The Best Nightshade Free Marinara Sauce (AIP, Instant Pot)
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This sauce is a nightshade-free marinara sauce that’s made without tomatoes! It’s AIP compliant, as well as Whole30, Paleo, and sugar-free.
If you were to ask me what my favorite food was when I was a kid, I probably would’ve said pizza and pasta. I mean, can you blame me? Who doesn’t love pizza? I grew up in New York in a Jewish/Italian American family, and my dad always used to joke that spaghetti sauce ran through the veins, and thus, mine.
That’s why my heart completely dropped when I first came to terms with my nightshade intolerance at 20 years old. No ketchup? No Caprese salad? No pizza?!
I went about nine months being nightshade free before I was eventually able to discover the glory of red sauce without tomatoes. Wait, what? How?! It’s a veggie-rich sauce made to taste like tomato sauce, but without the tomatoes. SCORE. Over the years, I’ve perfected my own version. It’s just the right flavor and consistency, and it’s made quickly and easily in the Instant Pot. You’re serious about 20 minutes away from having nightshade-free tomato sauce right now.
The Best Nightshade Free Marinara Sauce
The Ingredients You’ll Need For the Nightshade Free Marinara Sauce
Carrots are the main veggie in this dish. They have a pretty neutral flavor and their color adds some of the red tint to the sauce.
This is the main veggie in the sauce that gives it its red color. I know some people don’t love beets, but really
Onion and garlic
These add a ton of flavor to the sauce. Technically, you can leave out the garlic, but you’ll miss a lot of the flavor.
Another crucial vegetable in this sauce.
Basil, parsley, and oregano
Lemon juice adds that acidity that tomatoes naturally have without being overly vinegary. I just don’t love the taste of apple cider vinegar in this sauce, but you can use that as well.
The Instant Pot
If you don’t have an Instant Pot yet, I highly recommend it. It’s a safer pressure cooker that also has a slow cooker function, steam function, satuee function, and more. It’s saved me hours in the kitchen and can cook pretty much anything. I’ve included instructions to make this without an instant pot. However, it will more than double the cooking time, so seriously… this thing is life changing.
The Vitamix is one of my favorite kitchen appliances. It just blends so well, and the damper insert is perfect for making chunky sauces like this nice and smooth. You can use other high speed blenders as well!
Some things to consider…
I would not make any swaps rather than what may be noted in the section above.
All of the ingredients listed should be used as is to get a great product.
Your flavor will often vary depending on the veggies you have at the time.
Something that I’ve learned from cooking with real food ingredients (especially vegetables) is that you don’t get that identical product like you would with processed food. The flavor of every carrot is going to be a little bit different, some beets are stronger than others, and sometimes your basil is a bit milder… that’s okay! I’m used to my sauce always tasting just a tad different depending on the ingredients, the season, etc. so if it doesn’t taste identical each time, that doesn’t mean you did anything wrong!
What to pair this sauce with…
If you’re AIP, pair this sauce with spaghetti squash or zoodles! If you’re not AIP and can tolerate something like rice pasta or chickpea pasta (which are pictured in the picture above) go for it!
The following AIP recipes…Print
AIP Nightshade Free Marinara Sauce
- Total Time: 25
- Yield: 6 cups 1x
This sauce is a nightshade-free marinara sauce that’s made without tomatoes! It’s AIP compliant, as well as Whole30, Paleo, and sugar-free.
- 1 tbsp olive oil (sub avocado oil)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 white onion, diced
- 2 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
- 1 1/4 cups celery (about 4 stalks), chopped
- 1 1/4 cup beet, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh basil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 tsp parsley
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Add the olive oil to the base of the instant pot and set to saute.
- Saute the onions and garlic for 2 minutes, before adding in the carrots, beets and celery. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Press cancel to turn off the saute function.
- Pour in the water and lemon juice and add the seasonings. Stir to combine.
- Lock the lid onto the instant pot and flip the the pressure release valve to closed. Press “manual” (it will default to high pressure” and use the “+” button to set the time to 14 minutes. Allow the instant pot to come to pressure and the sauce to cook.
- Once the sauce has finished, carefully release the pressure valve. Once depressurized, remove the lid and allow for the sauce to cool before blending it in a Vitamix or high speed blender until smooth.
- Season further to taste and enjoy!
- To adapt for the stove, use a large, deep sauce pot to saute the garlic and onion on low heat in olive oil until softened. Add the remainder of the veggies and saute for a few minutes. Add about 1-1.5 cups of water to the pot (just enough to cover the veggies) along with the herbs and bring to a simmer for about 30 minutes or until the veggies are completely softened. Allow to cool. Pour off some of the water if a thicker sauce is desired. Combine all of the of the veggies and seasonings with the lemon juice in a blender and blend until smooth.
