You guys. This recipe. I am SO EXCITED to share it with you. It’s all the goodness of a pasta with a chunky, “meaty” marinara sauce, but made entirely of vegetables and nuts. A huge portion is less than 250 calories, and chock full of garden-fresh goodness. I’ve worked on it over the last couple of months, tweaking it here and there, but finally, I landed on the recipe that was recently described as “heaven on a plate.” So without further ado, I give you, Vegetable Bolognese.
I kid you not, there’s no meat in that sauce, faux or otherwise. Can you believe it? Me either! And oh, it’s so yummy. Plus, it’s a cinch to make. Ready?
First, gather your ingredients. You know how those health experts are always saying to shop the perimeter of the grocery store, and venture into the center aisles with fear and trembling lest the potato chip goblin come out to grab you? Well, other than the tomatoes and the walnuts, plus the seasonings, everything else can be found in the produce section! Chances are you already have the middle aisle items in your pantry right now, so you can completely avoid “Temptation Aisle.” I’m looking out for you.
The cast of characters are carrots, cauliflower, dried basil/oregano, garlic, mushrooms, nutritional yeast, onion, tomatoes (canned and sundried), walnuts, and zucchini. Yes, I did that in alphabetical order. Next time I’ll reverse it just to mess with you.
Now, before you freak out about the cauliflower, let me just assure you that you CANNOT taste it. There is no hint of any cabbage-type flavor at all. If you’ve ever had cauliflower rice, you’ll know that this is the truth. Once shredded and sauteed, cauliflower takes on a savory, dare I say nutty flavor, and it’s both tasty and good for you. So now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s move on. First, go soak the sundried tomatoes in some warm water. They’ll soften up while you work on the other vegetables.
Next, dig out your food processor and reach into the way way back of the cabinet to find your shredding attachment. But be careful! It’s sharp. If you don’t have the shredding attachment, no biggie, I’ve got you covered.
Now, shred the cauliflower, carrots, onions, garlic, and mushrooms. This will fill up a standard 12-cup processor to the brim. See?
If you don’t have a shredding attachment, you can pulse each ingredient using the s-blade, but I’d recommend working in batches so that you don’t end up pureeing anything by accident. If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate everything into a large bowl using a standard box grater (use the side with the largest holes).
Next, preheat a large deep nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the shredded veggies and saute for 6-8 minutes, or until the vegetables have reduced in volume and most of the water has been cooked out.
It should look like this.
Next, grind the walnuts into a coarse meal in the food processor. You want some texture, but not big pieces. Add the walnuts to the skillet along with the salt, dried herbs, and nutritional yeast. Stir for a few seconds to “bloom” the seasonings.
Next, drain the sundried tomatoes and add them to the food processor along with one can of crushed tomatoes. Speaking of the tomatoes, this is one item that I like to splurge on. I’ve tried a lot of canned tomatoes in my day, and Muir Glen is by far my favorite. I always keep my eyes peeled for coupons on the cans ($1 off 2 cans, typically), and I even buy them by the case from Amazon. They’re worth seeking out, but truly any crushed tomatoes will do just fine.
Puree the tomatoes until smooth and add to the pan along with the second can of tomatoes. Stir to combine, and test for seasoning. If it tastes too acidic, add one teaspoon of maple syrup to balance out the flavors. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and let the sauce warm through and reduce slightly while you get to work on the zoodles.
Wait, the what?
You know, ZOODLES! Noodles made from zucchini! I admit, it’s a silly word, but I’m silly, so it works out well. We’ve been eating zoodles like crazy around these parts. Here’s what I use to make mine.
Behold, the Paderno World Cuisine Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer.
I love, love, love my spiralizer. It’s easy to use, quick to clean, and makes piles and piles of wonderful zoodles. Apparently you can also use it for sweet potatoes and white potatoes and butternut squash and cucumbers and possibly other cylindrical veggies, but I haven’t graduated beyond zoodles. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.
