Closeup of one bite of Chicken Puttanesca Pasta (AIP/Paleo). There is a slice of mushroom, some chicken, and one tube of penne pasta, slathered in red sauce.

Chicken Puttanesca Pasta (AIP/Paleo)

This allergy friendly Chicken Puttanesca Pasta (AIP/Paleo) contains no tomatoes (or other nightshades)! Try it on cassava pasta, sweet potato noodles, or zoodles.

Flatlay of a bowl of Chicken Puttanesca Pasta, garnished with flat parsley.  There is a cutting board with herbs and capers nearby.
Chicken Puttanesca Pasta (AIP/Paleo) with cassava pasta

Puttanesca (poo-tah-NES-ka) sauce, also called “Harlot’s Sauce,” is usually full of nightshades. As its name implies, it is normally a spicy sauce, traditionally made with tomatoes, etc. For those of us sensitive to nightshades, that is a big ol’ negatory.

There are ways, however, to trick our brains into thinking that we are eating tomato sauce. Color and acidity are key. That’s what I’ve endeavored to do here. I’m going for color, acidity, and the traditional flavors of green olives, capers, and anchovies. (Hey, leave out what you don’t like. It’s your dinner!)

Alcohol in AIP cooking

You will see that there is red wine in this recipe. Please do not freak out. Wine is ok in an AIP recipe if it is cooked off, which it is here. If you feel twitchy about cooking with wine, leave it out. The red wine vinegar should yield enough acidity to suit our purposes.

Closeup of one bite of Chicken Puttanesca Pasta (AIP/Paleo). There is a slice of mushroom, some chicken, and one tube of penne pasta, slathered in red sauce.
Here! Have a bite! 😀

Other tomato-less dishes

I have two other recipes for tomato-less pasta sauces! Try my AIP Spaghetti Sauce (TOTALLY legit!), and my Amatriciana Sauce, a tomato-like sauce with bacon and onions. These sauces, including Puttanesca, can go atop zoodles, spaghetti squash, Jovial cassava pasta and sweet potato glass noodles.

Here’s hoping you find ways to enjoy a nightshade-free life, fellow AIPers! Wishing you great love and deep healing.



Chicken Puttanesca Pasta (AIP/Paleo)

Recipe by Wendi’s AIP Kitchen – Course: MainCuisine: AIP, Paleo, ItalianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time



This Chicken Puttanesca Pasta (AIP/Paleo) has no tomatoes, or any other nightshades in it. It must be tasted to be believed!


  • 2 TBSP 2 extra virgin olive oil

  • 1.5 lbs. 1.5 chicken tenderloins, cut into 1″ pieces

  • 1 cup 1 chopped onions

  • 6 6 large cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 red wine*

  • 15-oz. can 15-oz. can organic pumpkin purée

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 grated beets

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 bone broth

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 grated carrots

  • 2 TBSP 2 dried oregano

  • 2 TBSP 2 dried basil

  • 2 TBSP 2 red wine vinegar

  • 8 ozs. 8 sliced white mushrooms

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 sliced green olives, or other desired olives

  • 2 TBSP 2 capers

  • 2-3 2-3 anchovies

  • Sea salt, to taste (I use 1 tsp.)

  • Italian parsley for garnish (optional)


  • In a large skillet or chef’s pan, heat olive oil. Add chicken and onions. Sauté until chicken is no longer pink. Add garlic, and sauté for about 30 seconds. Turn heat to high. Add wine, and stir until wine has evaporated. (Color will remain.)
  • Turn heat to medium low. Add pumpkin, beet, broth, carrots, oregano, basil and vinegar. Cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add mushrooms, olives, capers and anchovies. Cover, and simmer for 15 more minutes. Taste for salt, and add to taste. (Note: this will depend on the broth you are using, and your unique tastes. I use 1 teaspoon. I suggest adding in 1/2 teaspoonful at a time until you reach desired saltiness.)
  • Serve over Jovial cassava pasta, zoodles, spaghetti squash, or sweet potato glass noodles. (Note: cassava pasta tends to soak up a lot of flavor. You may wish to “over salt,” in this case.)


  • *Wine is allowed in AIP cooking, if it is cooked off.

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Chicken Puttanesca Pasta Pin


  1. This looks very good and I am planning on making it tonight. I have never used anchovies before. The recipe calls for 2-3. Do they go in whole or do I chop them up first, so they get distributed throughout the dish? I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    • Hi, Cathy! I love questions like these. I applaud you for trying something new! Anchovies come in a tin as small, thin filets. You’ll use 2-3 of them. Throw ’em in whole. They are delicate, and will break up as they cook. Pro tip: place the rest of the tin in a zip top bag, and freeze them. That way, you will have some if you decide to make it again sometime. Or for Caesar dressing! Since they are packed in olive oil, they will thaw quickly the next time you want to snatch a couple out of the tin. I’m here if you need me!

  2. Thanks for the tip(s). Haha! You read my mind about what to do with the leftover anchovies. Glad to know they are easy to save. I have a tin in my pantry that I bought because I saw them in another recipe. Maybe someday I will remember what it was for!

  3. Cathy Harvey

    Hi Wendi, I finally made the dish and my son and I really enjoyed it. We like tangy foods and this was great. My husband has a great dislike for olives, so he tolerated it, but it will not go on his favorites. I put mine on hearts of palm pasta and it was great fun to enjoy an Italian-y pasta meal.

  4. Hearts of palm pasta is similar to zoodles in that they have very little flavor of their own and have a slight crunch. But they look like real noodles because they are white. I wish I had taken a picture to send you! The big advantage is that they are shelf stable. I use the one from Trader Joe’s which lists only hearts of palm as an ingredient. I saw them canned at Costco, but they did include ascorbic acid. I don’t know if they are sustainable/eco-friendly, but I will investigate before I buy more.

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