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Instant Pot Zucchini Bolognese by Michelle Tam https://nomnompaleo.com
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4.62 from 21 votes

Instant Pot Zucchini Bolognese (Paleo, Whole30, Keto)

This simple and quick Whole30-friendly Instant Pot Zucchini Bolognese recipe is a riff on Meghan Markle's original version, but a whole lot meatier!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: bolognese, gluten-free, Instant Pot, keto, low carb, meat sauce, paleo, Pressure Cooker, Primal, Whole30, zucchini
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 498kcal
Author: Michelle Tam


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • pounds zucchini diced into ½-inch pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • Magic Mushroom Powder or Diamond Crystal kosher salt with added umami boosters detailed in the instructions
  • Juice from ½ lemon


  • Grab your Instant Pot or pressure cooker and turn on the Sauté function. When the metal insert is hot, pour in the olive oil.
  • Toss in the diced onions and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly softened.
  • Add the Italian sausage and break it up with a silicone spatula. Cook the sausage until it’s no longer pink.
  • Dump in the zucchini, minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon of Magic Mushroom Powder or Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt. (The salt won’t add extra umami, so you may want to add a few drops of fish sauce or a couple of dried mushrooms to the pot for extra savoriness.) Stir well.
  • You don’t need to add any extra liquid. Trust me—the zucchini will release enough liquid for the contents to reach high pressure. Lock the lid and program the Instant Pot to cook for 35 minutes under high pressure.
  • When the sauce is done cooking, you can wait for the pressure to release naturally or you can manually vent it if you’re impatient. 
  • The zucchini and onions should be fork-tender and easily mashed with a spatula to form a chunky sauce.
  • Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with additional Magic Mushroom Powder, salt, or freshly ground pepper. Stir in the juice from half a lemon and taste it again. (Always, always, ALWAYS taste your food and season accordingly!)
  • When the sauce is ready, grab a spiralizer to prepare some zucchini noodles (or grab some ready-to-go spiralized veggies at the store). If I’m serving this sauce on zoodles, I drop the raw spiralized zucchini straight into the pot and toss ’em around until the hot sauce softens the zoodles to my liking.
  • Top with your favorite herbs and dig in! This sauce freezes really well so make a batch whenever your vegetable crisper is overflowing with zucchini!



Slow cooker instructions:

If you want to cook this in a slow cooker, sauté the onions and sausage  before adding them with the rest of the ingredients into the slow cooker. Program your Crockpot to cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until the zucchini is super tender.

Stove-top instructions:

Follow my directions below but cook the zucchini bolognese in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat on the stovetop.  Once all the ingredients are in the pot, bump up the heat to bring everything to a boil. Then, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cover and cook on low heat for 3 to 4 hours or until the zucchini falls apart. Stir occasionally, and add a splash of broth or water if the pot looks dry while it’s cooking.
Tried this recipe?Mention @nomnompaleo or tag #nomnompaleo!


Calories: 498kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 43g | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g