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Spaghetti Sauce | Made from Scratch | Oil-Free

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Lately, I have been enjoying cooking without the use of oil. Honesty, it’s been much easier than I had imagined. For over ten years, I have dedicated countless hours to learning how to substitute particular ingredients in and out of recipes. A lot of them were created out of our personal dietary needs, and others came as requests from readers. Vegan, nut-free, grain-free, nightshade-free, coconut-free, AIP, paleo, raw, keto, FODmap, cooked, you name it…I have studied it and have made recipes that fit within each dietary label.  Now I am adding oil-free cooking to my list of skills.

As the spaghetti slowly simmers, the smell alone transports me to my parents’ house, which right now, more than ever, brings me great comfort. My mom had an airplane ticket in hand to come to visit us right when COVID-19 started to “get serious” in the States. Unfortunately, she had to cancel her trip. I miss my family ALL the time, but when our distancing is forced, that seems to make it all that more hard. When my mom makes spaghetti, it permeates the house as she slow simmers it all day. So, needless to say, when I make my own, I feel like Mom or Dad will come around the corner at any moment. But since that isn’t reality, let’s get busy talking about the recipe that I am presenting to you today.

Ingredient Run-Down

Tomato Options & Tips

Fresh Garlic

Soy Sauce (Coconut Aminos)

Nutritional Yeast

Balsamic Vinegar

Dried or Fresh Herbs

Techniques I Used

Water Sautéing

  • Interestingly enough, when sautéing vegetables, water or broth do just as well as oil. You can be creative by using rice vinegar, balsamic vinegar, tomato juice, lemon or lime juice, and coconut aminos. Each one adds a hint of flavor to the dish.
  • Heat your pan or pot and add 1-2 Tbsp of liquid (mentioned above). Once the liquid turns bubbly, proceed with your recipe as you typically would if you started with oil. You may need to add more liquid to prevent the food from sticking to the pan. Do this as often as necessary to cook and brown the food.
  • The key is to keep the veggies moving so they don’t burn.

Taste Testing

  • Taste-testing while creating a recipe is crucial.
  • If “taste-testing” were an actual ingredient, it would be pegged as the most important one of all time. The reason behind this is because you will be using fresh foods that are not artificially altered by food manufacturers.
  • The flavors of your fruits and veggies can vary from carrot to carrot and from apple to apple. It all depends on the quality of your produce, when it was harvested, and if it is at peak ripeness.
  • Please read my post regarding this topic by clicking (here).

I hope you try and enjoy this recipe. As the rich aromas blanket your kitchen, know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. amie sue


Yields 3 cups

  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 cups sliced/diced mushrooms
  • 4 cloves garlic, microplaned
  • 3 cups (1.4 lbs)diced fresh vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp dried basil or 1 Tbsp fresh
  • 1 tsp dried oregano or 1 Tbsp fresh
  • 1 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar


  1. In a medium-large stock pot, water sauté the diced onions and mushrooms on medium heat until both are soft and the onions are translucent, and the mushrooms darken in color.
    • Don’t rush the process; this step develops excellent flavor for the sauce.
    • Mushrooms are high in water, so as they cook down, they will release liquid, which is great for the sauté process as well.
  2. Add the microplaned garlic and cook for another 60 seconds, just until the garlic becomes aromatic.
    • Be careful that you don’t burn the garlic, or it will add a bitter taste to the dish.
  3. Add chopped tomatoes (including their juices and seeds), tomato paste, nutritional yeast, dried herbs, coconut aminos, and salt. Turn heat up to medium-high. Simmer uncovered until tomatoes have mostly broken down–this can happen in as little as 25 minutes, but I recommend a low and slow simmer for a few hours. Stir often to prevent burning.
    • If using fresh herbs, add them 10 minutes before taking the sauce off the heat.
  4. Add the balsamic vinegar and let the sauce rest for 10-15 minutes (for the flavor to absorb) before serving.
  5. If the sauce is too thin for your liking, cooking it longer with the lid off will help thicken it.
  6. Enjoy right away over a bed of zucchini noodles , spaghetti squash noodles, or for more veggie noodles, click (here).

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