Nomato Sauce (Tomato Sauce Alternative)

Nomato Sauce is a gluten-free, dairy-free, nightshade-free, and anti-inflammatory tomato sauce substitute that tastes just like marinara sauce! Full of antioxidants and nutrients, it’s made with simple, whole food ingredients and pairs well with pasta, pizza, and all your favorite foods. 

Nomato sauce in a blue and white bowl with a spoon.

What Is Nomato Sauce? 

Nomato sauce is a type of tomato sauce…without the tomatoes. Essentially, it’s a tomato sauce substitute for those who are allergic to tomatoes, have nightshade intolerances, or maybe just want to try something new. 

A large pot with a wooden spoon stirring nomato sauce into penne pasta.

It has the taste and texture of traditional tomato sauce with some surprising ingredients. Even better, this easy nomato sauce recipe is: 

  • Full of vitamins, nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants
  • Made with minimal prep time and a total time of just over 30 minutes
  • Super versatile
  • Great to prep ahead of time and store for later. 

What Is Nomato Sauce Made Of? 

Unlike lots of store-bought sauces, this pasta sauce without tomatoes is made with simple, whole food ingredients. Here’s what you need:

Fresh ingredients on a baking sheet to make a nightshade free nomato sauce.
  • Olive Oil – Use extra virgin olive oil to sautée the onions and garlic, creating a sweet, caramelized flavor and a rich base for the sauce. 
  • Vegetables – Large onion, garlic cloves, beets, and carrots create the bulk of the sauce and provide a boost of nutrients. 
  • Seasonings – Italian seasoning, dried oregano, and salt create a bold, savory taste. 
  • Broth – Use nightshade-free vegetable broth or chicken broth to thin out the ingredients for a smooth, pourable sauce. 
  • Pumpkin Puree – Use canned or fresh pumpkin puree or any other squash puree (like butternut squash, kabocha squash, etc.) to add extra depth to the flavor and enhance the texture. 
  • Fresh Parsley – Add chopped fresh parsley for bright, pepper notes that balance out some of the savoriness. 
  • Lemon Juice or Balsamic Vinegar – Use one or the other or a combination of both for extra tang. 
Pro Tip

Note: Some recipes call for a tablespoon or so of red wine vinegar, which also works well to add the tang we’re looking to achieve. 

  • Optional Add-Ins: Pitted diced Kalamata olives, capers, or nutritional yeast make for great additions for extra flavor. 

Scroll down to the recipe card below to find the complete nutritional information including calories, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, etc.

How to Make the Best Tomato Sauce Substitute

This tomato-free pasta sauce is made in a snap, using an immersion blender (stick blender) or a traditional blender. Watch this video to see how it’s done!

  1. Sauté. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Then, add the onions, and sauté until they’re tender and golden. Stir in the minced garlic, and continue to sauté just until it’s fragrant. 
  2. Cook. Add the beets, carrots, and seasonings. Stir to combine, and add part of the broth. Cover the pot, and cook until the veggies are fork-tender. 
Pro Tip

Note: Most of the broth will be absorbed by this point! 

  1. Blend. Transfer the mixture to a blender, and add the remaining broth and pumpkin puree. Blend until a smooth consistency is achieved. Then, add the remaining ingredients, and blend again until smooth. 
  1. Simmer. Transfer the smooth mixture back to the pot, and allow it to simmer over medium heat.
Pro Tip

Pro-Tip: For a thinner pasta sauce, increase the amount of broth used to achieve your desired consistency. 

Storage Options

Go ahead and make a double batch of this quick nomato sauce recipe! It stores well and is always great to have on hand. 

  • To Store: Transfer the sauce to an airtight container, and keep it in the fridge for up to 1 week
  • To Freeze: Store your AIP nomato sauce in a freezer-safe container for up to 1 month
Pro Tip

Meal Prep Tip: Transfer your sauce to freezer cubes, and transfer it to the freezer to solidify. Then, pop the cubes into a sealable bag. You’ll have pre-portioned nomato sauce you can just grab and go when you’re ready to cook! 

How Should I Use Homemade Nomato Sauce? 

Use this AIP tomato sauce alternative any way you would regular tomato sauce or even spaghetti sauce! For instance, it’s great with options like: 

plate of Instant Pot spaghetti squash pasta with nomato sauce and dairy free Parmesan cheese.

Photo of nomato sauce on spaghetti squash

  • Gluten-Free Pasta 
  • Zoodles or Spaghetti Squash Pasta
  • Soups and Stews
  • Gluten-Free Flatbreads and Pizzas

Common Questions About This Nomato Sauce Recipe

Can I use something other than beets? 

The beets are responsible for creating a rich, tomato-like color and adding an earthy flavor. We don’t recommend replacing them, but we promise you don’t taste them! That said, if you prefer a sweeter flavor, use purple beets. Or, for a more neutral-flavored sauce, opt for golden beets instead. 

Can I add different seasonings? 

Sure! Feel free to experiment with different seasonings and flavor combinations like honey, garlic powder, apple cider vinegar, and cloves to make a BBQ sauce. You could also add honey or date paste for a ketchup-inspired taste. Or, experiment with different herbs like basil, rosemary, and thyme for a unique flavor. 

Can I make this recipe in an Instant Pot? 

We haven’t tested it and can’t guarantee it will work, but please let us know how it goes if you give it a try!