Tomato Free Pasta Sauce is a fantastic alternative to a tomato spaghetti sauce for those that cannot eat or do not like tomatoes. This pasta sauce made from squash is full of the traditional tastes with alternative ingredients. No tomato pasta sauce is top 9 allergen friendly, dairy and gluten free, as well as has a vegan option.
- Why We Like This Recipe
- The Ingredient Low Down
- How to Make Tomato Free Pasta Sauce
- Low Food Waste Tips
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- Variations /Adaptations
- Storage and Reheating Instructions
- How to Send Tomato Free Pasta Sauce as Leftovers for Lunch
- Top Tip
- What To Serve With
- Other Recipes You May Enjoy
- Have You Made Our Tomato Free Pasta Sauce? Please Leave a Comment Below.
- Rate our Recipe.
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Why We Like This Recipe
We made this Tomato Free Pasta Sauce when we found acorn squash at our local produce discounter for fifty cents each. There are many people who cannot eat tomatoes and miss pasta sauce. We roasted the acorn squash the same way we do in our roasted squash recipe. Then scraped it out of its skin and made an amazing tomato free pasta sauce. This squash is for all of you out there that have been asking how to make homemade pasta sauce without tomatoes.
This sauce pleasantly surprised our family. We made it as we do our family’s regular tomato sauce. All the aromatic veggies are sauteed to bring out their flavours. Then added the spices and the base, which in this case was already roasted acorn squash. We chose to make it with ground beef but that is totally optional as are the sweet bell peppers. This spaghetti sauce has been tried over gluten free spaghetti, penne, and macaroni and our kids thought it takes just like their regular pasta sauce.
This wonderful non tomato pasta sauce was created because we know that many other EoE families cannot have tomatoes. If you have special requests please send us an email and we can see if we help.
- Lean Ground Beef, optional
- Olive Oil
- Yellow Onion
- Sweet Bell Peppers, optional
- Italian Spice Mix
- Salt and Pepper
- Roasted Acorn Squash
- Lemon Juice
- Nutritional Yeast, gluten free
- Gluten Free Spaghetti Noodles
See recipe card for quantities.
The Ingredient Low Down
Roasted Acorn Squash
Any edible mild squash will work to make Tomato Free Pasta Sauce. Pumpkin is another great alternative. The squash needs to be pureed for the best texture. We love to use our oven roasted acorn squash recipe to have perfectly cooked squash everytime.
Lean Ground Beef, optional
Beef, chicken, pork, lamb, whatever suits you if you choose to make this a bolognese style pasta sauce. Make sure the meat is well separated and not clumpy when browned and that it is cooked through. Drain as much of the fat off or the sauce will be oily
Olive oil is our go to when making Italian inspired dishes. You can however use any oil with a high enough smoke point that is allergen friendly for you. It is just used to help stop the diced veggies from catching and burning on to the pan. We also use this if there isn’t enough
Yellow Onion, Garlic, Lemon Juice, Carrot, Celery, Sweet Bell Peppers, optional
If you know our recipes then you know we feel fresh is best. Not only does it mean there is a lower chance of cross contact with top allergens they also add a higher quality of flavour to the dishes.
We prefer yellow onions for this dairy free no tomato pasta sauce recipe but white will do. Red onions may colour the sauce and shallots are too mild for this sauce.
Adding an extra carrot to the sauce during cooking is a trick to add sweetness to the sauce without adding processed sugar.
The dash of lemon juice will help bring out the flavours in the no tomato pasta sauce. If lemons are not safe for you a vinegar could be used instead preferably white wine vinegar. If using vinegar, start by adding ¼ of the amount of lemon juice tasting the sauce and increasing the amount as needed. Vinegar can be a bit more acidic tasting so less may be needed.
The bell peppers are optional. Many who do not eat tomatoes also do not eat peppers. This recipe works with and without the peppers to make it flexible for those who cannot eat peppers and tomatoes.