- The pasta in the background of the pictures is GF chickpea pasta, and is not AIP or paleo. See suggestions above for more options for what to pair this sauce with.
- All nutrition information is an estimation and will vary.
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 20
- Category: Sauce
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Italain
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 68
- Fat: 2.6g
- Carbohydrates: 10.9g
- Fiber: 3.1g
- Protein: 1.4g
Thank you for this practical and very much needed recipe! Do you think the prepared sauce could be frozen?
Thanks so much Marty! It freezes great!! I often freeze it so I can easily have it on hand 🙂
What can you use instead of carrots, due to carrot allergies?
I don’t know if there’s a good swap for carrots here. Sorry!
try a deep orange squash or pumpkin to replace carrots
Maybe butternut squash???
How long will this sauce last in the freezer
I keep it for about 3 months!
Maybe sweet potatoes or yams?
Can you recommend anything to sub for the carrots? I am allergic.
I haven’t tried any sub for the carrots… sorry!
This a great sub for tomatoes. I have used pimentos to make a nomato sauce. I just add onions and Italian spices, maybe a little brown sugar, then use for compliant pasta, or the occasional pizza. I follow the Eat right for your blood type way of eating. I’m giving this recipe a go for something different.
OR.. place all ingred except water and lem. Juice in Food processor to chop. Sautee in deep cast iron pan, add water to cover. Cook till tender..cool toss back into blender..with lemon juice. Buddabim.
I’ve not used my Instant Pot, but I’ve made this several times using the “on the stove” method. I like it as a substitute for tomato sauce, but my husband, who usually like beets but doesn’t have to avoid tomatoes like I do, doesn’t care for it. The sauce DOES freeze very well. I add extra olive oil to it because it tends to dry out and burn when put on chicken as a “barbecue” sauce.
Thanks so much Mary!
Can you freeze this?
You can 🙂 I like to double the batch and freeze half in 1 cup portions so I don’t have to make it as often.
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This sounds awesome. If I’m trying to make a low acidic sauce due to acid reflux can I just leave out the lemon juice? Or maybe that wouldn’t matter like real tomato sauce..
If you’re sensitive to it, you can leave it out.
How long does it last in the fridge once made?
I would say about 3-4 days. I like to double it and freeze half 🙂
Hi, about to try this recipe (so excited), I was just wondering if all of the herbs are fresh? You specified fresh basil, but not oregano and parsley, are the other two dried?
I use dried herbs for the oregano and parsley 🙂 Enjoy!
I have a abundance of carrots and beets from the garden. Can this recipe be canned? Thanks
I haven’t ever tried canning to be honest! You can freeze for sure 🙂
I made this sauce tonight, and it is delicious! It tastes just as good as a real tomato sauce to me. Thank you for the recipe, Michelle!
YAY! Thank you so much!! I am so glad you enjoyed <3 thank you for trying and commenting!
Why does it have to cool before blending? For taste or safety. And I didn’t have oregano (went to the store 3 times and forgot this still, pregnancy brain) so I hope it turns out ok, crossing fingers.
The pressure from the heat can blow the lid off of the blender and make a huge mess and burn you… I’ve done it before and it was not a fun mistake!
impressed with the tomato-ey flavor. goes great for nomato cabbage roll casserole.
I made this last night for lasagne, subbing balsamic vinegar for lemons. I did the stovetop method and my blender didn’t exactly hold up to the task; it’s a bit chunky… and SO DELICOUS. I could eat it by the spoonful. Thank you!!
Yay! Glad you liked it, Angelica! I feel like I can eat it like soup sometimes too 🙂
this smelled amazing while it was cooking, but after blending and tasting the celery taste was a little too strong for me. Next time I would probably do half the celery. I added more seasoning and added 10 kalamata olives and blended again and it helped bring some unami to it. Delicious! Good recipe over all! Thanks!
This was my first AIP recipe venture and it was not only delicious and satisfying (and so surprisingly similar to a tomato based marinara), but it gave me confidence that I can navigate this and be successful. My husband and daughter even love it! I added grass-fed ground beef and we’ve had it over zucchini noodles and on cauliflower pizza crust. Going to try Breana’s suggestion of adding kalamata olives to my leftover batch next time.
I am grateful for your blog, Michelle. Thank you!
Thank you SO much, Denise! I’m so happy that you enjoyed it!! 🙂
I’m really wanting to try this ….are your beets cooked( fresh) prior to putting them into pot ? Or canned ?
All of my adult life tomatoes gave me heartburn. This nomato sauce saved me. It’s amazing! It’s now my go-to sauce for everything!
I use half the celery (cooked celery is overpowering to me) and replace it with more beets. And I use balsamic instead of lemon.
Thank you so much for this!