One other option is to use the julienne blade on a mandoline slicer, or even a vegetable peeler (although I bet that would take quite a bit of time). That said, if you can foresee wanting to make a lot of veggie noodles, I would highly recommend the spiralizer. It’s awesome.
I mean, just look at those beautiful zoodles. You need them in your life.
One final note. Since the zucchini noodles are raw, they can make the sauce a little watery at first and cool it down a bit when mixed together. If you’re making the full recipe, I would recommend using your biggest pot to cook the bolognese, and then mixing in the zoodles at the very end to warm everything through before serving. Once mixed in, they will absorb some of the moisture and the walnuts also help to thicken everything up. Or, if you have time, sprinkle some salt over the zoodles and let them hang out in a colander for about 20 minutes. The salt will draw out a lot of the water and it creates a nice texture to the zoodles, too. Don’t forget to put the colander in the sink or over a bowl, or you’ll have zucchini juice all over your counters. You’re welcome.
If zucchini noodles aren’t your thing, you might consider spaghetti squash! I just happen to know quite a bit about how to get the longest spaghetti squash “noodles” (squoodles?). And sometimes, I go the “medium-carb” route and mix spaghetti squash into regular pasta. Medium-carb. It’s a thing. I made it up, but it’s still a thing.
Get your zoodle on! (sigh, late night dork moment)
- 3 pounds zucchini (2 to 3 inches in diameter - for making the "zoodles")
- 1 head of cauliflower (broken into large florets)
- 2 carrots (peeled)
- 8 ounces crimini mushrooms (cleaned and stems trimmed)
- 1 medium yellow onion (halved or quartered)
- 3 cloves garlic (peeled)
- 1 cup walnuts
- 2 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes (I love the Muir Glen brand)
- 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional (adds a savory quality))
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup (to taste)
- Place sundried tomatoes to soak in warm water while you prep the veggies.
- In a food processor, pulse or shred the cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms, onions, and garlic until they are all shredded or pulsed into very fine pieces.
- Add the shredded vegetables to a large, deep nonstick or cast iron skillet on medium-high heat.
- Sweat/saute the vegetables until they reduce in volume and the water is mostly cooked out.
- Grind the walnuts into a coarse meal using a food processor, and add to the skillet along with the salt, dried herbs, and nutritional yeast. Stir to combine and "bloom" the seasonings.
- Drain the sundried tomatoes from the soaking liquid and add to the food processor along with 1 can of crushed tomatoes. Puree until smooth, then add to the pan along with the second can of tomatoes. Taste for seasonings, and add 1 tsp. maple syrup if the sauce seems too acidic.
- Bring to a simmer, then reduce to low, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through and slightly reduced.
- While the sauce is simmering, prepare the "zoodles."
- Using a spiralizer or similar tool, julienne the zucchini into long noodle-like shapes. To prevent extra-long strands, pierce a sharp knife into the squash vertically along the length in 1 inch intervals. This will provide a stopping point for the blade and create shorter “zoodles."
- This sauce is also great over pasta!
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Oh, yes, people, I’m telling you, zoodles are The. Bomb. With this warm, yummy sauce on it, it truly reminded me of Italian meat sauce on pasta. But so healthy!! And did I mention yummy?! Leftovers were inhaled within 24 hours and I am so happy, happy, happy that I get to have more of this for lunch, ’cause I’ve been dreaming of it since I first had it Sunday night and have been looking forward to eating it again ever since!! Can you tell I am just a *leetle* excited that Beth posted this recipe?? Y’all really need to make it…it is serious comfort food and will make you faint from pleasure. I promise, though, if you’re anything like me, that you’ll recover enough to have a second helping. 😛
Sweet mother of Christ who are you, you beautiful genius?! Thank you for this. Thank you, thank you, and thank you again.
