and creator of the 3-2-1 Keto Meal Plans Program. So if you’re interested in getting started on Keto, please check those resources out.

Keto has gotten so popular over this past year (2017) that you’ve probably read about it somewhere…

But in case it’s new to you, let me start by explaining what Keto is.

Keto is a diet/lifestyle that integrates low carb with whole foods and healthy fats. It’s a diet that’s been around for almost a century. It was originally designed as a treatment for epilepsy (and it’s still used today for that purpose).

However, in modern times, people found that Keto also worked amazingly well for helping people stabilize their blood sugar levels, lose weight, gain energy, clear mental fog, and more. There’s even research being done into using Keto as an adjuvant cancer therapy.

And it’s those amazing benefits that has people so excited about this diet.

What do you eat on Keto?
The first thing most people want to know when they hear about a new diet is…what do you eat?

On Keto, you eat a lot of whole foods…things like:

• Fatty meats
• Fish and other seafood
• Leafy green vegetables
• Some berries, nuts, seeds
• Healthy fats

Because most fast food joints and restaurants don’t cater to people on Keto yet, right now most people starting Keto have to do a fair amount of cooking. Of course, cooking from scratch helps to make this diet even healthier for you!

How to start Keto?
It’s actually pretty easy to get started on a Keto diet.

For most people, it just sounds confusing at first because there’s a lot of different viewpoints on Keto out there – for example, some people add dairy to Keto recipes whereas other people (like us over at The Keto Summit) suggest you try to avoid all dairy except for ghee.

So, if you’re interested in getting started, then just try to focus on these 3 steps at first:

1. Cut down your net carb intake per day to under 25 g.
2. Eat lots of green leafy vegetables.
3. Add in more healthy fats like coconut oil, ghee, and olive oil.

And if you want to know more about Keto then, you can check out our post on getting started here.

Keto Recipes
Lauren already has a ton of Keto recipes on her site…recipes like Instant Pot Pulled Pork and Baked Turkey Breakfast Sausage Patties.

But if you’re looking for more Keto recipes, then please check out The Essential Keto Cookbook the 3-2-1 Keto Meal Plans Program.

And to give you a taste of the types of recipes that would be considered Keto, here’s a delicious no-potato Keto cottage pie recipe.

Keto Cauliflower Cottage Pie
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 1.5 head of cauliflower (600 g), broken into florets
  • 3 Tablespoons of ghee (45 ml), melted
  • ¼ cup of coconut oil (60 ml), to cook the ground beef with
  • 1 medium onion (110 g), finely chopped
  • 1.5 lbs of ground beef (675 g)
  • 2 carrots (100 g), finely chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 Tablespoons of fresh parsley (4 g), finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup crushed nuts and seeds, for topping
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C).
  2. Boil the cauliflower florets until they’re soft. Drain well.
  3. Place the florets along with the ghee into a food processor or blender to make the mash (make sure it’s creamy and not watery). Add salt to taste.
  4. Cook the ground beef in a large skillet in the coconut oil. Add in the onions, carrots, celery, parsley, and minced garlic. Cook until the beef is browned. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Pour the cooked beef mixture into a large baking dish (9-inch x 9-inch (23cm x 23cm) or a large oval dish).
  6. Scoop the cauliflower mash on top and smooth it out.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 491 Fat: 40 g Carbohydrates: 12 g Sugar: 5 g Fiber: 4 g Protein: 22 g



Instant Pot Split Pea and Ham Soup

split pea and ham soup

This instant pot split pea and ham soup makes meal planning a breeze. It’s dairy free and gluten free. Although split peas are technically legumes, they are just a dried version of fresh peas, which I love and have used in recipes before. Check out my Vegan Pea Pesto. I’ve stopped being strict about rules, and just try to stick to what feels good. For me, that is dairy free and low carb. I’ll occasionally have carbs and beans, but meat, fish, fruit, and vegetables, are still what I prefer to have the majority of the time.

I’ve been using the Instant Pot a ton to help with meal planning. I’ve always loved using it for hard boiled eggs, but I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting with bone both, meat, stews, and rice. So far, my husband and I love it. At first, releasing the pressure was a little scary, but I wear an oven mitt, when I do to be extra careful, and I haven’t had any issues. I used to love my slow cooker, and it’s been collecting dust in my kitchen since I got this in the mail. So here is another recipe for all my instant pot fanatics (I include myself in that category).

Instant Pot Split Pea and Ham Soup
Prep time
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Total time
Serves: 10
  • 1 lbs green split peas
  • 1 medium white onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups of chopped ham
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  1. Chop white onion, mince garlic, and cube chopped ham.
  2. Add onions, garlic, and ham to instant pot with green split peas, bay leaves, thyme, and chicken stock.
  3. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.
  4. Then use the quick release to vent steam.
  5. Fish out sprigs of thyme and bay leaves.
  6. Before serving add some fresh ground pepper to taste.


Instant Pot Pulled Pork

instant pot pulled pork

Instant Pot pulled pork is a quick meal in one pot, that you could easily make ahead of time for guests. You can use your favorite bbq sauce or make or your own. I’ll admit that I’m lazy and I usually buy mine. You can get paleo friendly bbq sauce at whole foods or online, and if you are on budget the whole food’s brand 365 has a great bbq sauce that’s not pricey. I also like Annie’s Naturals sweet and spicy organic bbq sauce. So there are plenty of options depending on your diet. I used Annie’s Naturals for the photo above, but I usually make do with what’s in the fridge.

