How to Make Vegan Bolognese Sauce

How to Make Vegan Bolognese Sauce

Bolognese sauce is a traditional meat-based sauce in Italian cuisine used to dress different types of pasta. Even though the original recipe includes ground or finely chopped beef, there are other options for people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.

5-Minute Crafts has compiled 3 ways to prepare a plant-based version of this delicious sauce.

1. Mushroom and walnut bolognese sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 3 1/2 cups of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups of chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup of finely ground walnuts
  • 1/2 onion, grated
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 2 tsp of Italian seasoning (oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary)
  • Pepper
  • Salt

Instructions:

  1. Pour oil into a pan with high sides and pre-heat until hot and shimmering. Add the chopped mushrooms and sauté until they release almost all their moisture, are slightly brown, and are reduced in size.
  2. Incorporate the onions, garlic, and carrots. Stir-fry until fully cooked. Then make a hole in the middle of the mixture and pour in the tomato paste. It must touch the hot surface of the pan. Cook for 30 seconds and mix it with the vegetables.
  3. Add soy sauce and Italian seasoning and stir for 1 minute. Combine the crushed tomatoes and walnuts. Reduce the heat and cook for about 15 minutes until the mixture thickens.
  4. If you want a more intense flavor, cook for a bit longer. Add pepper and salt to taste. Finally, let the bolognese sauce sit for a few minutes before serving.

2. Red lentil bolognese sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 cup of soaked red lentils
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1 tube of tomato paste (5.3 ounces)
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup of crushed almonds
  • 2 1/2 cups of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • Pepper
  • Salt

Instructions:

1. Heat a large deep pan at medium-high heat. Pour the olive oil in and once its hot, add the onions with a pinch of salt. Stir until they are light brown. Add a tablespoon of water to prevent the onions from burning.

2. Once the onions are soft and golden brown, add the garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir constantly and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Incorporate the tomato paste and cook for about 3 minutes until it becomes a darker red. Keep on stirring to avoid sticking.

4. Pour the vegetable broth into the pan and combine with the other ingredients thoroughly. Do it little by little to prevent too much steam.

5. Add the lentils and almonds, and stir to mix. Cook until boiling and reduce the heat to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

6. Add the diced tomatoes and simmer for another 20 minutes, or until the lentils are soft and tender. Keep on stirring to prevent burning.

7. Finally, pour in the balsamic vinegar and stir to combine. Let the bolognese sauce sit for a few minutes and serve while it’s still hot.

3. Tofu bolognese sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup of firm tofu
  • 2 cups of crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup of vegetable broth
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 minced garlic gloves
  • 3/4 cup of diced carrots
  • 3/4 cup of diced celery
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of dried oregano
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • Pepper
  • Salt

Instructions:

  1. Squeeze the tofu to release moisture and crumble it into small pieces. Heat a deep pan with olive oil and sauté the tofu until it’s golden brown and crisp.
  2. Incorporate the onions, celery, and carrots and cook until the onions seem translucent. Stir frequently to avoid burning. Then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir until thoroughly mixed, then season with oregano, salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Simmer for 20 minutes at medium heat until the sauce thickens.
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