This tomato free Bolognese with tuna is a healthy, quick and easy fish version of the classic meal, which is naturally gluten free and dairy free. It’s made without tomatoes, but uses alternative ingredients to provide the same classic tomato flavour, to make it perfect for those following a nightshade free diet.
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Jump To Section:-
- Why this recipe is great
- Equipment needed
- How to make spaghetti bolognese without tomatoes (step by step instructions)
- What to serve with bolognese
- Uses & leftover bolognese ideas
- Diet requirements
- Other tomato free & nightshade free recipes
- Recipe card
Why This Recipe Is Great
- Tomato free and nightshade free. This recipe uses pumpkin purée, beetroot and lemon juice to replicate the classic tomato flavour.
- Uses tinned tuna. Tinned tuna is used as a replacement for traditional beef mince. Tinned tuna is pre cooked and ready to use and eat straight out of the tin which makes the dish quicker and easier to prepare.
- Healthy family meal. The recipe is full of a range of colourful vegetables from the rainbow, protein and healthy fats from tuna, with nutrient dense whole food alternatives to regular spaghetti provided to serve the bolognese with. It makes a warm and comforting meal that both adults and kids will love.
- Gluten and dairy free. All the ingredients are naturally free from these allergens.
- Tinned tuna (UK Link/US Link). You can use any tinned tuna you like. I always use tinned fish in spring water which doesn’t contain added salt or oil.
- Carrot, mushroom, celery and cauliflower. Carrot, mushrooms and celery are classic vegetables included in Bolognese, while diced cauliflower provides a nice variation and adds a similar texture to mince.
- Pumpkin purée (UK Link/US Link) and beetroot. These ingredients combine to mimic the tomato flavour. Like tinned tuna, tinned pumpkin purée is ready to use straight out of the tin. Ensure you use pumpkin purée which contains solely pumpkin and not pumpkin pie mix which has sugar and spices added to it.
- Lemon juice. This replicates the acidity of tomatoes.
- Balsamic vinegar (UK Link/US Link). Provides some acidity to help replicate the taste of tomatoes while also adding a delicious slight sweetness to the dish.
- Broth. Store bought vegetable broths can contain nightshades like tomato and pepper so ensure the one you use is free from these ingredients. Alternatively, make your own Gluten Free Broth at home from vegetables scraps.
- Dried oregano (UK Link/US Link) and fresh basil. Classic herbs which pair perfectly with the tomato flavour.
For the full ingredient list, please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How To Make Spaghetti Bolognese Without Tomatoes (Step By Step Instructions)
- To make the nomato sauce, add the pumpkin purée, beetroot, broth and lemon juice to a blender. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes or until a smooth liquid is formed.
- Add the cauliflower to a food processor and pulse until rice sized pieces are formed.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of broth in a pan over a medium heat. Add the carrot, mushroom, celery, onion, garlic and oregano and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding more broth when needed.
- Add the tomato free sauce from the blender.
- Bring the liquid to a boil over a medium heat, then turn the heat down to low, add the diced cauliflower and cook for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender and mixture is your desired thickness, adding more broth if needed if the sauce becomes too thick. Flake the tinned tuna and add to the pan for the final 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, stir in the balsamic vinegar and fresh basil.
- Transfer to serving bowls and enjoy with spaghetti or spaghetti substitute of your choice. Alternatively, use in other dishes listed in the leftover bolognese ideas section below.
- If not following Elimination Diet Phase 1, tinned tuna can be replaced with lentils or minced tempeh to make a vegan meat free bolognese.
- Replace celery with fennel or courgette.
- Instead of diced cauliflower use parsnip, swede or celeriac rice instead.
What to serve with Bolognese
As a alternative to the classic spaghetti, I love serving this Bolognese with nutrient dense whole food spaghetti variations, such as:-
- Spaghetti squash,
- Spiralised vegetables like parsnip, courgette and carrot,
- It can also be served on a bed of greens,
- If not following Elimination Diet Phase 1 then the bolognese can be served with quinoa or rice.
Uses & Leftover Bolognese Ideas
Spaghetti Bolognese can be used in the following ways:-
- Top a baked sweet potato
- Stuff squashes
- Used to make a lasagna
- As the base for shepherds pie or hot pot, topped with root vegetables or sweet potatoes
- As a filling for wraps
- As a dip for nachos
After being left to cool completely the bolognese can be stored in a glass airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days or freezer for up to 3 months. Label the container with the date stored so you know when to use it by.
To eat it:-
- From the fridge – remove from the fridge. Transfer the contents into a saucepan and heat over a medium low heat until warmed through completely and at least 165°F or 75°C when tested with a food thermometer (UK Link/US Link) (1), stirring occasionally and adding more broth if needed.
- From the freezer – transfer the bolognese from the freezer to the fridge and leave to defrost for 12 hours or until completely thawed. Then heat the bolognese in a saucepan over a medium low heat until completely warmed through and at least 165°F or 75°C when tested with a food thermometer (UK Link/US Link) (1), stirring occasionally and adding more broth if needed.
This tuna bolognese is:-
- Gluten free
- Dairy free
- Wheat free
- Soy free
- Egg free
- Nut free
- Seed free
- Oil free
- Grain free
- Refined sugar free
- Nightshade free
- Autoimmune protocol (AIP)
Other Tomato Free & Nightshade Free Recipes
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Tomato Free Bolognese (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
- 2 tins tuna in water drained and flaked
- 1 large carrot finely chopped
- 4.5 oz chestnut mushrooms finely chopped
- 2 medium celery sticks finely chopped
- 4.5 oz cauliflower fresh or frozen, pulsed in a food processor until rice sized pieces are formed
- 1/2 medium onion finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves finely minced
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 3/4 ounces fresh basil chopped
- 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
To Make The Tomato Free Sauce
To Make The Bolognese
- Add the tomato sauce from the blender. Bring the liquid to a boil over a medium heat, then turn the heat down to low, add the cauliflower rice and cook for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender and mixture is your desired thickness, adding more broth if needed if the sauce becomes too thick. Add the flaked tuna to the pan for the final 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, stir in the balsamic vinegar and fresh basil.
- Transfer to serving bowls and enjoy with spaghetti or spaghetti alternative of your choice.
- From the fridge – remove from the fridge. Transfer the contents into a saucepan and heat over a medium low heat until piping hot all the way through and at least 165°F or 75°C when tested with a food thermometer (UK Link/US Link) (1), stirring occasionally and adding more broth if needed.
- From the freezer – transfer the bolognese from the freezer to the fridge and leave to defrost overnight or for at least for 12 hours or until completely thawed. Then transfer the bolognese into a saucepan and heat as detailed above, over a medium low heat until piping hot all the way through and at least 165°F or 75°C when tested with a food thermometer (UK Link/US Link) (1), stirring occasionally and adding more broth if needed.