Bolognese is often seen as the ultimate comfort food, but of course, is not traditionally vegan friendly.
Thanks to modern meat substitutes and whole food stand-ins like lentils and mushrooms, we say ‘forget you tradition’, and can make a hearty alternative with no animal cruelty involved!
Check your pantry, choose your favorite protein, and let’s get cooking with our favorite easy vegan Bolognese recipes.
1. Vegan Bolognese by School Night Vegan
Italian readers may bristle at the inclusion of tomato in this Bolognese; however, this delicious sauce is quick and easy to prepare. A great work or school night dish, the recipe adds tomato to the traditional sofrito base and uses whatever vegan meat substitute you prefer.
The recipe uses Worcestershire sauce to create a rich, smoky flavor. Just make sure you let the sauce simmer long enough so the liquid from the tomatoes cooks out and the Bolognese becomes thick and hearty.
The sauce cooks up in less than an hour and utilizes ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Many delicious vegan meat substitutes are on the market to give your Bolognese the signature beef texture. This recipe is hearty and filling – a real comfort meal.
2. 10- Ingredient Lentil Bolognese by Rainbow Plant Life
This recipe is perfect for you if you don’t have cotton-to-meat substitutes. Walnuts and lentils provide a rich texture and fiber component to the sauce. The Bolognese uses simple, cost-effective ingredients. If you have an hour, these staple ingredients make a thick, authentic-tasting sauce.
Allow 55 minutes from start to finish for cooking the Bolognese. The sauce spends 45 minutes simmering, so you can fold some laundry to take your mind off your rumbling tummy.
The recipe is adaptable. If you don’t have walnuts, substitute a different nut. This sauce is not limited to pasta; the chef recommends using the Bolognese as sloppy Joe filler or a nacho topping.
3. Favorite Vegan Bolognese by Nora Cooks
Have some extra jarred marinara sitting around the house? This recipe uses it up in a simple but delicious sauce. Tofu provides the protein in this Bolognese. You’ll need to crumble and bake the tofu before preparing the sauce, but even that requires little monitoring.
This recipe cooks up very quickly and easily. With only eight ingredients and seven steps, the Bolognese is a great choice for beginner chefs. With the possible exception of smoked paprika, the ingredients are staples nearly every college student keeps on hand.
The jarred sauce assist makes this Bolognese an excellent and nutritious last-minute choice.
4. Vegan Bolognese by Cooking With Ayeh
We’ve used lentils, meat substitutes, and tofu for our Bolognese, but now it is the mushroom’s time to shine. Ayeh’s recipe uses carefully seasoned fungi to lend the sauce a meaty texture and flavor.
This recipe takes a little longer, but don’t worry; only ten minutes of the one-hour cook time involve preparation; the remainder is dedicated to simmering.
This Bolognese involves a bit more artistry but remains relatively simple. The sauce uses both lentils and mushrooms as a protein sources. However, the multitude of spices is the real secret weapon.
This recipe uses cloves, turmeric, nutmeg, and oregano to achieve its full, dimensional flavor, making it a unique and delicious twist on the classic dish.
5. The Best Vegan Bolognese Sauce by The Cheeky Chickpea
The best vegan bolognese is a strong and unverifiable claim. However, the ingredients used in this recipe guarantee a delicious sauce.
This recipe is designed for adaptability. Some of the components are a bit more obscure, but you can switch many of them out for pantry items you already have on hand. For example, the recipe calls for white wine, but Verna-the titular cheeky chickpea-assures us that red wine is also acceptable.
The dish calls for whatever meat substitute speaks to you; you can use Beyond Meat, lentils, tofu, or any other vegan meat stand-in.
Check your ingredient before you begin cooking; this recipe calls for liquid smoke, nutritional yeast, and fennel-not standard kitchen fare. This recipe takes a little extra time, at one hour and fifteen minutes.
