Pasta Sauce Without Tomatoes with Meat (Bolognese)

Having tomato allergies can be difficult. However, have no fear! This long awaited tomato free pasta sauce recipe will get you through. I haven’t had a red sauce in way too long. After two days of tweaking this recipe, I have finally completed what I can truly say is a good Italian meat sauce without tomatoes. Enjoy!

Pasta Sauce Without Tomatoes with Meat

Yield: Makes 4 cups of sauce

Pasta Sauce Without Tomatoes with Meat

A delicious, gluten free, Italian recipe for spaghetti sauce without tomatoes. This recipe is a non-traditional meat sauce, known in Italian as bolognese sauce (sauce with ground beef).


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 medium-large size yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 carrots, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 large stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped parsley
  • 3/4 lb. lean ground beef (or bison)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups water*, or as needed
  • 1/2 cup beet juice from a 15 oz. can of sliced beets, for color
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar**
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon Reduced Sodium Organic Beef Base (or 1 1/4 cubes gluten free beef bouillon - Herb Ox)*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric, for color
  • 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese (or Kraft shaker) (optional for dairy-free)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat a large saute pan with oil over medium high heat.
  2. Add ground beef; cook until brown and then remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add the onion, carrots, and celery to the skillet; saute until tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and parsley and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from pan and set aside.
  5. Add Italian seasoning, garlic powder, water, beet juice (amount available per brand will vary), and sugar, bouillon; stir to combine. Add enough turmeric to bring it to your desired color (orange-red).
  6. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
  7. Puree this mixture using a handheld immersion blender. Alternatively, allow the mixture to cool to room temperature; . then, pulsate in a blender or food processor.
  8. If you've removed the mixture from the pot, return it.
  9. Add the cooked ground beef and stir. Simmer for about 3 hours. Break up the ground beef a little and stir occasionally. Add additional water or broth, as needed.


*Many bouillon brands contain soy. If you are soy-free, use homemade, if necessary.

**If you prefer to lessen the sugar, try sauteing some finely chopped red bell pepper. It naturally adds sweetness and additional flavor. I decided to make this nightshade-free as many people with tomato allergies are intolerant to all nightshades.

2 Replies to “Pasta Sauce Without Tomatoes with Meat (Bolognese)”

  1. My husband is nightshade intolerant and we have all but given up hope for a “red sauce” for pasta. This is THE BEST recipe we have ever cooked for ease and taste. Thank you!

  2. Your excellent recipe is most welcome. Especially for its comparatively unorthodox contrast with what many home cooks think of as spaghetti sauce. The recipe does not, however, have just to be for spaghetti; it is a sauce whose use extends elsewhere. Serve it, for example, over individual portions of (hot) cooked rice for lunch or dinner. The sauce may of course be portioned into zipLocs and (once cool) be frozen.

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