InstantPot Fauxmato Sauce: a nightshade-free Marinara & AIP Tomato substitute

edited to add: This has become THE undisputed nightshade-free marinara champion of the internet! Thank you for sharing! I hope it helps those who cannot or do not want to eat tomatoes. We use, love and make this Instantpot Fauxmato Marinara Sauce all the time, and hope you love it too.

Fauxmato Sauce by PaleoParents

That’s right, we said Fauxmato.
Because there’s no tomatoes here.

    Fauxmato Sauce on PaleoParents GIF
Deception has never tasted so good.

This tomato-free Instantpot Fauxmato Marinara Sauce is perfect as a marinara or tomato replacement for just about anything!

 Stacy often says that the one thing she misses the most since changing the way she eats to a nightshade-free diet is tomato sauce. After all, she is part Italian. We had been searching for tomato-less alternatives for a long while, with no success, until we stumbled upon The Urban Poser’s Tomato-less Marinara Sauce recipe and started making it pretty regularly. It is by far THE BEST “no-mato” sauce we’ve tried. Unfortunately, the process of making that recipe is that it takes up to 90 minutes and involves steaming up your house for an extremely long time. So, we’re gonna do what we do best – mess up a perfect recipe with shortcuts in favor of saving you time!

Fauxmato Sauce Prep on PaleoParents

However, we cannot tell a lie. The prep on these veggies is legit the most effort and time consuming part. So Uncle Matt has given you a shortcut in the recipe if you really just don’t have 10 minutes to peel and chop veggies. That said, if you DO prep your own, using a veggie peeler is definitely the best life choice on all these veg – don’t try to cut off the squash and beet’s skin, that’s just dangerous and messy.

Fauxmato Sauce by Paleo Parents

Well, with extensive experimenting over several months, we’ve reduced the preparation time to about 35 minutes or so using our most favorite kitchen invention, the Instant Pot! The Instant Pot, as we’ve instructed before in our Tutorial on the device, is a counter top electric pressure cooker that makes tons of kitchen tasks fast and easy. If you don’t have one, we definitely recommend it. It’s probably our most frequently used kitchen appliance these days and we’re always finding more uses for it!

Fauxmato Sauce on PaleoParents

One of the best uses for it is reducing the time it takes to steam hard root vegetables and squashes from more than 40 minutes to only 15. And that’s exactly how we make our new fauxmato sauce!

Fauxmato Sauce on Paleo Parents

Fauxmato Sauce



  1. Place vegetable cubes with two cups of water in your Instant Pot. Set to steam on high pressure for 10 minutes.
  2. After steaming complete, release pressure and remove lid. Transfer vegetables to food processor or high speed blender with a slotted spoon (removing most of the liquid). Puree on high speed with remaining ingredients and about 1/2 C of steaming liquid.
  3. Empty and rinse out pot insert, then replace into Instant Pot. Pour puree into the pot, cover and set on saute for 20 minutes.
  4. Serve as a tomato sauce anywhere you require one!


Wanna save even more time? You could speed up the process further by using baby carrots, already peeled and diced butternut squash, and Love Beets. Since peeling and chopping vegetables is about the only work you'll do for the whole recipe!

And once you have this vegetable puree base, you can use it in a variety of tomato applications. Anywhere you see a tomato sauce or puree, use the vegetable puree. Here are some recipes we highly recommend you use this in:

Caramelized Tomato Eye of Round

Stuffed Peppers (or stuff a squash for nightshade-free)

Spaghetti (squash) & Meatballs

Halupki Stirfry

Less Lasagna

Tikka Masala

Not Beanie Weenies

and this week we will be putting it on top of our famous, award winning Meatloaf!

Fauxmato Sauce Marinara by PaleoParents

We’ve provided our recommended spices for MARINARA version of tomato sauce in this recipe. The flavors mask the earthy tones of beets that most people don’t like, but if you’re making a different type of dish we recommend adding more spices than would normally be called for when subbing this sauce. Trust us when we say that our kids don’t like beets – in fact one produces a giant temper tantrum when he sees them in our home – but this sauce is something no one complains about. Frankly, I caught Stacy licking the spoon while she was photographing for the post.


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