Michael Hornback II says
Hannah, it’s “The Bomb Dot Com!” 😀
Totally, lol!! Is there a way to make “The Bomb Dot Com” even stronger?? That would be this!
Inspiralized @ Inspiralized says
Great recipe! Love a good bolognese. Pinned this!
Meredith @ Unexpectedly Magnificent says
Dude. DUDE. This looks amazeballs. I love that it doesn’t use any processed crap. Yum yum yum!
DUDE. Thanks! I’m not a big fan of processed crap. My goal setting out to make this was to avoid any of the traditional meat substitutes, because they usually leave me feeling kind of yucky. Although, I have a special place in my heart for Field Roast sausages. 🙂
Hi! Can you tell me if you have ever made the bolognese sauce and then frozen it? I’m wondering if it is possible considering the veggies that do contain water. Thanks so much! Barbara
Hi, Barb! Yes, the sauce freezes beautifully. Most of the water is cooked out when the vegetables are sautéed. I often make a batch and freeze half and serve the other half for our meal. I hope you’ll try it and let me know how it goes!
Lightly Sunlight says
I love this recipe truly awesome it’s everything you said it was I can’t wait to make it again!
Marc @ Smell My Kitchen says
It really looks like a “real” spaghetti sauce! Looks amazing 🙂
Hi, Marc! Crazy, right? I couldn’t believe how much it resembled a traditional meat sauce. I have served it to a few omnivores already with rave reviews. 🙂
Claire Izabel says
This looks soo good but I’m allergic to mushrooms. Is there a sub??
Hi Claire! Hmmmm…you could leave them out altogether and add 1/2 cup more walnuts. If you like bell peppers you could also shred one in with the veggie mixture and that would provide some nice flavor. Hope that helps!
Claire Izabel says
Thanks! I’ll give that a try 🙂
Natacha B says
I also dislike mushrooms, I just left them out, and added a tiny bit more of everything else. 🙂
Omg…..made this tonight. It’s amazing! Thank you so much:)
Hi Lauren! This comment made my day! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Any requests for future recipes? 🙂
I would try anything based on the bolognese. By the way, just ate it COLD for lunch and it was even tastier on day 2!!
That’s awesome! I like the idea of eating it cold. I’m thinking it would make a super tasty topping for pizza, perhaps on a cauliflower crust. 🙂 Also want to make Mexican, Indian, and Mediterranean versions, would just need to vary a couple of the veggies and the spices. So many ideas, so little time. 🙂
I MUST get a Paderno!! I JUST MUST!! I am taking the leap and doing it!
Hi DeLynn! I can confidently predict that it will soon become one of your most used kitchen tools. 🙂
This sounds delicious, but I can’t eat nutritional yeast. Do you think I can leave it out?
Hi Margaret! Yes, I think it would be fine to leave out the nutritional yeast. Please let me know how it goes for you!
What a way to pack in the veggies! My favorite kind of recipe :). Will be trying this one out soon!
Hi Stephanie! For some reason this comment ended up in my spam folder, glad I checked it! Please let me know what you think when you try it – also, your site is great! We’re fellow Vegan Mofo-ers! Except I’m getting started late, that’s just how I roll right now. Glad to “meet” you!
made this last night and it was fabulous, used pasta instead of the zoodles but did inspire me to order a spiral maker to try in the future. the nuts and cauliflower were a great addition giving it that meaty texture….best ive ever had!!!
Oh, Kaz, I’m just tickled pink that you enjoyed this so much! I totally want to put it over regular pasta too. In fact, I’m thinking of making it a medium-carb option by mixing pasta with spaghetti squash next time. 🙂
Yum! I’ll have to try this, I’m always trying to get rid of my walnuts!
Awesome, Alex! Please let me know if you do. 🙂
Found yu from MInimalist Baker. Love thi reipe. I just got my spiralizer and I haven’t used it yet. I am going to try it with this recipe…
This is so awesome, I have no words! I love finding veggie versions of my favorite foods and I adore the fact that you didn’t “cheat” and use the faux meat crumbles. Now, Ijust need to get my hands on a spiralizer!
