Easy Tomatoless Pasta Sauce- No Beets! (AIP, Paleo, Whole30)

Easy Tomatoless Pasta Sauce- No Beets! (AIP, Paleo, Whole30)

Have you been looking for a tomatoless pasta sauce that tastes even a little bit like tomatoes? I feel your pain.  My goodness, I honestly never thought I’d be able to find or develop an AIP-friendly pasta sauce that actually tastes like real marinara but this stuff is actually even better. Plus, no beets!!

Don’t get me wrong, I love beets, but I know not everyone does. So, I’m psyched that this recipe worked out great without beets. The other cool thing is, it only requires a handful of ingredients. 

As with my other recipes, I tried this one on my family. It was a hit! They all agree it tastes like tomato sauce. Woohoo! 

This a relatively thick nomato sauce so it’s awesome as a nightshade-free pizza sauce as well as an AIP-friendly marinara. You can add a little bit of water or vegetable broth if you want to thin it out a bit as needed. 

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Tomatoless Pasta Sauce Ingredients

Preferably organic and cold-pressed. This will be used to saute the onions and carrots.

  • Carrots

You’ll want to peel the carrots and dice them very very small, so they cook relatively quickly. 

  • Onion

Sweet onions or yellow onions work well. Dice them relatively small as well. 

Red wine vinegar contributes a slightly sweet and unique flavor to the sauce. I definitely recommend using it if you can. If you must substitute something in, white wine vinegar is probably the next closest thing. 

This is a pretty typical ingredient in most pasta sauces and it helps to balance the sweetness of the other ingredients. 

Another typical pasta sauce ingredient. This herb in just the right amount contributes to the perfect marinara flavor. 

This in combination with the other seasonings makes for an amazing sauce. 

Any sea salt is fine. I usually go with pink sea salt. 

  • Frozen Sweet Dark Cherries

You may be wondering if cherries will make the sauce too sweet. It is a tad sweet but not as sweet as you might think. I wouldn’t say it’s any sweeter than most pasta sauces. Plus the garlic and salt balance out the flavor really nicely. 

Try to get organic. You can of course use fresh cherries as well. but I like using frozen because they’re already pitted. You’ll just microwave the cherries to heat them up before adding them to the blender with the other ingredients. You might be able to use canned cherries but the cherries won’t be as red as fresh or frozen. This just means the sauce may not be as red. It may look a little more on the orange side. 

dark sweet cherries

carrots and onions for AIP pasta sauce

How to Make Tomatoless Pasta Sauce

  1. Saute the onions and carrots in a pan with olive oil until tender. 
  2. Add the vinegar, salt, and seasonings. Cook a little longer until the vinegar evaporates. Remove from the heat. 
  3. Heat up the cherries in the microwave. 
  4. Add the vegetables and cherries to a high-speed blender or food processor until smooth. 
  5. Assess the consistency of the sauce then add a little bit of water or vegetable broth (if needed) to desired consistency. That's it!

tomatoless nomato pasta sauce

Can You Freeze Nightshade Free Spaghetti Sauce?

Yep! I recommend storing it in mason jars leaving a little bit of space at the top for expansion. It’ll keep fresh in the freezer for at least 3 months. This is very easy to make in big batches and freeze so it's ready to go for future meals. 

aip tomatoless pasta pizza sauce


I hope you found this post useful. Did you try this recipe? Let me know what you thought!

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tomatoless sauce
aip tomatoless sauce

Tomatoless Pizza and Pasta Sauce- No Beets! (Vegan, AIP, Paleo, Whole30)

9293cddefb9c464987cfc4b6aca186ff?s=60&d=mm&r=gArika | FoodCourage
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course sauce
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 139 kcal


  • high speed blender or food processor



  • Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the carrots to the pan. Turn heat down to medium. Cook for 10-12 minutes and continue stirring frequently to avoid burning.
  • Add the vinegar, salt, and seasonings to the pan and stir them in. Continue cooking for another 4-5 minutes or until the carrots are soft and tender. Remove from heat.
  • Place the cherries in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for about 4 minutes or until cherries are warm. Stop the microwave and stir them once or twice during heating.
  • Add the cherries and carrot/onion mixture to a high-speed blender or food processor and blend on high until smooth. Add up to 1/4 cup of water and assess consistency. If needed, add a little more water or vegetable broth if you'd like it thinner.
  • Use the sauce in recipes as needed.


Store in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for at least 3 months in an air-tight container. 
Makes about 3 cups of sauce. 


Nutrition Facts
Tomatoless Pizza and Pasta Sauce- No Beets! (Vegan, AIP, Paleo, Whole30)
Serving Size
0.5 cup
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword marinara, nomato sauce, pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, tomatoless sauce
Did you make this recipe?Mention @foodcourage or tag #foodcourage on Instagram!

8 thoughts on “Easy Tomatoless Pasta Sauce- No Beets! (AIP, Paleo, Whole30)”

    • I think I would try apple cider vinegar but you’ll likely need to use less of it. For example, use 2-3 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar in place of the 1/4 cup red wine vinegar. You may need to add a little bit of water or broth to make up the difference in liquid. Let me know how it goes!

  • 5 stars
    I love this sauce, it tastes more like the real thing!
    I also see other possibilities like ketchup or barbecue sauce by tweaking the herbs and spices.
    Thank you Arika!

  • 5 stars
    Omg …. LOVE this, so much tastier than the beet based ones!
    Q: Could I use lime juice instead of the vinegar?

    • I’m so glad you like it! I haven’t tried using citrus juice in place of the vinegar but lemon or lime juice might work. Since lime/lemon juice are less potent than vinegar, I’d use about 1/3 or even 1/2 cup lemon/lime juice in place of the 1/4 cup of vinegar. Alternatively, you could prepare the recipe according to the instructions leaving out the vinegar, then slowly add lime juice to the blender with the rest of the ingredients and taste as you go. Keep in mind, you may not need as much lime juice with this method because you won’t be cooking any of it off in the pan. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it!

  • Could I substitute pumpkin for the cherries and how much would I need to use I’ve tried it and I liked it but I would also like to try it with some friends but I don’t know how much pumpkin to use cuz I have a can of pumpkin puree

    • Hey Sharon, Pumpkin would probably work in place of the cherries though I haven’t tried it. I’d substitute 1:1 for the cherries but since the pumpkin is pureed and the cherries are not, I would start with about 2 cups of pureed pumpkin in place for the 4 cups of cherries and then go by taste and texture from there.

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