I followed a recommendation from Rachel Bryant at Meatified.com, and made it with canned beets. The beet flavor is less strong that way, and allows the herbs to shine through. I just made this over the weekend and used it in the chicken tortilla soup recipe from this blog. The soup was amazing thanks to this nomato sauce, and I’m excited to be eating the leftovers for lunch at work today.
P.S. I also added 10 kalamata olives.
I used frozen sliced beets last night and it turned out really well
I used canned and it turned out great.
Happy happy happy!! I just made this and so full of flavor. I have missed ketchup and marinara sauces. Thank you thank you for sharing.
Ah, thank you so much Melody! I’m so happy you enjoyed it!
I made this tonight! It was excellent! Thank you so much for the recipe!!
Loved this! I can’t wait to share with the kids I made it for (mine) who are wheat/gluten free, dairy and egg free. It’s been a journey. I look forward to to what you cook up next!
Thank you so much, Karen!!!
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Can you sub celery here or just leave it out?
I haven’t tried it, but let me know if you do!
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WOW! GOD is good. I am Italian and I was not going to give up
my red sauce. Thank you thank you thank you
I’m so happy you liked it, Debbie!! Thank you so much!
I can’t use garlic or onions either. Would recommend trying this at all with out it? I could use Asafetida ground as a substitute but I don’t know how much to use.
I would just leave it out and add fresh herbs to taste 🙂
This was so easy and tasted SOOO good!
I had mine with grass fed ground beef and zoodles.
I’ve missed tomato sauces a lot and just want to thank you for sharing this easy, Instant Pot recipe. ❤️
So happy you liked it, Joan!!!
Do you know how long this can stay fresh in the refrigerator?
It will last about 4 days. You can freeze it as well 🙂
removed the parsley because it is a nightshade
Parsley is actually not a nightshade. Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and all peppers and red spices are nightshades, but green herbs are not nightshades.
I’ve just started aip, I’m so happy to find this recipe! Is the beet raw when it goes in the instant pot please?
All of the vegetables are raw, yes 🙂 Enjoy!
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Want to try this and believe me I understand that onion and garlic would make this so great, but I don’t tolerate these FODMAP foods can mess with me too I know there is and replacement I just have to order it. I think it starts with and A. Would have to look it up to share. Maybe you know what it is. thank you for the recipe.
You can try and leave it out. It will have less flavor but you can just add more herbs!
It’s Asafoetida. An indian spice. I’ve been cooking finely diced fennel bulb or celery in butter and adding some of that spice in order to get a substitute for garlic and onion in dishes. But now I can’t have alliums OR nightshades, I’m super relieved to find recipes like this that I can make fit both.
I made this and really thought I followed the directions but I ended up with a sauce the color of an orange/light mustard sauce. Maybe I didn’t add enough beets? In any case- it still tasted good and the kids liked it.
It may just be the beets that you used… I’ve definitely seen the beets drain their color once or twice.
Can’t wait to try this – Thank you! I miss tomato sauce
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Might be a silly question, but is the veggie amount pre-chop (2 1/2 cups of carrots you then chop) or post-chop (2 1/2 c. chopped carrots)? Thanks!
Post chop 🙂
Thanks to this recipe, I can finally have red sauce again. Mark my words, this is as close as you’ll be getting to making marinara sauce without using tomatoes. My family loved this sauce over spaghetti squash, and even my choosy 10-month-old daughter approved. Another thing to love is that is that you’re getting a ton of vegetables in one setting. Carrots, celery, beets…oh my! Take that basic tomato! I will most definitely be making this nomato sauce again, and again, and again.
I am SO happy that you liked it, Leslie!! Thank you so much for the sweet comment!
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Michelle, I can’t wait to try this recipe. I have tried some of your other recipes and all have been delicious. Glad to see the Instant Pot (IP) used, do you have other IP recipes? Thanks for sharing your creative & delicious creations for AIP.
Thank you Diana! I do have other Instant Pot recipes 🙂 right now you can search it in the search bar, but my site is currently getting redesigned and will have a much easier search function soon. Thanks!
Wow. Let me just start by saying even my 5 year old and 1 year old ate this sauce. I had it over zucchini noodles and gave it to the rest of the family over pasta. Also, I hate beets, but I loved this sauce. My 8 year old neighbour came over and thought it was delicious. Win win win. (No, it doesn’t taste like tomato sauce, but it does taste delicious)
Thank you so much, Myra! So glad you liked it 🙂
Just like tomato sauce! Full disclosure here, I haven’t eaten tomatoes since the beginning of March 2018 so maybe I’m not the best judge of authenticity. This sauce fulfilled all of my memories of fabulous marinara. I’d say it is better than traditional marinara since I can eat it and not have an inflammatory response. We mixed it with cooked ground turkey meat and enjoyed it over sweet potato noodles. It was mind blowing. I used my pressure cooker and Blendtec.