Oregano, Italian Spice Mix, Salt and Pepper
Fresh spices can be used in place of dried ones. The rule of thumb is to triple the amount of spices the recipe calls for if using fresh spices in place of dried. Always check all spices for cross contact in the processing plants with their manufacturer.
Nutritional Yeast, gluten free
Make sure the nutritional yeast is gluten free. We use this one brand Novalea Farmer's Market we found in our local natural foods market. Natural yeast is often used in vegan cooking to add a cheesy flavour. If it isn’t safe for you try using dairy free parmesan in the sauce instead. Always check with your medical team before trying ingredients that are new to you.
Gluten Free Spaghetti Noodles
Use the boxed gluten free pastas that are safe for you and your fave. We like using lentil based ones. We find that spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles are not best with this Tomato Free Pasta Sauce recipe as it is just too much squash flavour. Check gluten free pastas for “deglutenized wheat” if you have a wheat allergy or are top 9 free. We noticed more gluten free pastas are containing this ingredient which is not safe for us.
How to Make Tomato Free Pasta Sauce
In a large pot fully brown the lean ground beef over medium heat. Stir well to move the meat around and break up any clumps into little grounds. It will take about 5-8 mins to brown all the meat and cook it all fully. If making a vegan version or not using meat skip to step 4.
When cooked through and not pink at all remove the beef using a slotted spoon to drain the meat from the fat. Place the cooked ground meat in a clean bowl and set aside until step 7. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pot.
Put a second large pot filled with salted water on a different burner to heat over high heat for the noodles.
Over medium heat add olive oil to the pot if there wasn’t enough to make a tablespoon of fat in the pan. If making this a meat free sauce, drizzle the olive oil in the pot and heat it.
Sweat the onions and garlic in the pot. Stirring often to make sure they do not catch on the bottom of the pan. If they start to brown around the edges turn down the heat, otherwise cook until translucent, for about 4 minutes.
Add the carrots, peppers and celery to the pot. Stirring them into the onions and garlic. Cook for another 4 minutes, stirring often.
Sprinkle on the oregano, Italian spices, salt and pepper. Add back the beef to the pot and let the mix cook for 1 minute.
Dump in the mashed Roasted Acorn Squash, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and 3 cups of water to the pot and mix well. Once mixed, place the whole carrot in the sauce to let it release its sugars and naturally sweeten the sauce without sugar.
The water should be boiling in the second pot. Pour in the noodles and cook as per the package instructions.
Reduce the heat to let the sauce simmer for 10-20 minutes while the pasta cooks. If the sauce starts to thicken too much for you liking add a ¼ -½ cup water and stir it in.
After noodles are cooked, drain them from the water in a colander. Remove the whole carrot from the sauce before serving the sauce.Serve the noodles in a bowl or on a plate with a scoop or two of the sauce.
Hint: Roast the squash ahead of time and let it fully cool. To make the Tomato Free Pasta Sauce anytime of year, puree the squash, portion it out, and store it in the freezer. Thaw it and use it to make no tomato pasta sauce any time of year.
Low Food Waste Tips
Tip 1 - Save the carrot pulled from the Tomato Free Pasta Sauce. Dice it, freeze it and next time you make this sauce use it as the diced carrot instead of raw. It can also be pureed and added to the sauce base after thawing as it should be soft enough.
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- Other Squash - instead of acorn squash try butternut, zucchini, pumpkin, or another winter squash can be used in place of acorn squash. Some smaller ones will not need to be roasted as long. Zucchini contains more moisture and may need to be drained before used.
- Vinegar - If lemons are not safe for you a vinegar could be used to add a bit of acidity preferably white wine vinegar. If using vinegar, start by adding ¼ of the amount of lemon juice tasting the dairy free no tomato pasta sauce and increasing the amount as needed. Vinegar can be a bit more acidic tasting so less may be needed.