Suzy @ The Mediterranean Dish says
This looks great! And super good for you. BTW, I actually love cauliflower, especially roasted. You are right about the nutty flavor once you cook it a bit. It’s not bad at all! 🙂
What is 1T?
a food taster says
“T” is short for Tablespoon
This looks amazing! I am going to have to try this out. It looks so hearty and perfect for a fall dinner!
Made this tonight and it’s SO GOOD! I’m a meat eater but trying to gradually cut it out of my diet. I was skeptical because I love, love meat sauce but I can tell you this. Is. Awesome. Thank you for the recipe! This will be on regular rotation this winter!
This looks amazing! I’m definitely going to make this soon! Do you know if the sauce freezes well?
Hi! You know, I haven’t frozen it yet because we eat it too fast. I imagine that it would freeze very well, and in fact, I was planning on making a batch this weekend to test that theory. I’ll keep you posted! I’m also testing ways to transform it into other dishes, stay tuned!
Oh awesome! I can’t wait to see what you do! 🙂
Any updates on how well this freezes? I just made a batch and it’s huge! And delicious. My picky dad even enjoyed it!
Hi Jessie! I just froze this because I had made extra for some recipe testing (more on that coming soon!) and I’m pleased to report that this freezes beautifully. I’m so glad that you and your picky dad enjoyed it! 😉
Natacha B says
Froze mine in small batches and it is just as lovely. Way less water then in other spaghetti sauce I have made and froze.
I love to freeze it too! It makes so much that it’s a great thing to freeze to have on hand for a quick dinner. 🙂
I’m allergic to walnuts, would cashews work? This looks delicious! Hoping to try it with spaghetti squash this week.
I think they would! You could also try almonds or maybe even pecans. Alternatively, try it without nuts at all, although you might need to reduce the sauce for a bit to evaporate some of the moisture. Now I’m curious! Will you keep me posted on how it goes for you?
Did anyone end up trying cashews? I have everything in the kitchen for this recipe except for walnuts 🙂
Hi Lis! Are your cashews raw? If so, I think they’d be great in this. If they are roasted, they might be a bit too sweet. I think it’s also good without the nuts, maybe add a but more mushrooms if you have them. I hope you give it a try and let me know how it goes! ?
Holy crap that sauce looks delicious, and so low in calories. I’ll be making this for one of my 5:2 diet dinners next week. Thanks
I’ve shared 6 years of a “past life” with an Italian: bolognese,I know well. I am now a vegetarian (andno longer with Mr.Italy) and I have to say, this bolognese sauce is simply WON-DER-FUL!!! Really lookfing forward to discover all your recipes, which,I’m sure, are just as good as this one. Barb, Montreal, Canada
I made this and almost cried… it was that good!!!
HI Beth This sounds amazing. I am curious though, why is the carb count so high if its served over zoodles. it’s all veggies save the nuts and the yeast which are proteins. it it just the sugars from the tomatoes and carrots?
PS I had to do a search to figure out what nutritional yeast is. you might want to do a glossary or tips and tools section?
It is really good. I’ve only tastes the sauce and plan on putting it over rice noodles for lunch tomorrow, unless I have time to get to the store for zucchinis. It still is a little acidic after adding maple syrup. Any other ideas?
I enjoyed this – but I think in the future I might adapt this to be sloppy joes – add a little brown sugar, some apple cider vinegar, a bell pepper, and a bit more oregano – the texture will lend to this nicely.
I’m glad you enjoyed it! Funny you mention Sloppy Joes, it’s one of several recipes I’m testing using this base. Experiment away, and stay tuned for more variations! 🙂
Man, I’m Italian and I’m telling you: this sauce is amazing. I don’t like the seitan/soy “meaty” sauces, but this one is sooooo good. Tonight I have a pre-Christmas dinner with some friends (I’m the only vegan) and I can’t wait to make them taste it! Thank you very much, it’s one of my all time favorite recipe.