My husband says that, “this will be a weekly staple at our house.” Thank you for helping us incorporate new vegetables and flavors into our diets. We loved it!
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This is fantastic. Thank you so much for making easy tasty recipes. I am new to autoimmune disease and diet and am a true foodie. So glad to have alternatives ways to make old favorites. Kudos to you Michelle.
So you so much, Sue!!!
Hi, I love this recipe but can’t have celery due to a food sensitivity. Is there anything I can use as a replacement?
You can try adding a bit more onion for flavor!
Any suggestions to replace the beets? I like them but get very ill after eating them.
The beets are kind of hard to replace… you can try it without but it would be much more of an orange-colored sauce.
I don’t see where in the instant pot recipe I am to add the basil, oregano and parsley except at the very end after it is cooked and blended. normally, don’t you at least simmer the dried spices with the other ingredients?
Sorry for previous comment. I was a dope and missed the part where you clearly state to add the spices. Anyway, great recipe. I enjoyed it.
Fantastic and oh-so-easy in the Instapot!! I can’t tolerate nightshades and really wanted a sauce that made it seem like I was enjoying tomato sauce again. This is perfect!! And my guy — who hates beets — loves this!! Thanks!!
I am going to make this today. I can not use onions or garlic. I am going to use ground asafetida as a substitute. In the future should I increase any of the other ingredients or add something else?
Since onions very so much in size, how big of an onion should be used here? Or how many cups post diced? Thanks!
I can’t wait to try this…just wondering are the measurements the same as tomato/ pasta sauce…1 cup for 1 cup?
Yes, I use it 1:1 🙂
Awesome recipe! But note: all that dicing of raw vegetables is unnecessary if you’re using a food processor to blend the veggies after they’re cooked. You can throw them all in the Instant Pot whole (and I didn’t even peel the beets because the skin rubs off easily under running water after cooking–much easier and less messy than peeling and dicing beforehand). I used a 1 lb bag of baby-cut carrots, two medium beets, two (peeled but still whole) onions, one stick of celery (instead of 4) and used lime juice instead of lemon as a matter of personal taste. I did chop the celery into 1 or 2-inch segments in case strings became an issue in the processor, but I don’t think they would have. I ate the Nomato sauce over cheese tortellini and LOVE it!!! I also found that adding a bit of ricotta and parmesan (with the tortellini) created a lasagne-like flavour that was far less trouble than building a whole lasagne. Thank you for this amazing recipe! I’ve made it twice already! I’m so excited to be able to cook recipes again that call for tomato sauce!!!
Love the taste but how do I store it? I have 2 mason jars of it and don’t want it to go to waste.
I like to freeze extras in either glass or bags 🙂
I’ve made nomato sauce before from other recipes and the results are always too sweet because carrots and beets are sweet. Where does this recipe fall in the sweetness spectrum?
I’m sorry I doubted you, Michelle. I never thought this could actually taste like a nightshade laden tomato sauce. But it did, and it was amazing. THANK YOU.
SO glad you liked it, Lauren!!! Thank you!
Getting ready to do the plant paradox and looking for a spaghetti sauce. I didn’t have the celery, but it came out pretty good. Its definitely not our normal Barilla 5-cheese sauce, After the first half serving I put a generous amount of McCormick Italian Seasoning (with the grinder) more Himalayan salt and fresh ground tri-color pepercorns. I also had freshly grated manchego cheese. Those changes made it a keeper. We’ll see what celery does next time.
It seems counterproductive to go to such extreme and then put it together with gluten-free pasta. I am celiac.
You can easily use zucchini noodles. Everyone has a different tolerance level. I myself cannot tolerate nightshades but can tolerate gluten-free pasta… everyone is different.
This sauce is so good! It completely surpassed my expectations. The only thing I did different was to use 2 stalks of celery instead of 4. Otherwise made it exactly as written using the Crock Pot Express Multi-Cooker. This is a keeper and will be my go-to marinara sauce. Thank you so much for this recipe!
Thank you so much, Jeri! So glad you liked it!
I have frozen beets in my freezer from the summer. Would it work to use those?
As long as they’re still good, it should work! I would defrost them first.
I have made this three times already in the past two weeks! It is AH-MAZING when you can’t have tomatoes. I have made double batches in my Instant Pot all three times and it freezes so well. I did use a bit more oil and increased the seasonings. YOU MUST TRY THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I truly can’t believe how good this sauce is! I’m on Day 8 of AIP and have really been struggling. Last week’s recipes were a bust and I wasn’t holding out hope for this — especially since I don’t like beets at all. I roasted the beets and half the carrots to add a different flavor to the beets. I seriously can’t believe how good this sauce is! I made sloppy joe’s over roasted sweet potatoes. Thank you! Oh, and the Mongolian beef recipe is amazing, too!
