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Nightshade-free ‘nomato’ 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.

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