This Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe uses tofu and carrots instead of ground meat. It is super easy to make, delicious, and satisfying! Rich, bold, and savory - Bolognese is a home-cooking classic we all love.
💡 The recipe in a nutshell
- Vegan (eggless and dairy free)
- Easy to make
- Beginner friendly
- Classic home cooking made plant based
- Quick dinner - it's ready in 30 minutes
👩🏽🍳 Beginner Friendly
I love how filling and flavorful this veganized version of a Bolognese is. I’ve been cooking and eating this meal for many years now. In fact, it was the very first vegan meal I prepared and made from scratch myself. If you are new to the vegan diet, I highly recommend you start out with this recipe as a warm dinner.
🇮🇹 Origin and history
If you are ever visiting Italy you will likely not find 'Spaghetti Bolognese' in a restaurant. Why? Bolognese sauce is called 'Ragù alla Bolognese' in Italy. It is a sauce that comes specifically from one region in Italy. It hails from Bologna (as the name may indicate), where it's typically served with tagliatelle instead of spaghetti.
As we know it is a meat-based sauce, but the other traditional ingredients differ from what you may know as typical 'bolognese'. Traditional ingredients include: onion, celery, carrot, different types of minced or finely chopped beef and pork (fat). As well as white wine, milk, and tomato paste or tomatoes. It is simmered gently at length to produce a thick and flavorful sauce. Read more on why you probably won't find 'Spaghetti Bolognese' in Italy here.
💭 Story behind this recipe
My vegan version is based off the sauce my mom used to make for us. It is based off my vegan cooking experience, as well as other Bolognese Sauces I grew up eating in Germany and while traveling around Europe.
I grew up eating Bolognese with Spaghetti Pasta, but as it is not the "traditional way" of eating Bolognese Sauce, feel free to use Tagliatelle (or any other pasta you like to eat). I hope you enjoy this delicious vegan recipe!
Store bolognese sauce in an air tight container, separated from pasta, in the fridge for up to 4 days.
❄️ How to freeze
Store in a freezer-friendly container, without pasta, in your freezer for up to three months. Label with the date of freezing. Thaw in the fridge overnight, or heat up in the microwave or on your stove top for a lazy dinner night.
🥘 More dinner ideas
Are you looking for more Italian-style dinner ideas? Try this creamy vegan chick'n Alfredo recipe. It is healthy and indulgent! Or how about some vegan lasagna? For more meal ideas browse our recipe page.
Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe (easy & quick)
- 200 g spaghetti, or other pasta of choice (7 oz)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 chopped red onion
- 3 chopped carrots
- 1 block extra firm tofu (16 oz / 550g)
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon paprika powder
- 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon tamari, or soy sauce
- 120 ml vegetable broth (½ cup)
- 1 can tomato sauce, no salt added (15 oz / 425g)
- 120 ml vegan red wine, the wine is optional and can be left out if desired (½ cup)
- 1 teaspoon agave syrup
- Some freshly chopped basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Optional toppings: more chopped basil, vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast flakes
- Drain Tofu. Take Tofu out of its package and drain it. Place in your tofu press. Alternatively, cover the tofu with kitchen towels and place a weight, like books, onto it. Let it drain while you prepare your vegetables.
- Wash and prepare your vegetables. Chop onion, carrots, and garlic into small pieces. Quick chopping: add everything to your food processor and pulse several times until everything is chopped. Gather the rest of your ingredients, so you have everything handy while cooking.
- Drain tofu press and take your tofu out. With a fork, or your hands, crumble tofu into a bowl. Heat oil in a pan. Once hot sautée onion and add carrots. Fry for 2 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add tofu and garlic. Fry for 5 minutes and stir frequently. Once the tofu is slightly browned and vegetables softened add seasonings. Deglaze with tamari (or soy sauce) and vegetable broth. Mix and let simmer for a minute or two.
- Add tomato sauce, agave syrup, and stir well. If you’re adding wine, pour it in now. Let simmer for a couple more minutes, or until sauce has reached desired thickness. If you added wine, simmer sauce uncovered at least for another 15-20 minutes. Then add freshly chopped basil. Cook pasta in a separate pot according to package instructions. Serve hot & top with more basil, vegan parmesan, or nutritional yeast if desired. Enjoy!
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