Thank you so much, Erin!! So happy you liked it!
Oh my goodness gracious, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS RECIPE!! It tastes soo much like a carroty tomato sauce, even without the garlic (which I only omitted because I not supposed to eat it)! I would recommend this to ANYONE, even if not AIP! Not only is it delicious, but it’s SO easy! Again, thank you so much!
I am so happy you like it, Ariana!! Thank you so much!!
Is this the same recipe as the Nomato Sauce? Because I can’t find that recipe on your blog. You are a rockstar btw!!!
This is the nomato sauce, yes! 🙂 Thank you!!!
Delish! Not tons of reviews so was hesitant. However, great mostly neutral flavor (not too sweet like anticipated). Used 1 tsp dried basil (didnt have fresh), and used yellow onion (didnt have white) -other than that followed recipe using instant pot. Beautiful color and great taste! Would recommend!
Ever since I tried this I’ve been making it at least once/week. I can’t tolerate onions and garlic right now so I use garlic-flavored olive oil and green onions. Still tastes amazing and so versatile!
I made this for the first time today and it is ahhmazing! I am not nightshade fee BUT many times the acid in tomato sauces is just too much for me. Being Italian I have just continued on and dealt with it. Well – no more – I can’t believe the taste – it is spot on! I imagine using this as a base for bolognese, gravy with meatballs and on pizza!!! Thank you for your talent and creativity!!! You are changing lives 🙂
You’re so sweet! Thank you, Stephanie!! So glad you liked it!!
This turned out SO GOOD. I was literally standing in the kitchen scraping the pot and licking the spoon and GIGGLING after I finished packing it up to freeze LOL
One question… It says it makes 6 cups? I made a double batch and I think I got just a little over 7 cups total. Any thoughts?
I’m planning to use it in the No-Tortilla Soup, the Nightshade free BBQ sauce, and the Sloppy Joes. And maybe pizza.
Oh. My. Goodness! Why have I waited two years to find find this perfect nomato sauce recipe?! This is heavenly! I took a leap of faith and made a triple batch. I’m so glad I did! Dear hesitant cook, don’t wait another minute. I’m tempted to put a ladle or two in a bowl and savor my return to marinara sauce. Michelle, THANK YOU for your hard work and for sharing your discovery with us!
Thank you so much, Devree!! I am so happy that you like it!! 🙂
Thank you for this!! I can not have nightshades at all anymore. It had been 5 years since I had a real pizza, lasagna, spaghetti.. People say “just take the tomato sauce away it is the same”. It isn’t, it is just bleh food. So, I stumbled across this, tried a small batch.. Made lasagna for my family and they were not much of the wiser with this. They knew something was off since I was eating it, and started turning their taste buds on high gear lol. But, after I told them what I made, they were okay with it. So, now… I can have the classic Italian dishes and not be feeling like my family is betraying me in being able to eat what I love so much. (not a real betrayal haha) So, thank you again!!!
Ahh yay!!! SO glad you liked it, Kamie!! 🙂
I have made several nomato recipes and this is by far the best. I used home grown beets,
Betterave Merveille Hative. They have a gorgeous colour and mild flavour, which gave the sauce a gorgeous colour and natural tomato taste. I am definitely going to make this all the time! Thanks
yay, so glad you enjoyed!!
This turned out great, and I am making plans to keep a stash of it in my freezer! I first tried nomato sauce by buying a jar of it, but it was just OK – something I could eat but not something I really enjoyed eating. Then I decided to try this recipe, and it is delicious! I was nervous about whether I would like it because of the beets, but if my sauce is ready before my noodles, I have to tell myself not to eat the sauce yet.
LOVE this recipe!! So easy to make and can be used in so many meals! Thank you!
In addition to the many foods I am sensitive to, my husband gave up tomatoes 2 years ago and we have all missed tomato sauce. Made this tonight and it was really delicious. A little sweeter than tomato sauce but still, it had a tomato-like flavor. Unfortunately, I paired it with ground turkey which I don’t really like to begin with – won’t do that again! I used only about 1/2 of and will use the other 1/2 for gluten free pizza! Thanks so much for this creative and flavorful recipe. Oh, and I had no parsley so I subbed about 1/2 tsp dried tarragon and it seemed to work well.
This was the first AIP and Nomato recipe I tried and it deserves an Award!!! I’ve made 4 batches over the last 4 weeks! That’s how good it is! Before finding out about Nomato sauce, I wasn’t very happy with the tomato-based sauces I made – something seemed to be missing. So I’m very happy to have this! It’s yummy as-is or with cooked ground meat added afterwards. Even my roommate who was hesitant to try it at first now says I’m not making enough of it! We’re addicted!
I swear I feel better, too. Thank you so much for sharing it!
