Tomato-Free “Marinara” Sauce


Tomato-sauce lovers on a no-nightshade regimen will be thrilled to add this recipe to their diet. Even picky eaters give this gluten-free, dairy-free sauce a thumbs up. Serve hot over your favorite gluten-free pasta.


tomato-free marinara


1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped, optional
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 (8-ounce) can beets,* drained (reserve the liquid)
1 (14-15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
½-¾ cups gluten-free chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon coarse salt
24 grinds fresh black pepper
⅓-½ cup chopped fresh basil
1½ teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot, moistened with 2 tablespoons reserved beet juice


1. Sautee onion and garlic in oil until onion is translucent and slightly brown.

2. Add lemon juice and vinegar. Simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Puree beets until very smooth.

4. Add beets, pumpkin puree, salt, pepper and basil to pan. Stir until combined.

5. Whisk in the broth. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Do not over-cook; beets discolor with prolonged cooking. If sauce is too thick, add a little more broth to thin.

6. Whisk in the moistened cornstarch. Cook for 1 more minute. Taste and adjust seasoning.

*TIP: If you prefer, you can use fresh beets. Roast them in the oven until soft and puree them in a food blender before adding to recipe.

TIP: If the sauce seems too acidic, add a teaspoon or two of sugar.

This recipe was adapted by Rebecca Reilly from Arthritis-Free Cooking (Norman F. Childers Publications).

Each serving contains calories, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, fiber, sugars, protein.