vegan bolognese

vegan bolognese_hot for food

Has anyone dubbed fall as PASTA SEASON yet? I love me a summery mac salad or chicken noodle soup in the middle of December, but something about eating noodz during autumn just seems right. Maybe cause pasta is the epitome of comfort food?! I dunno. But let’s take advantage of cozy season and use it as an excuse to carb the f*** up, mmmkay?! This vegan bolognese is gonna knock your socks off.

Last week I kicked things off Thanksgiving style! It was a tasty as hell tortellini that’s loaded with mushroom stuffing and a dreamy brown butter sauce. No need to thank me twice! So this week, I thought I’d stick to the basics and bring you the best vegan bolognese of your life. I’m pretty blown away that I haven’t released this recipe sooner, but the day has come – and ohhh boy, was it ever worth the wait.

The best part is that the “meatiness” of this vegan bolognese comes from none other than veggies. No tofu or soy in this recipe! Just good ol’ veggies cooked with a whole lotta love. (But don’t think that means you won’t be stuffed when you’re done!). Okay, let’s get into the recipe!

vegan bolognese original recipe hot for food

vegan bolognese_hot for food
3.85 from 40 votes
Print Recipe

vegan bolognese

This tasty, hearty bolognese is made entirely from plants and makes a great dinner for meatless Monday!

Course dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword bolognese, vegan meat sauce, vegan pasta
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 to 6 servings
Author Lauren Toyota


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk roughly chopped
  • 16oz / 454g whole creminin/baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 zucchini, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic (about 3 garlic cloves)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 C tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp vegan beef-flavored bouillon base or mushroom base
  • 1/2 C unsweetened soy or cashew milk
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 16oz / 454 g pappardelle pasta
  • 1 C reserved pasta water
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 C vegan parmesan shreds, divided
  • fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • fresh parsley, as garnish


  1. In a large food processor add onion, carrots and celery. Pulse blend until minced and set aside in a bowl. You should have about 2 to 2 ¼ cups of this mixture.

  2. Using the same food processor, add mushrooms and zucchini. Pulse blend until finely minced and set aside in another bowl. You should have about 4 to 4 1/2 cups of this mixture.

  3. In a large cast iron pan or dutch oven over medium heat, add extra virgin olive oil and the onion, carrot and celery mixture. Sauté for about 5 minutes until shrunken by half. Add garlic and sea salt cook for another minute. Add the mushroom and zucchini mixture and cook for 15 to 18 minutes until it looks more brown than grey or green and is reduced by at least half and most of the water has been cooked out.

  4. Add the tomato paste and vegan beef-flavored bouillon base and cook for 4 to 5 more minutes until it starts to caramelize.  If you wanted to add a splash of red wine you can do that here and just let it cook a little longer to reduce if needed.

  5. Add soy or cashew milk and balsamic vinegar and deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for another 10 minutes or so while your pasta cooks.

  6. Meanwhile, boil a large pot of salted water and cook pasta to al dente. Then add 1 cup of pasta water, vegan butter and a 1/2 cup vegan parmesan shreds to the sauce mixture. Stir to combine and cook until the cheese us mostly melted. Then add the cooked pasta into the sauce, stirring to coat it well and heat through.

  7. Serve the bolognese topped with the rest of the vegan parmesan, fresh cracked black pepper, and fresh parsley as a garnish.

Recipe Notes

You can substitute the vegan beef-flavored or mushroom base with 2 cubes of vegetable bouillon or 1 tablespoon of vegan worcestershire.

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5 thoughts on “vegan bolognese”

  1. SO great. I didn’t have the beef base so I used vegetable bullion. I also didn’t use celery or the vegan parm + used a regular box of barilla gemelli. ALSO didn’t have a food processor so I fought with my blender for a few hours to get anything minced up. Either way – the end result was worth it!! It’s such a yummy and flavorful dish and full of veggies ! Super filling too.

  2. Which brand of pappardelle do you use? Having trouble finding a vegan one.

    I’m really enjoying the new cookbook btw!

  3. Impeccable recipe!! I was concerned when I came to re-make this and saw it had a rating of only 3.8. It appears to be technological, one person asked a question but definitely didn’t give 0 stars. Moral of the story, this is truly fantastic and everyone should make it!!

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