I also have a question (sorry for the two comments): do you think that this sauce could be ok for lasagna? Have you ever tried it?
Can’t wait to make this. I have never used nutritional yeast. Where would I purchase this?
Hi, Hope! First, you can totally make this recipe without the nutritional yeast if you like. That said, it’s worth seeking out because it’s yummy in lots of things! If you have a Whole Foods, Kroger, or health food store in your area, you should be able to find it in the bulk section. If you can’t find it locally (or just don’t want to go hunt it down), it’s available on Amazon (linked here with the brand I recommend). A little goes a long way, and lasts a long time too. Let me know how it goes!
Fabulous! I just made this for my 1 year old who has food allergies and he loves it! One question; can you freeze it?
Oh, I’m so happy to hear this, Ellen! YES, you can freeze it! I just confirmed this recently. Also, stay tuned because I’m working on an exciting project that will build on the vegetable base for this recipe and I can’t wait to share more!
Aileen Andres Sox says
I’m thinking of taking this to potluck in a crockpot using some type of brown rice pasta. It would have to stay heated for three hours. Will the sauce be OK if heated that long?
Hi, Aileen! Yes, I think it would, provided it’s kept on the warm or low setting. I’d love to hear how it goes for you!
I cooked this pasta sauce for dinner yesterday and I’d like to say thank you, thank you, thank you for this gorgeous recipe! 🙂
The funny background is, I really don’t like mushrooms neither does my boyfriend. We both eat cauliflower but it’s far away from being one of our favorite vegetables. He doesn’t even like walnuts. So you must think that I’m a little crazy to cook a dish whose ingredients don’t really appeal to me you’re your photos looked so adorable and so mouthwatering that I absolutely craved to eat this and you promised there would’t be any cauliflower taste 😉
So I dared trying it and I got pleasantly surprised: the cooked dish really didn’t taste like cauliflower or mushrooms or walnut or even carrot at all. It came all together and built a totally wonderful composition of taste and texture that reminded me so much of real Bolognese sauce, I was so excited. In my opinion you could give this to meat eating people and without telling them, I bet they won’t taste the difference.
But I had my last Bolognese sauce a few years ago, and I know the taste of vegetarians change and the longer you don’t eat meat, the more you forget its taste. So it was my boyfriend’s task (he still eats meat from time to time) to judge and he complimented the sauce, too. He said the texture differs a little bit from a meaty sauce but he liked it very much, ate a huge plate full and went for seconds! 😀 And he couldn’t taste the particular veggies either although before he had a really, really skeptical gaze while watching me shredding all these greens for a pasta sauce 😉
So I’ll definitely will redo this recipe. And with the leftovers from yesterday we’ll make a pasta bake today, yum yum :3
I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes 🙂
Lots of love from Germany
Hi Tina! If you could have only seen the huge smile on my face when I read this comment! Thank you so much for sharing your adventure trying this recipe. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed it so much! It’s a favorite at our house and I make it often. I’m actually developing several recipes using the vegetable base, and I’ll be sharing more about that soon! Thanks again for such a lovely comment, it truly made my day. 🙂
I’m going to make this tonight. Do you warm or cook the zoodles at all? I’ve only made them once before but that recipe called for tossing them with the other veggies and sauce they were being served with. Thanks! Looking forward to trying it.
