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Nightshade-free Beetroot Marinara

Nightshade-free Beetroot Marinara

I don’t think I’ve eaten a tomato-based pasta sauce for over a year. I find them highly acidic and I’m often left with acid reflux hours after enjoying a bowl. For me, the aftermath just isn’t worth it.

Don’t get me wrong, you’ll see a few recipes here that do contain nightshades but for the most part, I avoid them. Nightshade vegetables are part of the Solanaceae plant family and include tomatoes, capsicums, potatoes, and eggplants. All of which I loved eating, but when I realised they may be contributing to my joint pain, I consequently lowered the frequency of them in my diet. Other issues that may arise when eating nightshades include, irritable bowel disorders, gastrointestinal issues, heartburn and nerve sensitisation.

There are times I feel as though I can handle nightshades in small amounts – I’ll eat a potato bake or a few tomatoes in a Greek salad and “assume” I have no side effects from the meal but I think that may just be my subconscious trying to convince myself that everything is great haha!

Well a few weeks back, I reached the point where all I wanted was pasta. Having heard it may be possible to make a marinara with beetroot, I started on my recipe testing to make the perfect “nomato”, nightshade-free, beetroot marinara sauce. And I’m convinced this tastes just as good – even better than a regular tomato marinara.


Nightshade-free Beetroot Marinara1


To make the process easier, I would suggest having everything chopped and organised before starting. The first time I made this sauce, the cooking process was well over an hour. But since then, I’ve worked on the process and found I can reduce this significantly if I have all of my ingredients prepped beforehand.

Roasting your beetroot for 20-30 minutes before boiling them, will ensure the marinara resembles the sweetness of a normal tomato marinara.

This marinara can be stored in the fridge for up to one week. Which is perfect for when you have a few meals in mind that may need a delicious marinara sauce.

If you do get a chance to give this beetroot marinara a go, leave a comment/rating below and don’t forget to tag a photo with #live_minimal or @live_minimal on Instagram so I can see how your sauce turns out!

Looking for alternative meals to use this marinara? I’ve used this marinara as a pizza base topping and as a marinara sauce for my spaghetti with black bean meatballs.


Nightshade-free Beetroot Marinara
Cook Time
1 hr
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Vegan
Servings: 2 jars
  • 1.5 medium sized beetroot, diced and roasted
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 medium sized carrots, diced
  • 1 small sweet potato, diced
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 3 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tsp oregano
  • 3 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2.5 cups vegetable stock
  • 6 pitted olives
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Roast your beetroot and set aside to cool.

  2. In a large pot, sauté onion until translucent.

  3. Add carrots, sweet potato, celery, your roasted beetroot, garlic powder, oregano, basil, onion powder, vegetable stock and salt/pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 25 minutes (until vegetables soft).

  4. Set aside to cool.

  5. Once cooled, transfer to a blender along with olives. Blend until smooth.

    If too thick, add filtered water until desired consistency.

  6. Pour into an airtight glass jar and store in the fridge.

January 24, 2018