Tomato-Free Pasta Sauce

Tomato-Free Pasta Sauce

Nightshade and Tomato-free pasta sauce topped with fresh basil

Jump to Recipe button

Tomatoes are commonly known for causing heartburn, especially for those who deal with symptoms on a regular basis. Some reflux sufferers can tolerate tomatoes in small amounts, but there are a large number that avoid them like the plague, myself included. But it hasn’t always been this way… in fact, your girl is a recovering tomato addict.


Cherry tomatoes were my absolute favorite snack growing up. Some of my favorite memories from growing up are helping my grandma in her garden… both for the quality time that I got with her and the fact that she let me stuff my pockets full of baby tomatoes.


Years later after being diagnosed with GERD, I was faced with a number of decisions relating to my diet –  which meant having to part with one of the foods that I grew up loving (along with many others). But one thing that made the process of cutting ties with certain foods a little easier was shifting my focus on the foods that don’t cause me pain- taking dishes that I love and tweaking them, replacing ingredients, modifying them in a way that works for me and my body.


And so this delicious pasta sauce was born.


Bowl of tomatoless sauce topped with fresh basil leaves


Tomato-less. Packed with nutrients. Bursting with flavor.


Enjoy this rich and delicious sauce mixed with ground beef and sauteed mushrooms over rice or zucchini noodles! Omit ground beef for a meat-free option.



Bowl of tomatoless sauce topped with fresh basil leaves

Tomato-Free Pasta Sauce

  • Yield: 2 1/2 cups total; 5 servings 1x


A rich and delicious alternative to tomato sauce that’s packed with nutrients and flavor!



  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 3 medium celery stalks
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled
  • 1/2 a beet, peeled
  • 1/2 a turnip, peeled
  • 1 cup of bone or vegetable broth
  • 5 fresh basil leaves (or 1 1/2 tsp of dried basil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 tsp each of garlic powder and onion powder (omit if unable to tolerate)
  • 34 tbsp of avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2.  Prep vegetables: trim ends off and cut zucchini, celery, and carrots lengthwise, then cut into bigger chunks crosswise. Peel the turnip, and cut into quarters. Since we will only be using half of the turnip in this recipe, you can either cook all of the turnip or set the raw half that won’t be used aside to be used in other meals. Another option is doubling the recipe. Don’t bother peeling the beet, as the skin is very tough to peel when raw. Peel it once it is cooked and slightly cooled.
  3.  Spread the cut up zucchini, carrots, celery, turnip and out onto a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle them with avocado or olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then cover using parchment paper, tucking it snugly underneath.
  4.  Wash the beet using a vegetable brush, then pat dry. Place in a baking dish lined with parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover using parchment paper, tucking the ends underneath.
  5.  Place vegetables in preheated oven and cook for 15 minutes.
  6. After 15 minutes, uncover vegetables (except for the beet) and place back in the oven. Remove the vegetables from the oven once it can be easily pierced with a fork.
  7.  Submerge the cooked beet in a bowl of cold water and peel off the outer layer. Cut it in half and place that half in a high-speed blender or food processor.
  8.  Add the remaining cooked vegetables, broth, and fresh basil to the blender. Process until you have a smooth consistency. Feel free to add more cooked beet to deepen the red color, although keep in mind this will yield in a more earthy flavor. Add the blended liquid to a saucepan along with the oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and a good quality salt. Cook on medium-low for 4-5 minutes while stirring.
  9.  Remove from heat and serve with pasta or use as tomato sauce replacement.


 Approx. 4 FPs per servingFP stands for Fermentation Potential and is used to determine the symptom potential in foods for those using the Fast Tract Diet to heal/improve symptoms of GERD, LPR, SIBO, IBS, etc.

  • Category: Soups & Purées

Keywords: nomato, tomato-free, nightshade-free

Tomato-free pasta sauce topped with fresh basil


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.


23 thoughts on “Tomato-Free Pasta Sauce”

  • About how big a beet? The ones I see in the store seem so small. (I’m not used to cooking with beets, nor turnips, so I’m not sure what’s an average size).