Hi! I do sometimes warm the zoodles by tossing them in the sauce. I talk about this in the post a little bit as well. The zoodles can make the sauce a tiny bit watery so I recommend mixing it together before serving because the walnuts in the sauce help thicken things up. I don’t cook the zoodles because that tends to release even more water and changes their texture. I hope you’ll post an update with how you like it! 🙂
Thanks! Sorry, I see the zoodle warm up section now! This was SO incredibly yummy. We are not vegan or anything but eat vegetarian and/or vegan a few times a week. I’m so excited to add this to our regulars! I ended up making the zoodles like I had the first time I ever made them. I put a clean kitchen towel on a baking sheet and put the zoodles on it. I then sprinkled with 1/4 tsp salt to help the zoodles ‘sweat’ out extra moisture. (I reduced the salt in the sauce by 1/4 tsp to keep salt content the same.) I did pop that sheet pan in a LOW oven for just a few min to warm them up before putting them in bowls and dishing up sauce. I also replaced walnuts with pecans because I had a plethora on hand. My four year old was thrilled to help me cook. She wiped off mushrooms, pushed the buttons on the food processor, helped to stir, and even helped a little bit with the zoodles. Both of my girls LOVED this! My husband was on a business trip but I know he will love it and it just means I’ll have to make it again soon! 🙂 Thanks for a great recipe!!
I’m so excited that you loved it!! I smiled big when I read about your little girl being able to help you cook. My little one is 2 and loves to “help” as well, it’s a work-in-progress. 🙂 Yay!!! I’m super excited because I have been testing the vegetable base (without the tomatoes) in other applications and it’s been a successful experiment. More recipes coming soon! 🙂
Fun! Can’t wait to see what else you’ve done with the base!
Hi! This looks so good! My hubby claims he doesnt like cauliflower, or mushrooms, or walnuts…. But Im sure that if I have it ready when he gets home, he will love it!
I don’t want to get nutritional yeast. We are not vegan (although we do periods of vegan and most days are vegetarian) so using cheese can be an option. Do you think i can use parmesan cheese or what is the purpose of the yeast here?
Hi Lucy! I promise, your husband won’t be able to detect any of those ingredients. 🙂 As for the nutritional yeast, it’s totally optional. It simply adds a bit of a savory quality to the bolognese. I’ve made it without and it’s just as tasty. In fact, I should make it an optional ingredient, as it’s not going to make or break the dish by any means. Can’t wait to hear how it goes for you!
Great! Thanks! Such a quick response
At what step does the dried chile go in? I have the canned type in paste, will that work as a substitution or should I get the dried ones?
I cannot wait to try this recipe, in fact I will be trying it tonight as I have all the ingredients! 🙂 Will let you know how it goes!
Oh my word!!!!! This recipe is the best thing I think I’ve ever made!!!! I’m obsessed with all things Italian and I LOVE bolognese!!!! This is better than the meat version, by FAR! Wow! I want everyone to taste this!!!! Holy mess, you’re a kitchen genius! Thank you so much for sharing this! I’m going to make it all the time!!!!
Cécile Prou says
Hi Beth, thanks so much for this recipe which is absolutely delicious. I have changed it a little to my taste, using fresh tomatoes, much more herbs and by cooking it twice the time you indicated (I suppose you wanted to keep the veggies a little raw-like since you serve them with raw zucchini noodles), and I have served it with spelt spaghettis. It was perfect! I have translated the adapted recipe into French and posted it on my blog with a link to your recipe. Please do let me know if this bothers you. Kindest regards. Cécile
This recipe looks amazing! We can’t have nuts due to allergies. What can i substitute for simiar texture?
Hi there! So sorry for the late response. Honestly, you could leave them out altogether and it would still be great. You could try bumping up the mushrooms in that case. I haven’t tried subbing in seeds, but if I did I would start with pepitas (pumpkin seeds). Hope you try it! 🙂
I made this recipe last night and it was perfect. I made a few changes based on my pantry. I left out the sundries tomatoes and agave and added eggplant, tomato paste, marsala wine and fresh oregano, basil and rosemary. I also cooked the zoodles in the sauce rather than on top. I froze the leftovers in portions for two. Great recipe. Thanks for making something with whole ingredients.
