Instant Pot: Balsamic Braised Sweet Italian Sausage & Onions

Italian sausages are great in a warm bun, used in pasta dishes or even chopped up in soup. But if you have fresh Italian sausages on hand and aren't in the mood for any of those options, why not try braising them? I came across this recipe from Rachel Ray's cookbook, 365 No Repeats and given that I had everything on hand, it was easy to put this dish together - in less than 30 minutes even! (I think Rachel would have been proud.)

The dish is essentially browned sausage that's pressure cooked along with onions in a sweet balsamic broth. I especially like that I can prepare this all in one pot - the Instant Pot -  which means less clean up... and that's always a good thing. I served the braised sausage with my tangy Horseradish Smashed Potatoes.

Balsamic Braised Sweet Italian Sausage & Onions
recipe adapted from Rachel Ray

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 links of sweet Italian sausage
2 medium onions, sliced thinly.
1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups chicken stock or chicken broth
2 tablespoons honey

In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.

Press MANUAL on the IP and add oil. When shimmering, add onions and sausage links, cooking until browned; roughly 5-7 minutes.

Add thyme, garlic and 1 cup of chicken broth, .

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 6 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 6 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 6 minutes, turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen). The IP will automatically default to the WARM mode.

Press SAUTE and add the balsamic vinegar, remaining 1 cup chicken stock, and honey. Bring the liquid to a simmer, and cook until the sauce has reduced by half.

To serve, plate up the sausages (whole or sliced) and serve with the braising liquid.


  1. Interesting recipe. It does not mention when to add the garlic or thyme. I`ll try adding them at the same time as the onions and see how that goes .......

    1. The garlic & thyme is added with the chicken broth...