I thoroughly enjoyed making this recipe. The texture and taste is just like tomato sauce, and went well with roasted veggies and fried ground turkey on top of gluten-free pasta. What a marvel! Thanks for sharing!
I haven’t made this yet but love the idea as I also miss tomato sauce. My question is this: are the vegetables cooked before you put them in the instant pot? Seems like the pressure would cook them but can’t find it in the comments.
The ingredients are all raw going into the instant pot 🙂
Thank you for the recipe. I shared it with my sister who decided to roast her veggies before making them into the sauce. Lucky me, she gifted me a pint. For breakfast the other day, I sauteed chopped onions and zucchini. When they were softened, I stirred in about 1/4 cup of the nomato sauce, along with a shake of Middle Eastern 7 spice blend. I slid the mixture around and made room to cook eggs in the bare areas. It was so good, I don’t plan on using my nomato sauce for pasta – just eggs! Roasting the veggies really ramped up the flavor.
I was nervous making this because it was my first time trying to make a nomato sauce, but the recipe is really foolproof! It makes a delicious sauce that really does taste exactly like tomato sauce. I used a whole large beet, so the color was a little more purple than pictured, and the beet flavor was a little stronger than the carrot. Definitely don’t skimp on the seasonings, garlic or lemon juice! I added the juice of a whole lemon and way more Italian seasoning and fresh basil than I thought I would, but taste testing the puree helped me make sure it would taste the way I wanted it. I used it in a GF baked ziti and you couldn’t tell the difference with real tomato sauce (other than the beets staining my pasta purple)!
This was really awesome! I was very surprised actually! Nice colour and flavour 🙂
Yay! Thank you so much, Shonna!!
Would this work with beet powder instead of rroasted beer? Maybe 1 tsp. Per beet ??
I would stick with the whole beets for the texture of the sauce as well 🙂
I agree whole beets for texture and specially roasted brings out the flavor you need as sauce.
I am blown away! My house smells like i am making marinara. This sauce is delicious. You just saved me from a life time of crying over my loss of tomatoes. I actually got tears in my eyes when i tasted it. From the bottom of this Italian girls heart, thank you for sharing this recipe!
This is the best Nomato type sauce I’ve made to date! I added 10 kalamata olives as well (was mentioned in other reviews). I felt that the sauce was perhaps too thick and added a little water (I shouldn’t have!) The recipe is great and my husband really enjoyed it (he’s the no tomato person in our household). Thanks for sharing your recipe!
So glad that you liked it!!
Great basic recipe. Personally, I find carrots a bit too sweet in the final product even with lemon juice added. I replaced about half to 3/4 of the carrots with pumpkin. The less sweet variety the better. In the fall when the jack o lantern style pumpkin are cheap. buy them , quarter them, roast them in the oven and the skin fall off easily when cooked. I put them in a food processor and freeze them in silicone muffin cup. Once frozen, pop them out in ziplock freezer bags. Now you have single serve ! I use this for my nomato sauce with carrots and beets. I also added cooked cranberries (for tartness) and a bit of balsamic vinegar / or red wine vinegar in the final product. I got the idea of cranberries from a popular commercial jarred expensive nomato sauce using tart cherries which are not available in my region.I suspect i will use butternut squash once the pumpkin is no longer available.
This is an amazing recipe. Seriously! I was eating out of a bowl like a soup. Lol! Then I ate it on zoodles. I’m so happy to have this ! I can’t thank you enough
Thank you so much, Paula!!
Due to an unknown condition causing acid reflux, tomatoes and bell peppers are temporarily out of the picture. So, craving a nice bean chili, I made a batch of this. And – it tastes like tomato sauce! It’s so trippy how close it is! I left out the Italian seasonings so that I can season it later (half for chili, half for I don’t know yet, it made 50 ounces!). Looking forward to having some unboring food again!
Delicious! I only used a cup of this to make the sloppy joe recipe so I’ll be freezing the rest to have on hand!
I’m allergic to celery. Is there anything to sub for that or could I adjust the recipe to leave that out?
You can try to leave it out and maybe add some extra onion!
Thank you for this recipe! My teen daughter, who has a night shade allergy, was overjoyed to have pasta and nomato sauce the other night. It had been several years. She made fresh mozzarella sticks with nomato marinara last night. Tomatoes were her favorite food. This allergy has proven difficult.
This sauce freezes well; however, it does not can well. It can be canned safely, but it turns the rich red marinara into an unappealing green mush. The taste is still pleasant, but found the garlic or a spice became bitter.
There is potato flour in many ingredients, such as shredded cheese, pizza crust, gummies etc. Paprika is in almost every processed food for color; mozzarella sticks, salad dressings, sausage, vitamins, crackers etc. She cannot risk going out to eat. Food starch, spices and natural flavors are disguises for night shade ingredients.