I used to make this in the slow cooker, but the instant pot pressure cooks this for 45 minutes and it’s done. It’s seriously impressive. Although the instant pot definitely was a little scary compared to the slow cooker, it’s worth it. Just be sure to wear an oven mitt when quick releasing the steam/pressure. Better safe than sorry.

Instant Pot Pulled Pork
Prep time
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Total time
Serves: 8
  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 3-4lbs)
  • 1 onion, sliced in half
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • ½ cup of bbq sauce
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • a couple grinds of black pepper
  1. Slice an onion in half and nestle it in the instant pot with with pork tenderloins.
  2. Then add two peeled garlic cloves whole, a bay leaf, chicken broth, sea salt and black pepper to instant pot.
  3. Add ½ cup of bbq sauce over pork tenderloins. Secure lid and make sure vent is sealed.
  4. Then set instant pot to manual and on high pressure cook for 45 minutes.
  5. Use quick release to release steam when finished.
  6. Shred pork and set aside.
  7. (optional) scoop out juice/liquid in instant pot and drizzle over shredded pork to keep moist, if eating later
  8. (optional) Mix in or drizzle fav bbq over shredded pork before you serve.

Skinny Vegetable Coconut Curry

skinny vegetable coconut curry

This skinny vegetable coconut curry is both vegan and paleo friendly. I’ve made lots of curries over the years but this is my first time posting one of my recipes. This is an Indian curry, using madras curry powder from Koshys that I got at my local Indian market. You can also use your curry powder of your choice or find the one I used online. I normally cook with full fat coconut milk from Native Forest, but I for this recipe I  used what was available at Trader Joes, and the consistency of their coconut milk is very light. So I would err on the side of using a light coconut milk if you have the option of choosing a light or full fat version.

This recipe ended up making a lot of food and curry freezes well, so I plan on using this recipe in the future for meal prepping. It would go great on it’s own to eat like a stew if you are paleo, but my husband prefers it with rice, and I don’t mind a little bit of gluten free rice on occasion. Either way, this curry will be a big hit.

Skinny Vegetable Coconut Curry
Prep time
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Serves: 8
  • 1 (15 oz) can of tomato sauce (about 2 cups)
  • 1.5 (13.5 oz) cans of coconut milk (about 3.5 cups)
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 3 tbsp madras curry powder (Koshys brand)
  • 5 carrots chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1.5 lbs of chopped cauliflower
  • 5 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp of avocado oil
  1. Add 1 tbsp of avocado oil to a large pot or dutch oven on medium heat.
  2. Then add chopped onions and let them sweat for 5-10 minutes until they are reduced in size.
  3. Then add second tbsp of avocado oil, minced garlic, grated fresh ginger, and curry powder to pot and stir for a few minutes.
  4. Add half a can of coconut milk to the pot, and scrape any curry powder or garlic stuck to bottom of the pan.
  5. Then add chopped cauliflower, carrots, and bell peppers to pot. Vegetables should start to cook and steam in the coconut milk.
  6. Add 1 can of tomato sauce and the rest of the coconut milk and bring liquid to a boil.
  7. Then reduce liquid to a simmer, and let it cook on low for a few hours or until vegetables are cooked to desired firmness.






Nonni’s Sauce

Nonni's Meat Sauce

This was my attempt at making Nonni’s meat sauce, which I grew up eating with her pasta and meatballs. I have a paleo version of her meatballs posted, and I add a few of them to the sauce for flavor. She also adds 1/2 cup of grated parmesean or romano cheese, but I opted to make this dairy free, and I was still happy with the results.

The sauce cooked down and really concentrated the tomato flavor, so you could skip the tomato paste, or water it down with water, stock, or wine. However, the concentrated flavor actually ended up being a good thing, since zoodles give off water when cooked. So, when I sauteed Non’s sauce and zoodles together the result was perfect.

Nonni's Sauce
Prep time
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Total time
Serves: 6
  • 2 country style pork ribs
  • 3 sweet Italian sausages
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 3-5 homemade paleo meatballs
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 2 cans of tomato puree
  • 1 white onion chopped
  • chopped parsley (garnish)
  • parsley (a handful including stem)
  • ½ tsp sea salt or to taste
  • a few grinds of fresh ground pepper or to taste
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup of water
  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, saute chopped onions in olive oil for a few minutes on medium low heat.
  2. Then, add to pot minced garlic and stir for a few minutes.
  3. Add in country style ribs and sweet italian sausage and brown sides slightly, when finished browning turn heat to low.
  4. Then add two cans of tomato puree.
  5. Add ¼ cup of water to each can of empty tomato puree, swish it around, to get out all tomato puree and add it to the pot.
  6. Add tomato paste, honey, and a handful of parsley with stem and leaves to pot. Parsley will be fished out later.
  7. Cook on low for 1.5 hours minimum. The longer you cook it the thicker the sauce will get. 2 hours of cooking time is ideal.
  8. Salt and pepper to taste while cooking.
  9. When finished, turn off heat and let it come to room temperature before storing it.
  10. Before serving it, fish out parsley.



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