Forgive the delayed response! I just had a baby. 😉 I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, and were able to adapt it according to what you had on hand (I do that all the time!). Your changes sound delicious!
Super delicious! I only had one can of tomatoes so I used a few fresh tomatoes with it. I also left out the sundried tomatoes (because I couldn’t find any at the store I was shopping at) and used almonds instead of walnuts because I already had a ton of them. I didn’t add any maple syrup and also added a bell pepper with the onion. Tasted super great 😀 I loved it as cold leftovers the next day too.
Well, now you have my interest piqued with your changes! My favorite part of this recipe is how adaptable it is – and it’s clear you’re not scared to make adjustments. Kudos to you for your ninja kitchen skills! 🙂 Thanks so much for letting me know how you liked it.
I can’t wait to try this. I’ve been zoodling for awhile. I like to salt them in a colander, rinse and dry them in a frying pan with no oil. This improves the texture and flavor.
Great tips for the zoodles, Libbi! I bet the salting helps draw out a lot of the moisture. I’ll definitely give that a go next time. I really hope you let me know how you like the bolognese, I just made it for dinner last night! 🙂
omg!! Made this tonight and it was so unbelievably delicious! My hubby couldn’t believe that it was meatless, and those zoodles are just too cool! Thanks so much for such a great recipe!
This makes me so happy!!!!! Thank you for sharing how it went for you Joanna!
Have anyone tried to make this without the walnuts. I am allergic to nuts, is there any good substitution?
I’ve heard of people using bran/flour, bread crumbs, grape nuts, or oatmeal as nut replacements in baked goods. Or soy nuts (roasted soy beans) if you want to replace the crunch.
You could try using bran/flour to add flavor and solids to the recipe. And a touch of oil to add fat. I think this would be similar to the role that the nuts would serve for this recipe, but I haven’t tried it so I can’t really say for sure. You’ll definitely have to experiment with it if you go this route. You’ll have to guess at what the texture should be and whether you can get there.
Assuming you can eat soy, I would honestly try some combination of tofu and bran/flour to try and a “meatier” sauce and the right texture.
It’ll definitely take experimenting to modify so I wouldn’t expect to get it perfect right away.
Also I see Beth has already answered this:
June 1, 2015 at 7:46 pm
Hi there! So sorry for the late response. Honestly, you could leave them out altogether and it would still be great. You could try bumping up the mushrooms in that case. I haven’t tried subbing in seeds, but if I did I would start with pepitas (pumpkin seeds). Hope you try it! 🙂
Hey Beth, I made this tonight and it was amazing. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe! I’ll definitely come back to it time and time again.
Like Libbi said, I salt the zoodles and stir fry them to get the moisture out. I originally came across a “How to Make Non-Watery Zoodles” on the Gourmet Girl Cooks blog and that is the methodology I use.
Basically you spread the zoodles on some paper towels and salt them, then place more paper towels on top. You might want to put a dish towel underneath the whole thing. After 30 min, I squeeze some of the water out and redo the whole set up, leaving them like this for 60 min total. Then I sirfry them lightly and I’m done.
I’ve been perusing various vegan sauces to use in lasagne, and this looks like a winner. I was really glad to see you say, in answer to a comment, that one can leave out the nooch with no ill effects. I’ve tried and tried, but I absolutely cannot abide nutritional yeast. (Sometimes I don’t feel like an official vegan on account of that – ha.) I dislike the taste SO much that sometimes I immediately skip recipes if I see it as an ingredient. I’m also glad you don’t use TVP or other meat subs. I love the combination of the veggies, mushrooms, nuts — I’m thinking it’ll all add up to delicious. Thanks!