I’m currently paleo, nightshade free and low fodmap, so I didn’t include the garlic or onion… BUT this is the best no tomato marinara sauce there is. I highly recommend!!! Thank you so so much for this. It’s definitely a staple item in my fridge/freezer from now on.
Hi and thank you,
I have hope for this recipe. I gave up nightshades about four years ago. Just bought a gut supplement that I read over and thought was nightshade free, but got sick, my daughter just got married so I thought I came down with a bug. Then, the aha moment. I looked up the ingredients I wasn’t familiar with. Yup a nightshade.
I am diabetic, allergic to tree nuts, tannins and then nightshades. (at this moment I am having a very short pity party) Finding this and making it this evening, sigh, well, I am greatly hoping, because I love marinara sauce, one of my favorite foods that I still make from scratch for my part italian husband.
Anyway, just needed a moment to vent and say thank you.
I really hope you love it, Laura!!
Have you fermented this so it can last longer in the frig, and have the added benefit of probiotics?
I’ve never tried that and I’m not sure if it would work. I always just freeze it!
Hello. How long can this sauce be stored? Does it freeze well?
It freezes well! I love to have some in my freezer to pull out for different recipes!
I’m super excited to make this recipe as I really miss marinara sauce so much. I’m craving lasagna and am hoping to use this sauce for that. How many ounces does this recipe yield?
About 48 fluid ounces!
Really good flavor and texture! It was a bit too beet colored for my liking- I added about a cup of beets and it came out really purply red. Next time I’ll try adding about half a cup of beets to get a more orange-red color like tomato sauce.
Made this, I absolutely loved it. I made enough and froze some
I have used it to make pizzas and gluten free pastas. I have passed it on to several friends.
So happy that you loved it! Thank you so much for passing it along. 🙂
Never believed it could be this good. I added 1cup chicken broth, I used a crock pot for 2hours and added 3 Tbl. for needed acid balance.
I don’t know what I did wrong but mine is orange and just tasted like carrots and celery….
Did you use the number of beets that is called for?
Just made the recipe using the stove top method. Ended up cooking the veggies for an hour since the beets did not soften up very well. My high speed blender also got stuck (likely on the beets) so used my immersion blender instead, which worked just fine. Delicious sauce, love the taste! I plan to try your skillet lasagna with the sauce. I was somewhat disappointed that I ended up with less than 3 cups in total. Not sure why. Perhaps you chop your veggies much finer? I rough chopped everything and used a measuring cup. My sauce was also quite thick. Perhaps cooking it so long evaporated some of the liquid. Overall, I am very happy with the result and plan to double up next time. Thank you!
Variations in results are definitely normal due to variations in vegetable suppliers. Sorry that this first batch was trickier! If you end up with a thicker sauce, you can always add a bit more liquid and blend it together, which will also give you more sauce all together. You can watch the video in the notes to match the size of your chopping and steps followed.
Try roasting your beets and carrots , onion and celery tossed in olive oil it softens and adds such great flavor and its hands off. Just check for browning and stir once browning.
When ever I make regular tomato sauce I roast tomatoes garlic onions olive oil seasonings etc all on a sheet pan. Talk about Flavor WOW!
Roasting is hands off and gives you caramelized natural sugars.
Thank you for your reply. Well I thought I was going blind because I absolutely could not find your video in the notes. It seems that it does not appear if one is using Firefox as a browser. When I switched over to Chrome (which I prefer not to use), the video magically appeared! Just thought you would like to know.
What the heck is AIP?
You can read all about the autoimmune protocol (AIP) in this blog post here 🙂 https://unboundwellness.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-the-aip-diet/
Tomatoes were a tough thing to cut out for me! This sauce makes it sooo easy to enjoy the foods you love without suffering the consequences! I have used this sauce for pasta, pizza, chilli and jambalaya and it is soo good. I make it at least 1-2 times a month to always have on hand.
I’m so happy to hear that!! It’s so handy to keep on hand in the freezer! Thanks so much for leaving a review 🙂
This is my second time making this recipe and I loved it! I added Italian sausage to the original recipe with anchovy paste and some nutritional yeast. I used the base recipe for stuffed cabbage with dill weed.
I’ve been making nomato sauce off and on for years due to a tomato allergy. This is THE best recipe I’ve come across. And easiest. Thank you.
So happy to hear that, thank you!!
When ever I buy carrots or celery I always break off a piece and taste before buying. I ruined a whole batch of carrot soup 30 years ago due to unsweet tasteless carrots and don’t get me started on woody bitter celery.
This is a great recipe and it needs tastes veggies to start with!
I have to admit this confused my tastebuds very well. It’s been a few years since I’ve had tomatoes but I saw this recipe and decided to try it. It’s all made and I stood in my kitchen eating it by the spoonful and had to tell myself “it’s ok, you can eat it, it’s not going to hurt you” because it tasted so good and in my mind clearly tomatoey”. Can’t wait to try it on my cauliflower pizza tomorrow!