    • Hi, Rhonda! I roasted a medium sized beet and used half of it when blending the sauce. If all you can find are small beets, just add half of a cooked beet when blending the sauce and increase the amount you add if you want a stronger beet flavor. I mainly used beet it in this recipe to get the bright red color, so adjust the amount of beet you add to suit your preference. Hope you love it as much as I do!

  • I used ur recipe as inspiration to create a GIRD approved sweet potato based pizza sauce but I’m curious to know what GIRD Diet your following because I know garlic & onions aren’t allowed in MINE OR ANY of the GIRD diets I know about?

    • That sounds amazing, thanks so much for sharing! I have been able to manage 90% of my symptoms following the Fast Tract Diet. The diet involves limiting carbohydrates that ferment in the stomach. I don’t consume whole garlic or onion, but I (and many others with GERD that I know) can tolerate powdered garlic/onion since it is easier to digest. 🙂 I hope this helps!

  • Hi, Chaunte!
    My GERD is a bit different. I can have onions and garlic as long as they are cooked. Fresh tomatoes are fine, it’s canned tomatoes that get me because of the citric acid. I get around this by using sugar to cut the acidity (artificial sugar). There is a point where I know that I’ve gotten it right, and I’m able to cook and eat them with no problem. Products with citric acid like jams, jellies, and other packaged items that you’d be surprised at , as well as chocolate- you know the general list, I have had to let go. I have found that each is different and what we can tolerate is different. I have cousin who can still eat oranges , I can’t.

    I am glad to have found your site. Am always looking g to find new and healthy ways to deal, and still be able to enjoy through eating.


  • My boyfriend has terrible GERD and hadn’t been able to have spaghetti and meatballs in years. We made this recipe and it was delicious! Have no idea how it tastes so much like a tomato sauce, but no complaints. Thanks!

    • Absolutely! You can freeze in ziplocks and lay flat in the freezer for easy storage, or I also like to freeze the sauce using an ice cube tray. That way if I only need a little bit for a recipe, it’s already frozen into smaller portions.

    • Roasting vegetables does yield in a richer flavor in general. I haven’t tried this recipe with canned or frozen beets before, but I would love to know how it turns out if you end up trying it that way!

  • I tried making this recipe and the texture and sauce taste great! The only thing for me was the sauce looks yellow, not the red in the picture. Any reason why that might be? Either way, tastes great.

  • How long does this save in the refrigerator? Can this be frozen?
    Made this tonight and absolutely LOVED IT! My husband has GERD so I’m always looking for new recipes to keep things interesting. We served it over spaghetti squash and added fresh grated Parmesan cheese. It was truly amazing and will be making it again!

  • I can’t thank you enough for this recipe, it is so good! Since being diagnosed with GERD and IBS a year ago, I’ve been longing for a way to eat spaghetti and lasagna, and now I can. I decided to try and use it as a base for salsa and it works for that too! I only added 4 basil leaves (and might leave them out entirely for the next salsa batch), left out the oregano, added 2 bunches of cilantro, a hefty amount of cumin (didn’t measure, just added to taste), and probably an extra 1/2 tsp each of the garlic and onion powders. After sitting in the fridge overnight, it tastes almost exactly like the salsa my husband used to make. Even my coworkers are in awe. So thank you again for quite literally changing my (food) life.

    • Hi Mary,

      This recipe makes 2 1/2 cups total. It makes 5 servings, at 1/2 a cup of sauce per serving.

      If you do need to cut the recipe down, here are the ingredient amounts halved for convenience:


      – 1 medium zucchini
      – 1 1/2 medium celery stalks
      – 1 1/2 medium carrots
      – 1/4 of a cooked beet (feel free to add more or less to deepen the red color)
      – 1/4 of a cooked turnip
      – 1/2 cup of chicken or vegetable broth
      – 2-3 fresh basil leave (or 3/4 tsp dried basil)
      – 1/4 tsp of dried oregano
      – 1/2 tsp each of garlic and onion powder
      – 2 tbsp of olive oil or avocado oil
      – salt and pepper to taste

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *