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An incredibly easy nightshade-free sauce that will satisfy your desire for a tomato sauce – without the inflammation-triggering tomatoes! Easy to make (stovetop, slow cooker, or Instant Pot), and great for meal prep too. Paleo, Whole30, and AIP-friendly
AIP and pasta?!? When I was first doing AIP, that was a hard no. AIP was still pretty new and there weren't many comfort foods available. Now, with lots of people finding creative ways to find comfort in AIP, we have NoMato Sauce.
This nightshade-free sauce is as comforting as your nana's sauce without triggering any inflammation. Serve over your favorite spiralized veggies or AIP-friendly pasta.
NoMato sauce is also a great freezer staple. You can either freeze all the ingredients together to make the sauce later (using one of three methods I provide). Or you can freeze the finished sauce in your favorite freezer-safe container to pull out for an easy dinner later.
Ingredients in this nightshade-free sauce (and substitutions)
- Carrots: when slowly stewed, this tubber adds a nice sweetness to this sauce. This sauce was made with orange carrots. You can use any other variety you have available. Just be warned, it can change the color of the final sauce. I haven't tried it, but you can substitute the carrots with pumpkin or butternut squash.
- Beets: earthy and slightly savory, beets provide a huge boost of antioxidants to this sauce. If you can't stomach beets, you can substitute with 1/4 cup of frozen or fresh cherries.
- Yellow Onion: a powerhouse allium rich in nutrients and vitamins. You can substitute with any variety of onions you have on hand, like shallots or sweet onions.
- Celery: a key aromatic that helps this sauce taste like tomato-based pasta sauce. Not one you can really substitute or leave out.
- Garlic: another allium that has been shown to provide antioxidants and boost immunity. Feel free to substitute with chives or green onions. If you're in a pinch, use 1/4 teaspoon of garlic power for every clove of garlic called for in the recipe.
- Red Wine Vinegar: a lovely acid that helps round out the flavors of this luscious sauce. Substitute with white wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, or balsamic vinegar.
- Chicken Broth: this adds a great savory note to this sauce. Substitute with any bone broth you have on hand.
- Olive Oil: this delicious oil gives a great mouth feel to the sauce. You can substitute with avocado oil for a more neutral flavor.
- Dried Basil: it wouldn't be nomato sauce without basil. You can use fresh basil in place of the dried.
- Dried Oregano: this aromatic tells your taste buds your eating pasta sauce, even if there are no nightshades in sight. Substitute with fresh oregano and season to your taste.
- Sea Salt: this flavor enhancer does double duty by packing loads of vitamins and minerals. You can substitute with Kosher salt. Just be sure to adjust to your needs. If you're skipping the salt, just add more basil and oregano!
How to make this easy condiment
Directions for freezing:
- Put all of the ingredients into a 1-gallon freezer bag. Label and freeze.
Directions for serving:
To serve, do one of the following (Not necessary to thaw this prior to cooking as there is no meat to worry about):
On the STOVE:
- Place in a heavy stockpot, bring to a boil and then simmer over a low flame for at least 30 minutes or until the beets and carrots are soft. Use a stick blender or blend in batches to get a tomato-sauce consistency.
In the INSTANT POT:
- Cook for 20 minutes at high pressure on the Manual setting. Quick release when cooking is done. Use a stick blender or blend in batches to get a tomato-sauce consistency.
In the SLOW COOKER:
- Place in a slow cooker and cook for 6-8 hours on low. Use a stick blender or blend in batches to get a tomato-sauce consistency.
Tips to make this recipe easier
- Use baby carrots instead of having to chop carrots. This will take longer to cook, so I recommend using the Instant Pot or slow cooker if doing it this way, but it will save your hands and wrists if you have pain, plus lots of time!
- Use pre-cooked beets, like LoveBeets instead of raw beets. Make sure to use the plain ones and not the marinated vinegary ones, and just add them towards the end of cooking as they won't need to cook to soften. This will help save you the time and effort of having to peel and chop the beets
Make this delicious sauce ahead of time
Yes! Follow the directions to cook the sauce. Allow the sauce to cool after blending. Once ready, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
For freezing, use your method of choice (e.g. Souper Cube/Ice Cube Tray, Freezer Bag). I recommend a bit more per serving – like 2-3 ice cubes or 1⁄2 cup serving sizes per person. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Dump-and-Go Freezer Cooking:
You can also, just put all of the prepped ingredients into a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze WITHOUT COOKING. Then when you need it, dump the contents of the bag into your cooking method of choice.
Want other Paleo and AIP sauce recipes? Try one of these!
Mixed Berry Sauce (Paleo, Whole30, AIP): When you need just that little touch to really make a dish, try this sauce. Great served over chicken or pork, ice cream, yogurt, vegetables, you name it!
Pineapple Salsa (Paleo, Whole30, AIP): Super quick and easy to make, this tasty pineapple salsa is a perfect condiment for chicken, steak, fish, pork, and side dishes like sweet potato.
30-second Tigernut Butter (Paleo, Whole30, AIP): Extremely easy to make spread that you can use in sauces or in place of nutbutter
More Helpful AIP Resources in the Freebie Library
If you find this recipe helpful, you may really enjoy the resources in my Paleo & AIP Freebie Library! There's a “dump” freezer meal plan, a list of AIP-compliant breakfast toppings, and so much more. Plus, you'll get even more ideas sent to your inbox! Get the password here.
NoMato Sauce Recipe
If you make this sauce, I'd love to hear how it turned out! Either comment below or share a pic on Instagram and tag me @thrivingautoimmune!
NoMato Sauce (Paleo, Whole30, AIP)
- 6 Carrots (chopped (peeled if desired))
- 3 medium Beets (peeled and chopped)
- 1 medium Yellow Onion (peeled and chopped)
- 4 stalks Celery (chopped)
- 4 cloves Garlic (peeled and chopped)
- 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 cups Chicken or Beef Broth
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Dried Basil
- 1 tsp Dried Oregano
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
Directions for dump-and-go freezing:
- Put all of the ingredients (without cooking them) into a 1-gallon freezer bag. Label and freeze.
Directions for COOKING–>
- To serve, do ONE of the following. Note that if you froze the ingredients that it's not necessary to thaw prior to cooking.
On the STOVE:
- Place the ingredients in a heavy stockpot, bring to a boil and then simmer over a low flame for at least 30 minutes or until the beets and carrots are soft. Use a stick blender or blend in batches to get a tomato-sauce consistency.
In the INSTANT POT:
- Cook the ingredients for 20 minutes at high pressure on the Manual setting. Quick release when cooking is done. Use a stick blender or blend in batches to get a tomato-sauce consistency.
In the SLOW COOKER:
- Place the ingredients in a slow cooker and cook for 6-8 hours on low. Use a stick blender or blend in batches to get a tomato-sauce consistency.