Instant Pot Italian Potatoes!
Healthy, hearty, and flavorful, these oil free Instant Pot Italian Potatoes are so delicious. Baby potatoes bath in an aromatic tomato sauce that pairs perfectly with roasted or steamed veggies for a fantastic and easy meal that family will love.
Whole Food Plant Based, Vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients and gluten free.
Hi there, Ameera here!
This recipe was inspired by Vegan Richa’s Dum Aloo Instant Pot potatoes. When we saw Vegan Richa’s recipe in her new Instant Pot cookbook that we reviewed for her (see our blog post on her Dum Aloo potatoes), our minds went immediately to spinning this dish with Italian flair, and that is exactly what we did.
You gotta give this one a try!
Tips for Success:
- Flavor Profile: This dish is filled with delicious Italian herbs and spices. Peeled baby potatoes bath in a creamy tomato-based sauce.
- Stirring/Scraping the Bottom of the Instant Pot: Instant Pots are a wonderful thing, the only downside is that if you are not diligent on scraping/stirring the bottom of the Instant Pot after sautéing onions and garlic, or even sometimes spices also get caught down there and it can cause a dish to burn or even create a bitter note from the high heat combined with pieces/spices that get stuck. Be sure to use a wooden spoon or strong silicone spatula to scrape the bottom well right before putting the lid on the pot.
- Baking Soda: Baking soda is often used as a neutralizer for dishes that contain a lot of acidity, typically from tomatoes. We use it in this dish to remove some of the tomato acidity (from the tomato sauce and petite diced tomatoes) without losing the tomatoey flavor. When you add it, the mixture may bubble up, then settle down as it neutralizes the acidity. The baking soda also helps speed up the cooking process when combining tomatoes with potatoes. For those individuals who enjoy that slightly tinny tomato acidic taste, do not add the baking soda. Note: The baking soda does make the potatoes on the soft side, if concerned, add the baking soda at the end with the Vegan Parmesan Cheese. Stir well and allow the baking soda to bubble up, then dissipate, then add the Vegan Parmesan Cheese.
- Peeling Baby Potatoes: Peeling the baby potatoes does take a little more time (approximately 9 minutes to peel 24 oz. baby potatoes), we strongly recommend it. Leaving the peels on the potatoes while sounds like a good idea; however, sometimes the potato peels come off during the cooking process and they add a tiny hint of bitterness to the sauce. We suggest peeling the baby potatoes.
- Baby Potatoes versus All-Purpose Potatoes: If you are not a fan of peeling baby potatoes, feel free to use regular all-purpose potatoes, peel them into 1-inch cubes. Adjust the Instant Pot timing based upon the size of the potatoes.
- Maple Syrup: That little bit (1/2 teaspoon) of maple syrup goes a long way. If concerned about the sauce being too sweet, omit it and taste test at the end to see if it is even needed. We had family members completely divided over if it was even necessary to add it. After you taste test and you decide to add it at the end, stir well and allow the dish to sit for 10 minutes to give the sweetness a chance to marry with the tomato sauce.
- Pureeing the Petite Diced Tomatoes: It is important to puree the petite diced tomatoes to avoid the Burn Alert on the Instant Pot.
- Dried Crushed Thyme Leaves: If you can’t find dried crushed thyme leaves, you can use ground thyme, but use half the amount.
- Regular Chili Powder: The chili powder is not typical for an Italian dish; it is only for dimension of flavor. You will not recognize it as chili powder in this dish. Feel free to use your favorite chili powder, just be sure to select a mild one and not one that has a lot of heat to it.
- Cumin: Cumin is not a typical spice for an Italian dish, but it adds just enough warmth to be barely discernable.
- Low-Fat Dish Expectations: This dish was designed to be lower in fat. Because it is lower in fat, you are not going to experience that endorphin rush associated with eating high-fat foods when eating this dish. It is very tasty for what it is, and that is a low-fat dish. We just want to make sure that our Readers recognize this when contemplating making this recipe. If you wish to make it more indulgent, add more of the Vegan Parmesan Cheese at the end or on individual servings. The Vegan Parmesan Cheese totally takes it over the top.
- Stove Top Instructions: Don’t have an Instant Pot? You can boil the baby potatoes separately until just tender, drain, do not over-boil). Then make the sauce separately and simmer the sauce on low for 20 minutes, then when the baby potatoes are tender, add them to the sauce and allow to cook in the sauce for 10 minutes to absorb the flavors. The Instant Pot method allows the potatoes to really absorb the Italian sauce flavors. The stove top method is still very tasty.
Leftovers and Freezing:
Leftovers will generally keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Store in a covered container. Reheating can be done on the stovetop or in the microwave.
This dish can be frozen.
Pantry Products Used:
- Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
Kitchen Products Used:
- Instant Pot
- Food Processor (to puree the tomatoes)
- 1 medium yellow onion, fine dice
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 – [ 8 oz. can ] tomato sauce
- 1 – [ 14 oz. can ] petite diced tomatoes, drained, pureed
- 1 cup water
- 24 oz. baby potatoes, peeled *
- ½ teaspoon pure maple syrup (optional) *
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda (optional) *
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- ½ teaspoon regular chili powder *
- 1/8 teaspoon cumin *
- Pinch dried crushed thyme leaves (optional) *
- ¼ to 1 teaspoon sea salt * (+/-)
- 2 Tablespoons Vegan Parmesan Cheese (or nutritional yeast) *
- Chopped fresh parsley or basil
Instant Pot Instructions
- Place all the Spice/Herb Ingredients into a small bowl, whisk to combine, set aside.
- Preheat the Instant Pot by selecting the Sauté setting. Then add the onion along with a Tablespoon of water to prevent burning/sticking. Sauté until the onions are tender, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Then add the minced garlic, sauté for 30 seconds.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, drained and pureed petite diced tomatoes, Spice/Herb Mix, and water. Cook until almost a boil, for about 2 minutes. Add the baking soda (optional) and maple syrup, stir well to incorporate. Select the Cancel setting. Stir well, scraping the bottom to pull up any pieces that may have stuck to the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Add the potatoes to the Instant Pot and stir to coat them in the sauce. Press them down into the sauce evenly.
- Lock the lid into place, set the Pressure Release Knob to Sealing, select the Pressure Cook/Manual setting to high pressure, and set the cook time to 9 minutes for 1-inch (2.5 cm) or smaller potatoes and 10 minutes for larger potatoes.
- Once the cooking cycle is done, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then carefully set the Pressure Release Knob from Sealing to Venting to release any remaining pressure. Open the lid.
- Stir in the Vegan Parmesan Cheese (or nutritional yeast). Allow to set for 5 minutes for the flavors to marry.
- Serve and enjoy!
*Please reference the blog post for Tips for Success, Pantry Items Used, Storage and Freezing, and Kitchen Products Used.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Nutrition Information: Using a lower fat vegan parmesan cheese or substituting with nutritional yeast will reduce the fat content.
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