Vegetarian Bolognese recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Pasta
  • Pasta sauce
  • Bolognese

I am so excited to share this recipe with you. I've tried making vegetarian Bolognese many times but never really succeeded. I struggled on and now this recipe is one of my family's favourite meals. So make a big batch and enjoy this Bolognese over a couple of days.

5 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 150g finely chopped mushrooms
  • 100g finely chopped leek
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed chillies
  • coarsely ground black pepper to taste
  • 750g tomato passata, or to taste
  • 175g creme fraiche
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 100g red lentils
  • 3 tablespoons concentrated vegetable stock, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek (chilli paste)

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:45min

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, leek, salt, crushed chillies and pepper; cook and stir until mushrooms are soft, 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Stir tomato passata, creme fraiche, carrots, red lentils, vegetable stock and sambal oelek into the saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until flavours combine, about 20 minutes.


Add a little water in step 2 if sauce starts to stick to pan.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(2)

Reviews in English (2)

by Buckwheat Queen

Unfortunately, no one in my house liked this. I thought it was very tasty up until the créme fraiche was added. It overpowered the flavor of everything. Thank you for sharing your recipe with us.-27 Oct 2017

by Abigail

I added a finely chopped onion, sautéed at the beginning before the other veggies went in, also used the whole package (8 ounces) of cream fraiche, and used four cans of fire roasted tomatoes, 2 tbsp italian seasonings, 1 tablespoon oregano and 1/2 tablespoon of thyme. I put in 1.5 cups of vegetable broth, and simmered for almost four hours....-04 Sep 2017

Here’s How to Make Eric Ripert’s Vegetarian Bolognese at Home

Eric Ripert

Eric Ripert's Most Recent Stories

Photo: courtesy of Nigel Parry/Clarkson Potter

Le Bernardin has helped changed the game and expand the possibilities for seafood at restaurants in America. Since 1994, those efforts have been led by chef Eric Ripert, who has led the kitchen to three Michelin stars and to become one of the most influential restaurants of the last three decades. Starting in 2016, Ripert has taken his impeccable technique and applied it to a vegetarian tasting menu at Le Bernardin as well, which now serves dishes like artichoke with vegetable risotto and a carrot sorbet with beet caramel and walnut nougatine.

Related Stories

And this week he took his affinity for cooking vegetables one step further, releasing his new cookbook&mdashaptly called Vegetable Simple&mdashthat’s entirely devoted to produce preparation. To commemorate its release, Ripert has shared a recipe from the book for a vegetarian twist on Bolognese that uses mushrooms instead of meat. In conjunction with the release of Vegetable Simple, Ripert is offering a vegetable tasting menu featuring recipes from the book that will be available at Aldo Sohm Wine Bar in New York City.

Some evenings, there is nothing more satisfying than a warm bowl of Bolognese. The flavor and texture of this recipe rival that of &ldquoreal Bolognese&rdquo and is much lighter, therefore allows second (and third!) helpings.

Recipe Summary

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 (16 ounce) package thin spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 18 ounces marinara sauce
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 12 ounces soy chorizo
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • fine sea salt to taste

Bring about 3 cups lightly salted water to a boil in a medium-sized pot. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add marinara sauce and diced tomatoes and stir. Add soy chorizo and mix until texture is even, 3 to 5 minutes. Add oregano, cayenne pepper, and paprika reduce heat and simmer until pasta has finished cooking, about 8 minutes more. Add basil.

Vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognese

We ate quite a bit of spaghetti growing up. I can remember having it at LEAST once a week. Was this also a family staple in your house?! To this day, we still head over to my Nanna’s house for Sunday dinner and more often than not she has a vat of spaghetti noodles, a batch of tomato sauce, and enough beef meatballs to feed an ARMY! Needless to say, spaghetti is a comfort meal around here. However, I wanted to make my best vegetarian version of a Spaghetti Bolognese.

For the last few months, I have made a really conscious effort to eat less meat and incorporate more vegetables into main dishes. Not only has it been a really fun challenge in the kitchen, but also I just feel so better about what I’m eating when it leans toward vegetarian.

I still have an occasional steak or burger now and then because I’m still human and&hellip American. Plus, I’ve got a beef-loving boyfriend who loves any added meat into a dish. This vegetarian Bolognese is one of those ‘trick’ dishes that I serve up for the two of us as a weeknight dinner. Not only does the whole meal taste so savory and wholesome, most of the time Jared can’t even tell there isn’t meat in the recipe! Talk about a win-win!

The base of this Bolognese is really similar to a meat style. It’s filled with crushed tomatoes, hearty vegetables and fresh basil so the flavor is still all there even though the meat isn’t. We always pair it with spaghetti but I also think it would be FANTASTIC as a lasagna sauce/filling if you’re trying to make a vegetarian lasagna!

The whole meal comes together in just two pots! One, in my Calphalon ceramic nonstick all purpose pan and my Calphalon multi pot! My multi pot literally makes pasta the easiest thing to make EVER. I can even get Jared to help me make dinner sometimes because it loves the easy interior colander basket. It’s the little things isn’t it?!