6. Easy Vegan Bolognese by Alphafoodie
This basic bolognese cause is as easy to make as the name promises. A great recipe for beginner chefs wanting to make something a bit more advanced than jarred sauce over pasta, this dish uses simple ingredients to craft a delicious and flavorful bolognese.
Though the Alphafoodie prefers soy crumbles, any protein works in the dish. Use anything from lentils to mushrooms; just remember the textures will vary.
This recipe cooks up quickly and involves a lot of simmering and sauteing. Allow at least 25 minutes, though the longer you allow a bolognese to cook, the more flavorful it becomes. You probably already have the ingredients for this sauce, the most obscure of which is smoked paprika. This Bolognese is a perfect last-minute dinner choice.
7. Vegan Bolognese Sauce by Vegan Huggs
This recipe adapts Gordon Ramsay’s bolognese recipe. With that kind of pedigree, you know it is delicious.
Melissa Huggins substitutes a walnut, mushroom, grated carrot, and onion mince for the ground meat in the recipe.
Most of the dish’s ingredients are standard; however, the Bolognese also calls for nutritional yeast and tamari, neither of which populate most pantries.
The sauce is so rich and full that you won’t miss the meat. The recipe cooks up relatively quickly; however, this sauce is a bit more involved than others on the list. You will have to mince and saute, but the extra work is worth the trouble. Allow 45 minutes from start to finish for the complete recipe.
8. Chickpea Walnut Vegan Bolognese by Veggie Inspired
The chickpea is a utility legume, and finally, in this sauce, it gets to stand in for meat. The chickpeas and walnuts are chopped together to create a hearty, beefy mince, giving the Bolognese the necessary thickness.
This recipe uses pantry staples you probably keep in your lazy susan yearlong. The recipe is basic, which is praise and not criticism. Inexperienced chefs can make the sauce easily and in little time.
In 35 minutes, you can turn some walnuts, chickpeas, spices, and tomatoes into a delicious spaghetti dish. About half of the cooking time is dedicated to preparing the chickpea-walnut mince, so if you’re in a rush, consider using a pre-made meat substitute.
9. Walnut and Lentil Bolognese by The Modern Proper
An old adage advises us to work smarter, not harder, and the Modern Proper’s walnut and lentil bolognese recipe takes that advice to heart.
This sauce uses your favorite jarred marinara as a foundation. Lentils and walnuts comprise the protein element of the dish, enriching the sauce with a rich, meaty flavor and texture.
The recipe takes something you already like and adds seasonings and wines to create a new and flavorful experience. The Bolognese takes about 55 minutes to make, but the majority of that cooking time is dedicated to simmering. Throw the ingredients into a pot, watch an episode of Parks and Recreation, and before you know it, it’s dinner time.
This recipe doesn’t call for any unusual ingredients, so you won’t need to make a grocery run before cooking.
10. Vegan Bolognese with Impossible Meat by The Carrot Underground
Impossible meat is having a moment with vegans and carnivores alike. The delicious protein effectively simulates the flavor and texture of beef, satisfying every taste.
This Bolognese uses Impossible Meat to build the texture of the sauce and to give it a full, meaty flavor.
The sauce is chock full of veggies, including diced carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms, and bell peppers. If you have the requisite veggies, you probably have the rest of the ingredients for the Bolognese. Basic pantry staples round out the recipe.
You can use any other meat substitute if you’re not fond of Impossible Meat. The whole dish comes together in about 20 minutes, making it a perfect choice when you’re hungry and exhausted after a long work day.
11. The Very Best Vegan Bolognese by Lowly Food
Hugo of Lowly Food ups the ante on the best vegan bolognese by promising the very best. This interpretation of the Italian classic substitutes mushrooms and walnuts for the meat of the classic.
Lowly Foods alleges their Bolognese is better than the original, and with the impressive array of vegetables and seasonings, it just may surpass its inspiration. The sauce combines simple ingredients into something unique and delicious.