Thanks for the amazing recipe!
lol so glad you liked it!!
I have lots of beets from my home garden. Can the instant pot do more than one batch at a time? Can the sauce be canned for shrlf-stable storage? TIA!!!
Yay! You could do a double batch in your instant pot if you have the larger one. I’m not familiar with canning but I’ve actually had people tell me they’ve tried it and it doesn’t work out. I would recommend freezing because I know that works for sure 🙂
This recipe is to die for!! I sub the water for bone broth for a bit more depth and nutrients!
So glad you enjoy it!!
Just made this for the first time (stovetop for this maiden voyage) and am totally IN LOVE!!!
What method would you recommend for canning method? I am concerned that the amount of lemon juice is not enough acidity for water bath. I have lots of garden beets this year and would love to save them as sauce.
Yay! I’m not familiar with canning but I’ve actually had people tell me they’ve tried it and it doesn’t work out. I would recommend freezing because I know that works for sure 🙂
Cooking Suggestions for a slow
I haven’t tried this in the slow cooker, but you should be able to follow the stovetop instructions in the recipe notes for sauteing the veggies and then transfer everything to the slow cooker and add the water and set on low for a couple of hours until everything in tender.
Can half&half be used to make a Vodka like sauce?
I haven’t tried that myself, but I’m sure it still would taste good 🙂
I haven’t made this yet but I just wanted to say that I’m so excited to! I was just diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and I was so upset that I wouldn’t be able to hsve marinara sauce anymore. I seriously cried when I found this recipe, it made me feel like I could actually do this whole diet. So thank you so much and I can’t wait to make it tomorrow! ☺
YAY! Let us know when you make it!
My husband can finally enjoy spaghetti and meatballs again…he can’t eat any nightshades…thanks for sharing this recipe…it is delicious and so easy to make…by the way, love the whole website…a lifesaver!
Yay so glad!!
I really love this nomato sauce! I was really pleasantly surprised, because I thought I didnt like beets, but you can’t taste beets. How long do you think this will last in the fridge?
This is the best one I have ever found. Would add more spices next time. It is amazing!!
So glad you enjoyed!!
I just made this today to go in your One Pot Unstuffed Cabbage Roll and to say I was skeptical isn’t an exaggeration and yet, having just tasted it I’m in a bit of food shock. I mean, what magic is it that makes beets, carrots and celery taste tomato-y? The next time I make a batch I’m going to triple it up so there’s always some in the freezer.
Just to clarify, I noticed you have it listed as over 400 calories for a 1 cup serving however when I ran it through several other recipe calculators to confirm (because that didn’t seem possible) there’s just over 400 calories in the entire batch and mine made just shy of 4 cups, for about 103 calories per one cup serving.
Sorry about that, we have updated that!!
YAY! So glad you enjoyed it so much! I love having some in my freezer all the time!
I am so excited to try it tonight
YAY! Let us know how you liked the recipe!
One of the best paleo AIP sauces I have ever made. And I have made many. Tastes very similar to tomato sauce due to the spices, only better! I have also frozen some for future use. Great recipe! Thank you for sharing 🙂
I was really skeptical, but this is so close! It’s absolutely wonderful 🙂 Thank you!
So glad you enjoyed it!!
Looking forward to trying this…
What size instant pot are you using?
I got the mini (3quart?). Thx.
I use this 6 quart Instant Pot.
Are the Beets used in this recipe raw or cooked?
The first time I tried this recipe I used red beets. The sauce looked very dark almost purple. The second time I tried this recipe I used orange beets. The sauce tasted good but looked like mustard. How do you get that nice red color?
I follow the recipe exactly as stated here, but since the recipe uses all real ingredients the color can vary depending on the specific vegetable. Sometimes my sauce is lighter/darker, but I just do exactly as said above!
Can we make a big batch and can it to store for future use and if so how long?
I keep it for up to 3 months in the freezer!
Due to terrible salty and sour taste in my mouth for 18 months, I was told to stop eating nightshades. Eliminating eggplant and tomatoes had an instant result – better sleep! I’m now going to start trying your recipes and substitutions. I will also tell someone I know who has Psoriasis about eliminating nightshades!
Pretty good. I used dried basil instead of fresh. I highly recommend using an immersion blender to make your life easier. I tasted after blending and added about an extra tbsp of lemon juice and about 1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar for more acidity. I also added extra basil (1/2 tsp?) and oregano (1/4 tsp?), but I think the main flavor that was missing was the acidity.
This recipe is a staple in my house for sure. I’ve made it several times and it freezes REALLY well. Thank you so much for this yummy recipe!
Can this be made in a slow cooker?
I would make it on the stove before a slow cooker!