This Calphalon all-purpose pan is seriously my Swiss army knife of the kitchen. I can make the whole sauce and braise it in the same pan. This baby is like a non-stick braiser! It has higher sides than a normal non-stick but not large enough to feel like you’re lugging it around! We don’t have a dishwasher in our little kitchen so it also cuts are clean up time in half than an ordinary braiser!

Jen's Food Blog

This Vegetarian Bolognese is really tasty and using Quorn mince is a great substitute for meat and something, believe it or not, I hadn’t had before. I have decided recently to be more open to meat & fish substitutes for various reasons and I realised that my lack of understanding why Vegans or Vegetarians would want to eat something that was pretending to be meat/fish was actually a bit ignorant. It totally makes sense if you want to improve the way you eat and subsequently make a difference to the planet but don’t want to lose out on the taste, texture and goodness of food, that you would try more plant-based ingredients!

Anyway I digress, this recipe is comforting and tasty and still quite light. I’d happily have Veggie Bolognese using Quorn over meat again in the future! This dish is also great to batch cook and freeze. Oh and it’s low in calories (453 per portion) and low on fat (10g and 2g saturates) – win win!!

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, very finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 175g frozen Quorn mince
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 250ml passata
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 50ml milk
  • Small bunch basil , chopped
  • 125 dried spaghetti
  • Grated cheese to serve

Method (Approx. 45 mins altogether)

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and gently fry the onion and carrots until the onion is starting to soften. Stir in the garlic and the Quorn (there’s no need to defrost it) and fry for a couple of mins. Add the bay leaf, passata, vegetable stock cube and 100ml water, then bring everything to the boil.
  2. Turn down the heat and simmer for 20 mins or until all the pieces of veg are tender. Add the milk, then cover with a lid and cook for 10 mins. Season to taste. In the mean time cook the spaghetti for 10 – 12 mins. If the sauce is a bit thin, keep bubbling until it thickens.
  3. Stir through the basil. Serve with the spaghetti and grate the cheese over the top, if you like. Can be frozen into portions and reheated.

I hope I’ve inspired some of you to try something a little different with a meat-free bolognese. There’s not too many ingredients either so it’s a great meal to make from scratch.

Let me know your feedback on the recipe and share your comments and photos with me across my social media – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick planks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups chopped yellow onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 (12-ounce) packages plant-based ground &ldquomeat&rdquo
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (preferably no salt added)
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, divided
  • 1 jarred roasted red bell pepper, chopped
  • ¼ chopped fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning, divided
  • Crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ pounds mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 6 cups), divided
  • ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese (about 7 ounces total)
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 fresh (no-boil) lasagna noodles (from an 8.8-ounce package)

Season zucchini slices with remaining 1 tablespoon salt and arrange in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with paper towels. Allow zucchini slices to drain for 30 minutes remove excess salt and moisture with paper towels and pat dry.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic cook, stirring frequently, until onion is tender and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add 1 package plant-based ground meat, and cook, stirring frequently and breaking apart larger pieces into smaller pieces, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer browned &ldquomeat&rdquo to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon and, continue browning the remaining plant-based ground meat in two more batches until all has been browned. Return all browned &ldquomeat to the pot and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper set aside.

Combine crushed tomatoes, 3/4 cup fire-roasted diced tomatoes, and 1/3 cup chopped bell pepper in a food processor and process until completely smooth, about 1 minute. Add tomato mixture, remaining 3/4 cup fire-roasted diced tomatoes, and remaining 1/3 cup chopped bell pepper to pot with meat and stir until well combined. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste (if using). Bring sauce mixture to a boil over medium-high reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is fragrant and slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Stir in chopped basil and set aside.

Drain thawed spinach in a strainer, and wrap tightly in paper towels squeeze excess moisture out of spinach until dry. Stir together ricotta, eggs, spinach, 1/4 cup mozzarella, grated parmesan, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning in a medium bowl until well combined set aside.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 13- x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread about 1 1/2 cups meat sauce in an even layer on bottom of baking dish. Cover with 2 lasagna noodles, and spread 1 cup spinach and cheese mixture over noodles top evenly with 1 1/2 cups meat sauce, and sprinkle with 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese. Arrange zucchini slices in an even layer over mozzarella cheese. Spread 1 cup spinach and cheese mixture over zucchini slices top evenly with 1 1/2 cups meat sauce. Sprinkle with 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese top with remaining 2 lasagna noodles. Spread remaining 1 cup spinach and cheese mixture over noodles, and top evenly with remaining 1 1/2 cups &ldquomeat&rdquo sauce sprinkle with remaining 1 3/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese and shredded parmesan cheese.

Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake, covered, until edges are bubbly and cheese topping has melted, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove foil from pan and continue baking until the top of the lasagna is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Let lasagna cool for 5 minutes, then cut and serve, garnished with chopped basil, if desired.

Hy-Vee Recipes and Ideas

We chose to serve this delicious protein-packed pasta sauce over spinach fettuccine noodles, but you can serve it over refrigerated ravioli, zoodles, sweet potatoes, squash really, anything your heart desires.

