AIP-Friendly Paleo ‘No’mato Sauce

In celebration of me actually finding out what the hell AIP (Auto-Immune Protocol) is, I’ve gone AIP-crazy! Last week I posted an AIP-Friendly Paleo Steakhouse Baked ‘No’tato Soup that was out of this world. So, this week, I decided to create the mother of all nightshade-bombs… TOMATO SAUCE – without the tomatoes, of course. If you didn’t think it was possible, think again!

Beets & carrots take the stage in this ‘no’mato sauce, but, I promise all my beet-haters, you canNOT taste the beets. My boyfriend had some of this and just assumed it was spaghetti sauce… WIN! Anyone who knows of my boyfriend’s infantile & Americanized (sorry, BB) palate, knows that if he can’t tell a difference, it must taste okay.

To be honest, I’m not even a huge spaghetti/tomato sauce fan, but, after attending many-a-gathering at Stacy & Matt of Paleo Parents’ house, (and pretty much always bringing something NOT AIP-compliant) I always felt guilty because Stacy couldn’t eat the dishes I brought! I immediately researched AIP, found out what exactly nightshades were, what was considered “inflammatory” and what wasn’t (to be even more honest, the lists were quite exhausting), and took to the task of creating some alternatively-delicious dishes! Final thoughts? To all my AIP-ers:  M A D  R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Even if you don’t follow the auto-immune protocol and are simply looking for a way to use up some vegetables, this recipe is for you! Serve it to your family without telling them what it is and I promise they won’t even know. ;)




5.0 from 1 reviews
AIP-Friendly Paleo ‘No’mato Sauce
Nomato Sauce - 1st Cook (first 30 mins):
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups diced carrots (about 5 carrots)
  • 2 cups diced celery (about 4 stalks)
  • 1-1/2 cups diced roasted/cooked beets
  • 1-1/2 cups diced onion (about 1 large onion)
  • 1 cup diced mushrooms (about 4 oz. baby bella or button)
  • 2-1/4 cups water
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp lightly packed fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 1-1/2 tsp dried basil
  • ¾ tsp each dried oregano & marjoram
  • 1-1/2 tsp + 1 tsp sea salt, divided
Nomato Sauce - 2nd Cook (last 30 mins):
  • 2 cups water
  • 2-1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp honey
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms (about 4 oz. baby bella or button)
  • 1 large bunch fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded
  • sea salt, to taste
  • beet powder (totally optional - just for deeper/richer color)
  1. Heat olive oil in dutch oven over med high heat. Saute carrots, celery, onion, and bay leaves with 1 tsp salt for 12 mins, stirring frequently until onions are translucent.
  2. Add beets, diced mushrooms, herbs, and garlic. Saute 1 min until fragrant, then, immediately add ¼ cup vinegar, 2-1/4 cups water, and 1-1/2 tsp salt.
  3. Once boiling, cover & reduce to med low. Simmer for 30 mins, stirring occasionally.
  4. After 30 mins, remove bay leaves & puree thoroughly with hand blender OR in food processor/blender to desired consistency.
  5. Place nomato puree, 2 cups water, 2-1/2 tbsp vinegar, ½ tsp honey, 1 bunch chiffonaded fresh basil, and 1 cup sliced mushrooms back over med low heat for another 30 mins, stirring occasionally.
  6. Season as needed and serve with fresh basil leaves over zucchini noodles. Feel free to add freshly grated pecorino or parmigianno if you tolerate it.
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Blogger at Merit + Fork
Chef de Cuisine of Merit + Fork, Nicole's posts are primarily food driven, with a dash of natural health and beauty tips for good measure.


  • Claire

    09.04.2017 at 22:27 Reply

    Just made this sauce and it’s really yum. I can definitely see this as a replacement for a bolognaise. I made it to freeze in portions so my fingers are crossed that it is fine to freeze. I might even use it to replace the tomato element in my Osso bucco. Now that would be awesome. Thanks for a fantastic recipe.

  • Jana

    09.03.2017 at 11:30 Reply

    I have a histamine intolerance and can’t have carrots or mushrooms. Do you have any substitution suggestions?

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    17.01.2017 at 08:54 Reply

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  • Aubrey

    31.12.2016 at 02:08 Reply

    My husband is sensitive to nightshades, and I must admit that tomato is the toughest to cut out of our food. I am excited to give this a try!!!

  • Lindsey

    17.12.2016 at 14:20 Reply

    How long will this keep in the fridge? Could I freeze it?

  • Jessica

    14.09.2016 at 02:51 Reply

    Ohmygosh- why hasn’t anyone commented on how awesome this is?! This sauce is UH-MAZING. You can’t tell its nomato. It’s good with pasta stuffs and as pizza sauce. Total family favorite! Thank you!

  • Colleen

    20.02.2015 at 06:00 Reply

    I have been looking for a non-tomato pasta sauce for ages now. I have some questions – I can’t have beetroot or mushrooms are there any substitutions you could recommend? Also, will this recipe be ok to freeze? Many thanks :)

  • Melinda M

    17.02.2015 at 22:47 Reply

    How can there be no comments on this post? I just made the recipe and it is AMAZING! My non paleo husband merrily ate this and was like: wow what did you put in that tomato sauce. I was like: Nah, it’s no-mato!
    Seriously delicious. This will easily become a staple in our house. Thumbs up!

    • Nicole

      19.02.2015 at 11:49 Reply

      Oh my gosh, YAY! I’m not an AIP-er, but, some other nomato sauce recipes I’ve seen look very much not like tomato sauce, haha. I wanted to make something that looked & tasted as close to the original as possible, so, it’s really awesome to hear you guys enjoyed it!!

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