Vegan Bolognese sauce

  • Serves 6
  • Preparation Time 30 minutes
  • Cook 1 Hour 20 Minutes

Spaghetti bolognese is a firm favourite in most households or families A go to dinner where the recipe has been passed down from family or perfected from the constant cooking. I had used the same recipe when cooking a meat-based sauce for many years and at many family dinners.

I wanted the same deep, hearty and tomato-based richness with a vegan sauce too, I didn’t want it compromised in texture or flavour.

This is not a quick recipe, but one to make when you have the time. It is certainly worth it.

There are a few changes you can make if you prefer to make such

  • Replace some of the stock with a vegan red wine
  • If no dried mushrooms then use 200ml of water instead. Though
  • dried mushrooms add so much flavour and keep for quite a while.
  • No vegan or vegetarian cheese, then you could use nutrition yeast

I did not want a lentil-based bolognese sauce, although I like them too and already have one on my site but I wanted to replicate my usual recipe

To replace the meat I have used a combination of mushrooms, walnuts and tvp. I used the product below because it was gluten-free as well. Frozen vegan mince works just as well in this recipe, but I would add it after you have added the tomatoes.


  • I medium brown onion finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 large carrot finely diced
  • 2 finely chopped sticks of celery
  • 75g walnuts
  • 150g chestnut mushrooms
  • 350g TVP (textured vegetable protein or frozen vegan mince)
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • 350ml vegetable stock
  • 120mls cup of passata
  • 1 tbsp Marmite
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste or puree
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 60ml plant-based milk
  • 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast flakes or replace with vegan or vegetarian cheese.
  • freshly ground salt and pepper
  • 25g dried porcini mushroom soaked in 175ml boiling water
Spices and garlic used


  1. Preheat your oven to 150C
  2. In a large deep pan add a tbsp of olive oil or some light spray oil. Once the pan is hot add the onions, celery and carrots.
  3. Saute for 10 minutes or until the veg has softened.
  4. While this is doing place the walnuts in a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped but not a paste, the texture needs to be there still. Next, add the mushrooms and blitz them down very finely.

5. Add the vegan mince and tomato paste to the pan with the softened vegetable and fry off for a few minutes.

6. Next, add a little more oil and add the blitzed walnuts and mushrooms, turn the heat up slightly and cook for another 5 minutes then add the oregano, sage, rosemary, thyme and crushed garlic to the pan and cook for another few minutes and then add the stock

6. Stir in the Marmite, soy sauce, sweet and smoked paprika, balsamic vinegar, tomatoes and the liquid from the dried soaked mushroom, making it up to 200ml, add the chopped soaked mushrooms, Bay leaves and passata.

7. Bring the mixture to a boil and then transfer to the preheated oven leaving it uncovered. Cook for 1 hour and then remove from the oven and stir. Place it back into the oven for another 25-30 minutes.

8. Remove from the oven and stir in the milk and yeast flakes. Taste and generously season with salt and pepper to taste. again.

This makes 5-6 servings, so for me, I can freeze them in individual servings. Toss through your favourite pasta or even a jacket potato with a sprinkling of vegan parmesan cheese.


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