Ultimate Vegan Bolognese Sauce

This is my best-ever Ultimate Vegan Bolognese Sauce recipe. Once you try it you’ll agree: it hits the spot every time!

This vegan bolognese sauce is perfect for Date Night! This is my best vegan bolognese sauce!

When my husband is craving something hearty and delicious, he’s more likely to request a pasta bolognese than to seek out a savory stew. 

Now, it’s not always easy to create plant-based versions of his favorite foods.

After careful deliberation and testing, I’m happy to present my best-ever vegan bolognese sauce.  By the way, this is also the best ever vegetarian bolognese recipe.

Ultimate Vegan Bolognese Sauce! Hits the spot every time. This is my best vegan bolognese recipe!

This bolognese vegan sauce is thick, savory, and just the tiniest bit sweet.

The texture is crumbly and silky, just as it should be. 

This recipe not only makes a great pasta sauce, it also makes this delicious Vegan Lasagna.

Perfect vegan bolognese sauce!

Vegan Bolognese Sauce: The Details

To replace the meat, I used a mixture of mushrooms, ground walnuts, and textured soy protein. 

I’ve seen more than one lentil bolognese recipe, but for me that texture just isn’t right. 

Mushroom walnut bases for vegan bolognese

I used to be a bit sketched out by TSP (or TVP as it is sometimes called). I don’t know why, and now I use it all the time. It’s also great as taco ‘meat’, and it’s even gluten free. 

I use this brand which is my very favorite.

To achieve the lusciously thick texture of the sauce I used olive oil and agar powder instead of butter.

Thick and hearty Vegan Bolognese Sauce - the ultimate recipe!

For extra umami flavor I added miso paste and used soy sauce instead of salt. 

As a vegetarian, I was tempted to keep the traditional parmesan cheese and milk in this sauce. If you consume dairy products, by all means swap these into the sauce for an awesome vegetarian bolognese sauce.

Instead, I tried using nutritional yeast and oat milk.

I’m super pleased with the results: a delicious vegan bolognese anyone would be happy to eat!

Best Ever Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce

Like a traditional bolognese, there’s surprisingly little tomato in this recipe. Instead, lots of celery, carrot, and onion are slowly cooked down into a robust sauce. 

Of course, there’s also plenty of red wine in there, too. Be sure to read my post on vegetarian food and wine pairings if you want to make sure your wine isn’t made with animal products.

My very favorite vegan bolognese sauce recipe - just trust me, MAKE THIS!

Now, this isn’t a twenty-minute recipe you can whip up on a whim. This is more of a weekend recipe. 

I recommend making it on a lazy Sunday. Ideally, you should spend the day reading and inhaling the delicious aroma of the simmering sauce.

This recipe makes a decent-sized batch, so you can always freeze the leftovers and serve it up for an impromptu date-night. 

Best Ever Vegan Bolognese Sauce Recipe!

How to Make Vegan Bolognese Sauce

Here is the process for this recipe.

Look at that photo of ingredients, now you know why this is a weekend recipe.

This is my best-ever Ultimate Vegan Bolognese Sauce recipe. Once you try it you'll agree: it hits the spot every time!

Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven. Once the oil is hot, add the carrots, onions, and celery. Saute for 10 minutes, until softened.This is my best-ever Ultimate Veggie Bolognese Sauce recipe. Once you try it you'll agree: it hits the spot every time!

Meanwhile, place the walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse into coarse pieces.

This is my best-ever Ultimate Veggie Bolognese recipe. Once you try it you'll agree: it hits the spot every time!

Add the mushrooms. 

This is my best-ever Ultimate Vegetable Bolognese Sauce recipe. Once you try it you'll agree: it hits the spot every time!

Continue to pulse until the consistency of the mixture resembles the photo below.

This is my best-ever Ultimate Veggie Bolognese Sauce recipe. Once you try it you'll agree: it hits the spot every time!

Once the vegetables on the stove are soft, add the dry TVP and mix well. Cook for 3 minutes to allow the TVP to toast and absorb the oil.

This is my best-ever Ultimate TVP Bolognese Sauce recipe. Once you try it you'll agree: it hits the spot every time!

Add another two tablespoons of oil to the pan along with the walnut and mushroom mixture. Turn the heat up to medium-high and brown for 5 minutes.

This is my best-ever Ultimate Meatless Bolognese Sauce recipe. Once you try it you'll agree: it hits the spot every time!

Add the oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and garlic to the pan. Cook for a few minutes until the spices are fragrant.

This is my best-ever Ultimate Bolognese Vegetarian Sauce recipe. Once you try it you'll agree: it hits the spot every time!

Next, add the red wine. Reduce for 5 minutes.

This is my best-ever Ultimate Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce recipe. Once you try it you'll agree: it hits the spot every time!

Stir in the miso, soy, sweet and smoked paprikas, and agar powder.

