Low Acid (GERD Friendly) Tomato Sauce



Serving size

1/2 cup (makes 6 cups)
3+ hours (freezes well; make a double batch!)

Keeps well in the fridge for about 4 – 5 days.

Low Acid (GERD Friendly) Tomato Sauce


1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 small White onions (diced)
6 clove Garlic, raw (minced)
4 15-ounce can No salt added diced tomatoes
3 cup Water
1 1/2 tsp. Baking soda


Place the oil in a large stock-pot and heat over a medium-high heat.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion.

Cook gently for about 5 minutes. Do not allow the onion to turn brown.

Add the garlic and cook for about ten minutes, until they are translucent.

Stir frequently and do not allow the garlic or onions to brown.

Add the tomatoes and water and reduce the heat to low.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are soft - about 3 hours.

Remove from heat and let cool for at least 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the baking soda half a teaspoon at a time. The sauce will bubble each time you add the baking soda; stir and allow the sauce to settle before adding more. Adding it all at once may make the sauce bubble over!

Stir about every 5 minutes until the sauce no longer bubbles.


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GERD / Acid Reflux

The onions and garlic are often triggers, but the length of cooking renders them safe for many. This sauce has a neutral pH so it should be safe for those with GERD (Acid Reflux).


This recipe is safe for those who are lactose intolerant.

Coumadin® (Warfarin)

This recipe is safe for Coumadin (warfarin) users.

Gluten Sensitivity

This recipe is safe for those who are sensitive to gluten.


This is a low sodium recipe.

Recipe Notes

There is a lot of information on the Internet about reducing acid in tomato sauce, and I couldn’t substantiate any of it. For instance, one site said to remove the seeds and skin, but my tests showed no change in acidity. There was a case for cooking tomatoes for a short time, cooking them for a long time, using overripe and under-ripe tomatoes.

The only way to make the sauce acid neutral is to use just a little bit of baking soda. Too much and it will taste soapy. Notice that there is no need to add salt – there’s enough in the baking soda.

While the garlic and onions are usually considered triggers, the length of cooking in this recipe (over 3 hours) softens their flavors, and for many this renders these ingredients safe.

This sauce deliberately does not use spices. Try adding your favorite spices one at a time to see if they trigger your GERD. The oils in fresh herbs like basil or oregano can be GERD triggers, so you might want to use dried herbs instead.

"That's a speecy, spicy sauce..."

1970s Alka Seltzer television commercial