While the recipe requires a certain amount of dicing and sauteing, forty minutes of the one-hour cook time is dedicated to simmering, so you’ll have time to read a chapter or two of a book while you’re waiting for the dish to finish.
12. Ultimate Vegan Bolognese Sauce by The Wanderlust Kitchen
We’ve looked at the best and the very best vegan bolognese recipes, and now it’s time to discuss this ultimate recipe. As you might expect from such an exalted claim, this dish requires considerable time and some unusual ingredients. However, if you’re looking for a special dish for a winter’s date night, this is the sauce for you.
This Bolognese uses mushrooms, walnuts, and TVP mince to recreate the tastes and textures traditionally provided by meat. TVP-or textured vegetable protein-simulates the flavor of ground beef and must be purchased from a specialty store.
The recipe additionally calls for miso, nutritional yeast, agar powder, and oat milk. These ingredients are not standard in most kitchens, so reserve this recipe for a night after you’ve shopped.
The dish takes two hours and five minutes to make. However, a batch produces a considerable quantity of sauce that you can freeze and save for later eating.
13. Best Vegan Mushroom Bolognese Sauce by Running on Real Food
Some nights you want a hearty meal, even though you don’t have the time or energy to commit to elaborate cuisine. This recipe is ideal for a night when you want a dish that tastes like you put in more effort than you did.
Deryn’s recipe replaces ground beef with a mixture of celery, garlic, carrots, onions, and mushrooms, so not only will you recreate the meat experience, you’ll get lots of veggies in each serving.
All of the ingredients are amateur chef-friendly, so you won’t have to make a special trip to the grocery store. Between preparation and cooking time, the dish takes 35 minutes to complete, 25 of which are for simmering.
14. The Best Hearty Vegan Bolognese by Creative Nourish
The best things in life are simple, and this bolognese recipe is no exception. The dish uses simple, straightforward ingredients to craft a thick and nourishing sauce.
This Bolognese replicates meat using lentils and mushrooms. The sauce is rich and hearty; it will fill you up on a cold winter’s evening.
The Bolognese is simple; it uses everyday ingredients to whip up a rapid cooking sauce. This recipe uses a slew of herbs and spices to add flavor and dimension. Basil, oregano, Italian herbs, and chili flakes blend to make the perfect sauce. The Bolognese only needs 30 minutes to cook and is ideal for a healthy weeknight dinner.
15. Vegan Bolognese Sauce With Cauliflower and Walnuts by Shane & Simple
Cauliflower isn’t the most exciting ingredient. The vegetable is mild, which makes it dull as a main dish. However, cauliflower’s blandness makes it a perfect companion for more robust flavors.
Shane & Simple’s bolognese recipe weaponizes cauliflower’s mild flavor to create a perfect meat substitute. The recipe makes a ground beef replacement from a combination of cauliflower, walnuts, mushroom, nutritional yeast, spices, and vinegar.
In addition to this base, the Bolognese uses a semi-sweet marinara sauce. The completed dish is hearty, filling, healthy and nourishing.
The recipe takes a bit longer than many other dishes on this list because you’re making the meat substitute from scratch. However, only 15 of the necessary 55 minutes are used for preparation, leaving 40 minutes for you to do some yoga and clear your mind for dinner.
Easy Vegan Bolognese Recipes, Final Thoughts
With these easy vegan Bolognese recipes, giving up meat and dairy doesn’t mean giving up Bolognese. Though the dish traditionally relies heavily on ground beef, modern cooks have found multiple protein substitutes. Everything from mushrooms to walnuts to Impossible Meat fulfills the role meat usually plays in Bolognese. The dish uses simple, straightforward ingredients most cooks already have in their pantries. Many of the recipes cook up quickly. Bolognese is adaptable, allowing for substitution and different cooking times. Grab some vegan parmesan cheese and indulge in a hearty, meat-free dinner.