- Dairy free Parmesan - Instead of nutritional yeast you can use grated vegan parm to add that cheesy taste.
- Chicken Broth - Instead of water for extra flavour chicken broth can be used in an omni friendly pasta sauce.
- Vegan - Use a plant based ground meat replacement that is free from wheat, soy, and nuts. Cooked lentils or chickpeas could be used instead or simply omit the meat all together and use a protein rich noodle like a quinoa one. Only use water to make non tomato pasta sauce or vegetable sauce to keep it vegan.
- Spicy - add chilli pepper flakes or use a pinch of cayenne pepper in the sauce to spice it up a bit.
- Red in Colour - If red peppers are safe for you add in 2 roasted red peppers that have been blended into a paste to colour the sauce and add a bit of a different flavour.
- More Protein - Pair the sauce with lentil or quinoa based noodles to make this a protein packed dinner. Our favourite brand is Pedon More Than Pasta but contact the company for cross contact with your allergens and check the ingredients to make sure they are safe for you.
Immersion blender or stand up blender to puree the roasted squash. Alternatively, a potato masher can be used or a big fork, if the squash is freshly roasted and tender. A large pot and a stirring utensil to cook the meat and the sauce will be needed.
A cutting board and knife, measuring cups and spoons are used to dice up the veggies and measure them and the spices for the no tomato pasta sauce.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
When storing gluten free pasta it is always best to store the pasta separately from the sauce. The noodles can tend to break into tiny bits when storing. They are best served fresh instead of kept.
In the fridge store the pasta sauce for up to 3 days in a container that seals. The third day after initially cooking, the sauce should be frozen or composted.
In the freezer the no tomato pasta sauce can be kept for up to 6 months. When we freeze the sauce we portion it out in family and single portions that are easy to thaw and reheat.
Only reheat the sauce once for best food safety practices.
To reheat just the sauce, put it in a pot and add ¼-½ C of water per person or to a max of 1 cup of water. Stir well to mix. Over medium high heat bring the pasta sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat at this time and let it simmer for 5 mins, making sure it is fully heated through. Serve over gluten free pasta.
Reheating the noodles will be tough as they fall apart. We recommend frying them up in a pan with a bit of neutral oil until warm and slightly crispy.
In a microwave safe bowl place however many portions of dairy free no tomato pasta sauce you need in a microwave safe bowl. Cover with a microwave plate cover so the sauce doesn’t splatter all over the microwave. Heat for 1 minute and 20 seconds. Stir it when it is done heating and check it is fully heated through. If not then heat again for 25 seconds, stir and check. Repeat as needed.
How to Send Tomato Free Pasta Sauce as Leftovers for Lunch
Preheat a thermos container with hot water. Let it sit with the lid covering it loosely.
On the stove heat up one portion of the Tomato Free Pasta Sauce with ¼-½ of a cup of water added to the sauce. The sauce is heated over medium high heat in a small pot until bubbling. Turn the heat down and let it simmer softly for 5 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, get the noodles ready. Boil a medium pot of water over high heat. To store already cooked noodles they work best for lunches when portioned into sealing plastic bags with a dab of neutral oil.
Put the already cooked noodles in the bag in the water and heat for 2 minutes. Cooking in plastic may put many off but it is how many restaurants will prep their pasta. If it is not for you the best way is to fry up the noodles in oil in a pan over medium heat or boil new noodles from their box.
Dump out the water from the thermos. Open up the noodle bag and put the noodles on the bottom of the thermos. Cover with the sauce and seal it for lunch later. Don’t forget to send a fork or spoon.
If the colour of the no tomato pasta sauce is not what you are used to follow our way of colouring it with roasted red pepper paste. Alternatively, beet powder can also be used to colour the sauce. Pumpkin will yield a more orange sauce.
Roasted squash is the perfect tomato free pasta sauce. It has enough starch to coat the noodles, hold the flavour to a proper level expected from a spaghetti sauce. The texture is just right. The only really big difference is the colour.
