How to Make Pasta Sauce Without Onions and Garlic

Updated on March 2, 2020
cocopreme profile image

Candace has a broad range of interests that keep her head filled with strange facts, such as experimental cooking, games, and mad science.

Delicious spaghetti sauce without the onions and the garlic.
Delicious spaghetti sauce without the onions and the garlic.

Onions and garlic are practically synonymous with Italian food. But if you can't eat garlic or onion, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy pasta sauce.

Here is a quick and easy recipe for an amazing pasta sauce without garlic and onions. The are plenty of ingredients in this recipe that will give the sauce a good flavor and you won't even notice the lack of onions and garlic.

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: About the equivalent of a jar of spaghetti sauce


  • 4 cups of tomato sauce fresh or canned, Hunt's has very minimal amounts of garlic or onion.*
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • white pepper, ground
  • black pepper, ground
  • sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar*
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil


  1. Dice the peppers and any other vegetable you will be adding to the sauce.
  2. Saute the peppers and other veggies in a pan with olive oil. You will want them tender for the sauce. You can also steam the vegetables if you prefer, but the olive oil will add flavor to the sauce.
  3. If you are adding meat, saute it in olive oil till it is brown. Then drain any excess oil.
  4. Pour the tomato sauce into a pot. Begin cooking it over medium heat.
  5. Add in the white pepper, ground pepper, and sea salt. You will use approximately 1/2 teaspoon. The measurement doesn't have to be precise. Add the oil, sugar, and any other seasoning you are using. Mix it well.
  6. Add in the cooked peppers and any other vegetable and meat you are using.
  7. Allow it to cook on medium until it starts to boil. Then turn it to low and let it simmer until time to serve it. If possible, let it simmer on low for an hour or two for the best results. Be sure to stir it occasionally.
  8. Sample it when it has been heated to see if it needs more seasoning. Add in more of the ground pepper, white pepper, salt, sugar, and oil as needed.
  9. Pour the sauce over your favorite pasta or Italian dish. Enjoy a great Italian meal!

Visual Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Buy four cans of canned tomato sauce. Look for a variety without added garlic or onion.
Buy four cans of canned tomato sauce. Look for a variety without added garlic or onion.
Buy four cans of canned tomato sauce. Look for a variety without added garlic or onion.

Other Ingredient Ideas


These veggies taste great in sauce.

  • mushrooms*
  • broccoli*
  • squash

Herbs and Spices:

  • basil
  • bay leaf
  • oregano
  • parsley
  • lemon pepper
  • Italian seasoning*


Ground meat will also add flavor to the sauce.

  • beef*
  • chicken*
  • turkey*
  • Italian sausage
  • bouillon cube


  • cream cheese
  • Parmesan cheese

For Those on Sulfite-Free Diets

* ingredients contain sulfites.

  • Avoid tomato sauces that have citric acid. "Natural flavor" and "spice" can also indicate sulfites and even small amounts of garlic and onion. Hunt's tomato sauce has less than 2% sulfites, which might not cause a reaction for you (it doesn't for me).
  • Use fresh tomatoes instead of canned sauce. You will need about four. Peel and chop them. The sauce will need to simmer longer when you use fresh tomatoes.
  • Be aware that sulfites can be present in ground herbs and spices. If you use whole organic herbs, you should be okay.
  • Use organic cane sugar with no sulfites.
  • Meat can contain sulfites. Organic meat is much more likely to be sulfite-free.

How flavorful is it?

3.7 stars from 53 ratings of Spaghetti Sauce without Onions and Garlic
The sauce recipe is great for lasagna or any other type of pasta.
The sauce recipe is great for lasagna or any other type of pasta.

Dish Ideas for the Sauce

This sauce tastes great in just about any kind of Italian food. Now you can enjoy Italian food without garlic and onion.

Serve it in:

  • spaghetti
  • lasagna
  • other pasta dishes
  • homemade pizza
  • breadstick dipping sauce


Why can't you have garlic and/or onions?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image 

      15 months ago

      can anyone tell me where i can buy ready made saices and meals that do not contain onion or garlic as i am allergic

    • profile image


      16 months ago

      Finding this made me so happy since I've recently became allergic to onion and garlic. Definitely trying it out tonight

    • profile image

      Sam Tollerico 

      2 years ago

      Try Nellino's Pomodoro. NO garlic, NO onion. LOW FODMAP. Sensitive, gentle sauce with incredible flavor.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Love pasta but can't have it because of the garlic. Fooey

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      So, your garlic free sauce has a base that contains "minimal" garlic? That's not garlic free...

    • Spanish Food profile image

      Lena Durante 

      3 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

      I have a loved one who cannot eat onions or garlic, and when I'm cooking for myself, I use a lot of them. This is a great resource, and I would be really interested to see other recipes without those ingredients.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      3 years ago from Long Island, NY

      I like to avoid buying canned sauces because of all the chemicals they put in, so I always make my own pasta source too. I needed to add some variety, however, and you gave me a lot of ideas here.

      It works well without the sugar and salt since the other ingredients add all the flavor I need, but I like the other ingredient ideas that you included near the end.