Recipe Tags

Servings and Ingredients


Things To Grab


Soak mushrooms in 1 cup hot water for 10 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid. Rinse mushrooms to remove any grit. Slice mushrooms and set aside. Strain mushroom liquid through a coffee filter to remove grit. Set liquid aside.

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven. Add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add tomatoes, water, baby bella mushrooms, wine, dried mushrooms, and reserved liquid, parsley, oregano, rosemary, salt, and black pepper. Bring mixture to boiling reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add lentils. Simmer for 25 more minutes more or until lentils are tender.

Cool sauce for 20 minutes. Transfer half of sauce to a blender. Cover and blend until pureed. Stir pureed mixture into sauce in Dutch oven. Reserve 2 cups of sauce for pasta. Transfer remaining sauce to storage containers. Refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Drain pasta do not rinse. Pour 2 cups reserved sauce over pasta serve immediately.

About the veggie bolognese

Pasta is the ultimate comfort food.I could eat pasta every day, and so could the kids. Although lately their favorite version is plain pasta, the vegetarian lentil bolognese sauce works wonderfully. This sauce is comforting and full of flavor.

The recipe is simple, economical and requires only basic ingredients. Wine is part of the traditional recipe, and let’s face it, it adds flavour to this sauce, but you can do without it. Simply replace it with vegetable broth, or water.

Ideally, cook the pasta at the same time as you prepare the sauce, and add some of the pasta cooking water to the sauce. Pour the cooked pasta directly into the sauce and coat it well. For organizational reasons I prepare the sauce ahead of time and use it for several meals, so I don’t make it at the same time as the pasta [and that works fine too].

Looking for easy vegetarian recipes for the family?

Our Vegan spaghetti bolognese, named 'The BOSH Bangin' Bolognese is a real plant-based recipe of HEAVEN.

Now we have all heard of Spaghetti, but have you heard of Courgetti? It's pasta's healthy sister made of courgette.

So not only is this is an easy and simple pasta recipe, but a healthy pasta recipe to!

Maybe you are looking for Veganuary recipe ideas, if so, it's a great vegan recipe idea to start your plant based journey off with.

Vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognese

It is easy and versatile to use and it comes with a tasty meat-like texture. It’s a quality source of plant protein (no cholesterol). It’s a nutritionally healthy protein source – low in saturated fat and high in protein and it uses 90% less greenhouse gases than lean beef mince. Any idea of what I’m talking about?

I’m talking about what it is now making my hunt for proteins 10,000 times easier: Quorn, an alternative to meat made with Mycoprotein. If the word myco-something is directing your mind straight to the image of a seaweed, I understand. At first, I thought of an unicellular phytoplankton myself. We are dealing with a fungi, instead. And if you’ll keep reading this post you’ll notice that I am enthusiast about the product: this is my genuine opinion – Quorn is not flowing money into my account.

Guidelines suggest that adults should eat between 45 g and 55 g of protein a day. That’s the equivalent of two pints of milk or seven to eight eggs. In my vegetarian life, there are days when these targets seem too far away and hard to reach (can I seriously consider eight eggs a day or a mountain of kale?!).

Quorn is a nutritious member of the fungi family that is grown by fermentation similar to the process used in the production of bread, yogurt and beer. When a few weeks ago I found myself staring at the Quorn boxes for the first time in my local store in London, the expression “meat analogue”, for healthy vegetarian source of protein, was cool enough to get my attention.

I had tried Quorn at the university canteen several times before that day but I did not know I could actually buy the product (in my mind I was tasting the signature recipe of Mr. Quorn, a chef). The presence of sausages, burgers and chicken pieces under the name of Quorn in the shiny refrigerator of Waitrose, banished all doubts. Mr. Quorn never existed.

A few weeks after my first attempt with Quorn – when my boyfriend tried the burger and asked one too many times “Are we sure you are not feeding me meat?” (meh, trust…) – I was invited to a cooking class to learn how to make fresh pasta and use two products I had not tried before. Quorn Mince and Quorn Meat Free Chicken Pieces. This vegetarian spaghetti Bolognese was born.

I did not even know how much I missed Bolognese Sauce. The chefs of the Underground Cookery School prepared me a dish that was able to bring back to life those taste buds, fallen into a long hibernation by now and once committed to tasting Italian flavours.

This recipe is adapted from the Underground Cookery School. I’ve only added to it the two key ingredients of the Italian “soffritto”: carrots and celery. And used whole wheat spaghetti instead of fresh pasta, as indicated in the recipe box below.

How does it taste like? If I told you it tastes exactly like the “real” Bolognese, I would be lying. It is lighter, with the greasy taste originating from the long cooking of beef fat totally eliminated. A positive factor, if you ask me. We all know that reducing the amount of saturated fat in the diet can help us maintain normal blood cholesterol levels as part of a healthy lifestyle. What we probably don’t know yet is that 75 g serving of this mince contains only 79 calories, 10.9 g protein and 1.5g of fat. Tasty enough not to make you miss meat.