Another popular choice is using peeled roasted red pepper instead of tomatoes either in all or part. Sometimes the peppers are pureed and mixed with roasted squash to have the traditional red colour. The reason we didn’t use red peppers is most people who avoid tomatoes also avoid peppers so we use them as an optional ingredient.
What To Serve With
We love to use this sauce on gluten free noodles as a spaghetti sauce replacement. It will also work well in an allergy friendly lasagna, with cabbage rolls, or to dip a nice slice of gluten free bread in.
This dairy free no tomato pasta sauce is great with long pastas like fettuccine or short such as macaroni or penne. It is a very versatile sauce that is full of veggies that works well with a high protein noodle like one made from quinoa or lentils, if you can have them.
A nice side with this no tomato pasta sauce when served over pasta is a small green salad or gluten and dairy free garlic bread.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
Have You Made Our Tomato Free Pasta Sauce? Please Leave a Comment Below.
Rate our Recipe.
We Love To Hear From You!
- Immersion Blender
- Stirring Utensil
- Cutting Board and Knife
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 1 Lbs Lean Ground Beef optional
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil if needed
- 1 Large Yellow Onion medium diced
- 5 Cloves Garlic minced
- ½ Cup Carrot medium diced
- 2 Bell Peppers any colour
- 2 Ribs Celery medium diced
- 1 tablespoon Oregano dried
- 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning mix
- 2-3 tsps Salt
- ½ teaspoon Pepper
- 2 Roasted Acorn Squash pureed from our recipe
- 2 Tbsps Lemon Juice
- 1.5 Tbsps Nutritional Yeast gluten free or dairy free parm
- 3 Cups Water or Chicken Broth
- 1 Large Peeled Whole Carrot
- 1 Package Gluten Free Pasta Noodles
- In a large pot fully brown the lean ground beef over medium heat. Stir well to move the meat around and break up any clumps into little grounds. It will take about 5-8 mins to brown all the meat and cook it all fully. If making a vegan version or not using meat skip to step 4.
- When cooked through and not pink at all remove the beef using a slotted spoon to drain the meat from the fat. Place the cooked ground meat in a clean bowl and set aside until step 7. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pot.
- Put a second large pot filled with salted water on a different burner to heat over high heat for the noodles.
- Over medium heat add olive oil to the pot if there wasn’t enough to make a tablespoon of fat in the pan. If making this a meat free sauce, drizzle the olive oil in the pot and heat it.
- Sweat the onions and garlic in the pot. Stirring often to make sure they do not catch on the bottom of the pan. If they start to brown around the edges turn down the heat, otherwise cook until translucent, for about 4 minutes.
- Add the carrots, peppers and celery to the pot. Stirring them into the onions and garlic. Cook for another 4 minutes, stirring often.
- Sprinkle on the oregano, Italian spices, salt and pepper. Add back the beef to the pot and let the mix cook for 1 minute.
- Dump in the mashed Roasted Acorn Squash, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and 3 cups of water to the pot and mix well. Once mixed, place the whole carrot in the sauce to let it release its sugars and naturally sweeten the sauce without sugar.
- The water should be boiling in the second pot. Pour in the noodles and cook as per the package instructions.
- Reduce the heat to let the sauce simmer for 10-20 minutes while the pasta cooks. If the sauce starts to thicken too much for you liking add a ¼ -½ cup water and stir it in.
- After noodles are cooked, drain them from the water in a colander. Remove the whole carrot from the sauce before serving the sauce.Serve the noodles in a bowl or on a plate with a scoop or two of the sauce.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Contact the manufacturer of products, regarding cross contact and ingredients, to ensure they are safe for you
- Always check ingredients for allergens
- Do not use the same utensils on allergen free food, that previously touched allergens
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
See more guidelines at USDA.gov.
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