      You gave me more options to experiment with and I look forward to many enjoyable pasta meals thanks to your recipe ideas.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Thank you so much for this delicious recipe. I'm on a low FODMAP diet and have to avoid onions and garlic, so this was my first time eating red sauce in so long!

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      My husband has chronic migraines and there is a seriously long list of foods that make them worse, garlic and onion being at the top of that list. Thing is he LOVES garlic and onions and everything italian regarding food, especially spaghetti. Will be trying this sauce soon! Thanks!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      This recipe was wonderful. My son is on a diet and not allowed to have garlic or onion. I couldn't imagine how he was going to survive without those ingredients. This sauce was flavorful and we don't feel like we are missing anything. Thanks so much. FYI, I added finely diced yellow squash to the veggie stir-fry and it wok red beautifully.

    • profile image

      Janet Buente 

      4 years ago

      Your recipe with Hunts tomato sauce would be a disaster for me. I am allergic to the allium family; onions, leeks, chives, shallots, ramps, scallions, and garlic. Hunts sauce contains minute amounts but no amount is safe for me. I have found the only onion free tomato sauce to be organic brands. So you might want to suggest that in your post. I will be trying the add ins that you list. Thank you.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Try Rao's Marinara Sauce for sensitive stomachs. No onion or garlic at all.

    • Miss Muse profile image

      Christine Rogers 

      5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks! I have a friend allergic to garlic and onions, this recipe will come in handy!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      It used to take me ages to do the shopping, checking the ingredients on everything and having to reject many interesting prepared dishes, soups, sauces and so on because so many have garlic in, and it's just unecessary as this brilliant recipe illustrates. Now I do the shopping in no time, just buying everything fresh and making every meal from scratch. It takes longer and costs more (the UK is called "rip-off Britan" for a reason) but no reaction, no indigestion, no bad breath, and fresh is best and tastier any day. If you're not keen on peppers, squash etc, try liquidising them. Add a bit of garam masala or HP sauce to dishes about 10 minutes before serving for a tangy taste. I have even made this pasta sauce leaving out the tomatoes and using liquidised baked beans - great way to get children to try new things too.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      HI, I MADE THIS LAST NIGHT---yummy----I am so impressed do you have more sulfite free recipe's? I am so new to this sulfite problem that I cherish all os the recipe s that I can get!

      Thank you


    • cocopreme profile imageAUTHOR

      Candace Bacon 

      6 years ago from Far, far away

      peachpurple - Sounds yummy! And the veggies are super healthy. Thanks!

    • peachpurple profile image


      7 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      wonderful recipe. I like to eat pasta with tomato paste from Prego. Tasty even without using garlic and onions. Just simmer the tomato paste with some water and add in the vegetables. Gonna try your recipe. Voted up

    • cocopreme profile imageAUTHOR

      Candace Bacon 

      7 years ago from Far, far away

      Jen Bogle - Interesting. It must be in the "spices" or "natural flavoring" that is listed in the ingredients. It is still a very small amount, though. It is less than 2%, so only people who are very sensitive to it would have a problem.

    • profile image

      Jen Bogle 

      7 years ago

      Hunts tomato sauce and ketchup both have garlic. Their rep and wrote me back to confirm.

    • cocopreme profile imageAUTHOR

      Candace Bacon 

      7 years ago from Far, far away

      mommymaya - Garlic and onions do seem to be in most italian foods. The trouble is that they do give many people digestive trouble. Hope you enjoy the recipe so you won't have to miss out on red sauce any more.

    • mommymaya profile image


      7 years ago from Arkansas

      This is great! I would never have thought to omit the garlic and onions because you tend to think it's the "base" of the sauce but my husband and I both have a hard time digesting them so we stay away from red pasta sauces. I'm so excited to try this recipe!!

    • cocopreme profile imageAUTHOR

      Candace Bacon 

      7 years ago from Far, far away

      Singharibol - Hope you find the sauce flavorful. May your meditations be more peaceful!

      Alecia Murphy - I completely understand about reflux. Hopefully you will find that you can enjoy sauce again when you don't have to worry about it biting you later.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 

      7 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I don't go without onions and garlic by choice. But acid reflux has my number and I have to face facts. That's why I can't say how awesome it is to find a recipe that is still flavorful and tasty.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you! Can't wait to try this. A diet without garlic and onions is good for meditation. I'm trying to give up these spices as an aspiring Vaisnava devotee but never could figure out how to get pasta sauce to taste as flavorful

    • cocopreme profile imageAUTHOR

      Candace Bacon 

      7 years ago from Far, far away

      randomcreative - This can definitely be customized according to taste. Thanks!

      Nettlemere - Onions can be a pain to cut. Thank you!

      wonderwriter11 - Thanks so much!

    • wonderwriter11 profile image


      7 years ago from New Jersey

      Great Hub! I will have to implement this recipe into my cooking arsenal. Thanks for sharing!

      Take it easy.

    • Nettlemere profile image


      8 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      I like the idea of this - even though I like cooked onions, I find them a hassle to use what with trying to avoid eyes watering etc, so I can see myself using this recipe as a good alternative.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      8 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks for the great recipe and ingredient options! It's great to have a recipe that is to versatile and customizable.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)