Low-Amine No-Tomato Marinara (apple & onion based marinara)

Low Amine No-Tomato Marinara and Quinoa Pasta

Low Amine No-Tomato Marinara and Quinoa Pasta

Of all the things I miss since going on a low-amine diet, the thing I miss most is marinara. I could literally eat marinara every single day, in a multitude of ways. Since my low amine diet, I have only treated myself to a bite or two here or there (and felt the consequences).

Tomatoes absolutely destroy my amine threshold. I’ve been trying to come up with ways to substitute tomato and give myself that marinara fix, and came up with wonderful tomato substitution.

4 Granny Smith apples, peeled

3 medium yellow or white onions

3  medium red onions

1 large bay leaf

6 Tbsp dried oregano

3 Tbsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp salt

2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

4 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

12 cloves minced/pressed garlic

4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp paprika

About 4 C Stock (chicken, veggie, or beef broth), enough to cover all ingredients

4 Tbsp safflower oil

Just added the stock, spices, and apples

Just added the stock, spices, and apples

  • Peel outer layer off onions and core apples.
  • Chop onions and apples into small pieces (no bigger than 1/2″ x 1/2″).
  • In a large, thick-bottomed stock pot, saute onion pieces and garlic in oil (medium high heat) until they become opaque.
  • Add apples and broth, enough to cover solids, and turn up heat.
  • Once at a boil, turn down heat to a low simmer and add bay leaf, oregano, Italian seasoning, salt, parsley, paprika, and pepper.
  • Simmer on low, covered, for 40 minutes. Stir as necessary.
  • Remove from heat and discard bay leaf.
  • Carefully (don’t burn yourself!) use a potato masher to break down apples and onions until the texture of chunky/thick marinara. If you prefer a thin sauce, you can opt to use an immersion blender instead.
Mashing the apples & onions.

Mashing the apples & onions.

  • Put back on low heat uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring often. The sugars in the apples can cause the sauce to burn if not careful.
  • Add balsamic vinegar.
  • Serve as you would regular marinara.
Quinoa noodles

Gluten-free quinoa noodles


Very Low Amine: onion, bay leaf, oregano, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, parsley, garlic

Low Amine: peeled apples, safflower oil, stock

Very High Amine: balsamic vinegar, paprika (more for color than flavor – feel free to omit)

NOTE: This sauce freezes and reheats very well.


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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I love this idea! I splurge every once in a while with tomato sauce, but it’s really not good for me. I’ll have to give this a shot.

  2. Thank you for posting this tomato-free marinara recipe. Eating is hard without tomatoes sometimes. They’re so good, and were such a staple in my diet. No-tomato cooking is still new and weird, so it’s nice to have some suggestions on how to replace tomatoes! Thanks!

  3. […] a sauce that’s better for re-heating or cooking again, I have a second no-tomato (apple and onion tomato-free low-amine marinara) marinara substitute that will knock your socks […]

  4. […] Not eating tomatoes can be really difficult, but when you’re not allowed them, it’s even harder. I missed them something terrible, but found a recipe (which I then tweaked almost beyond recognition) which made for a fantastic tomato / marinara replacement. I’ve tried this no-tomato tomato marinara on pasta and and it worked very well, but on pizza, not quite as well. For a no-tomato marinara sauce that does better with cooking twice or several reheats, try my apple onion tomato-free marinara. […]

  5. […] 1/2 batch (pre-made) of tomato-free low amine marinara sauce […]

  6. Another good color substitute instead of paprika is adding grated beetroot. I just made a low amine minestrone with beetroot and it looked like the real thing.

    • Ooooh… low amine minestrone? That sounds awesome! Do you have the recipe handy?

  7. […] amine pesto or either no-tomato low amine marinara (made with a beet marinara base, or made with an apple marinara base). Microwave together for an easy low amine […]

  8. […] Low-Amine No-Tomato Marinara (apple & onion based marinara) (aminerecipes.wordpress.com) […]

  9. […] Low-Amine No-Tomato Marinara (apple & onion based marinara) (aminerecipes.wordpress.com) […]

  10. Just wondering why you call this a Marinara sauce when it has no seafood in it? My understanding is Marinara=Seafood.

    I live in Australia if that has anything to do with it. 🙂

    • In the USA, marinara implies a red pasta sauce that is tomato based. 🙂

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