This is my best-ever Ultimate Bolognese Sauce Vegetarian recipe. Once you try it you'll agree: it hits the spot every time!

Add the canned tomatoes along with 1/2 a can of water, the balsamic vinegar, and bay leaves. Once the mixture boils, transfer it to the preheated oven. Cook, uncovered, for 60 minutes. Stir well and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes.

This is my best-ever Ultimate Vegan Meat Sauce recipe. Once you try it you'll agree: it hits the spot every time!

Add the nutritional yeast followed by the oat milk. Taste and season generously with black pepper and salt to taste. 

This is my best-ever Ultimate Veg Bolognese Sauce recipe. Once you try it you'll agree: it hits the spot every time!

Serve with freshly cooked plant-based pasta.

Yes, please! Truly the best EVER Vegan Pasta Bolognese Recipe

I have to admit, I had to do a bit of googling when naming this recipe. We use the word ‘bolognese’ all the time in our house, but I rarely see it spelled out. 

It occurred to me that it might be spelled ‘bolognaise’, which I found out is a very common misspelling. In case you were also wondering, the proper Italian spelling is, in fact, ‘bolognese.’

Either way, it’s absolutely delicious!

Best Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce recipe. Once you try it you'll agree: it hits the spot every time!

Don’t forget to save this recipe as a dinner idea on Pinterest!

This is my best-ever Ultimate Plant Based Bolognese Sauce recipe. Once you try it you'll agree: it hits the spot every time!

Here’s the Vegan Bolognese Recipe!

This vegan bolognese sauce is perfect for Date Night!

Ultimate Vegan Bolognese Sauce

Want to make the ultimate Vegan Bolognese Sauce? Look no further! Walnuts, mushrooms, and soy protein give this sauce the perfect texture.

Yield: 6 cups
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium carrot, finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 2 ounces raw walnuts
  • 3 cups raw mushrooms, halved (about 10-12 cremini)
  • 3/4 cup TVP mince (dry)
  • Herbs: 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme , 1/4 teaspoon dried sage, 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon white miso
  • 1 tablespoon regular soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon agar powder
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup oat milk (or other non-dairy)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven. Once the oil is hot, add the carrots, onions, and celery. Saute for 10 minutes, until softened.
  3. Meanwhile, place the walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse into coarse pieces. Add the mushrooms and continue to pulse until the consistency of the mixture resembles the photo above.
  4. Once the vegetables on the stove are soft, add the dry TVP and mix well. Cook for 3 minutes to allow the TVP to toast and absorb the oil.
  5. Add another two tablespoons of oil to the pan along with the walnut/mushroom mix. Turn the heat up to medium-high and brown for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and garlic to the pan. Cook for a few minutes until the spice are fragrant, then add the red wine. Reduce for 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in the miso, soy, sweet and smoked paprikas, and agar powder. Add the canned tomatoes along with 1/2 a can of water, the balsamic vinegar, and bay leaves. Once the mixture boils, transfer it to the preheated oven. Cook, uncovered, for 60 minutes. Stir well and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes.
  8. Add the nutritional yeast followed by the oat milk. Taste and season generously with black pepper and salt to taste. Serve with freshly cooked plant-based pasta.

Nutrition

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 361|Total Fat: 22g|Saturated Fat: 4g|Trans Fat: 0g|Unsaturated Fat: 17g|Cholesterol: 17mg|Sodium: 436mg|Carbohydrates: 18g|Fiber: 6g|Sugar: 7g|Protein: 17g|

Nutrition information has been auto-calculated for your convenience.

Did you make this recipe?

Take a picture and tag @thewanderlustkitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #thewanderlustkitchen. We can't wait to see your version!

Please note that this is often misspelled as Vegan Bolonaise Sauce recipe and Vegan Bolognaise Sauce recipe.

March 28, 2019 | Last Updated on January 6, 2021 by Linda

34 thoughts on “Ultimate Vegan Bolognese Sauce”

  1. Greetings from across the pond!

    I just made this and it’s absolutely incredible! Only sub I made was tamari for the soy sauce as my wife is gluten free – otherwise followed the recipe exactly albeit doubled.

    My kids loved it too – even my son who hates “fake meat” dishes (we didn’t tell him it wasn’t a “real” bolognese!).

    Thank you very much – I’ll make this again for sure!

    Reply
  2. This was really really good! Definitely hits that bolognese craving for real. Texture and flavor were super satisfying. And smelled amazing. 10/10 stars, this is going to be a go-to recipe once the weather starts cooling again.

    Reply
  3. Delicious! I used veggie broth and 2tbs of tomatopaste instead of the red wine. Simply because I was too lazy to run to the store. Absolutely loved this recipe, especially the day after! Saved this recipe.and will make more often.

    Reply
    • Hi Patrick,

      The recipe will double just fine if you have very large pots as it makes a large batch already. Yes, you can freeze this in air tight containers and it will still be great when you thaw it out.

      – Linda

      Reply

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