Hi Lisa! I’ve used this in lasagna, and it’s wonderful, in my ever-so-humble-opinion. I also leave out the nooch sometimes, it only adds a hint of extra savoriness and is perfectly delicious without it. I know a lot of people are like you when it comes to nutritional yeast – I wonder if it’s the same for people who can’t eat cilantro because it tastes like soap? So very interesting. Anyway…I hope you enjoy this! Please let me know how it goes. 🙂
Hi there, wondering if the yest is optional or not? Thanks
Hi Nadia! The nutritional yeast is absolutely optional. I’ve left it out before and it still tastes great!
I made this today for the first time and am letting it sit all day to let the flavors meld. Where my marinara sauce is good, this is amazing. Seriously. I’m so excited to serve it to my family this evening for dinner. I’m sure they will love it! We will use regular noodles as I don’t have a spiralizer and I’m too lazy to use a julienne peeler on zucchini. 😉 I left out the yeast because I didn’t have any and I added 3 bay leaves at the end to sit in the sauce all day. I’m so thrilled to have this recipe! Thanks for sharing it with us!
Missy, you made my day, no…my week! I’m so curious how your family liked it. Love the idea of letting it hang out with the bay leaves to get even more flavor! I love using this sauce on regular pasta as well as zoodles. I’ve got lots of plans for other recipes that will use this sauce, so stay tuned!
Until recent switch to veganism, I used to love meat bolognese. Every weekend over the years I’d perfect the recipe. The recipe here is BETTER than any meat bolognese I’ve tasted. I’m now a happy man, and happy vegan! thank you!
This was SO SO delicious!!! My 3 1/2 year old ate it- thank you!!!
I’m absolutely in love. This sauce is amazing. I ate pasta with it, and IT WAS AMAZING. Can’t believe there is not meat in that sauce. Next time, will double the recipe and make sure half goes in the cooler for some quick suppers! Thank you so much for this sauce <3.
Delphine, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your comment! I am so proud of this sauce and am so happy that it has made you happy as well. I’m working on an e-book right now that uses the shredded vegetable mix as the base for several recipes, and I can’t wait to share it when it’s done. Thanks again for your feedback! 🙂
Wonderful!!! Thank you so much for this awesome recipe. It’s our new dinner staple 🙂
So glad you enjoyed it, Jordan! To say that I am proud to have a recipe that’s considered a dinner staple for you is an understatement. 🙂
I am very impressed with this recipe. It makes a huge amount. We’re Having it with rigatoni and I just had to add some red wine to it. Because, wine. But this one’s a keeper!
Hi Katrina! I am so late in responding to this, but I just wanted to thank you for your comment. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! And of course, wine. 🙂
This is the fourth time I’ve made this recipe. I’ve never left a comment on anyone’s website until now. Honestly, it’s the best sauce…ever. And healthy. How often do you get healthy and delicious in one place? And it makes so much! Thank you!
Sonja, I don’t really know what to say except thank you. Thank you for making the recipe (4 times!), and thank you for coming back to share your experience here. It makes me so happy that you are enjoying it! There seems to be something in my eye…I gotta go check that out… 😉
Stephanie Waterhouse says
i’m always looking for yummy vegetarian meals for my family. This is one of the most versitile! Thank you for this deliciousness!! I used pecans instead of walnuts and it was so good!! I’ll be using this recipie again and again!
Thanks so much, Stephanie! I love the idea to use pecans, I’m going to try that. Speaking of versatility, I’m working on a set of recipes that use the veggie base of this recipe for other applications – sloppy joes, burritos, lasagna, veggie meatballs, etc. It’s going to become an e-book and I can’t wait to share more when it’s ready! Would you be interested in testing any of the recipes? 🙂
Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats says
Booking marking this one Beth! Great meeting you this past weekend in Kansas City – cannot wait to try this!
Can I ask….what is the purpose of the walnuts? Can I leave them out?
Hi Ally! Great meeting you as well! The walnuts add some protein and omegas as well as some nice texture, but I think you could leave them out. Because the bulk of the mix comes from cauliflower that’s where most of the texture comes from. I’ve also had other people sub other nuts like pecans with good results. I hope you let me know if you try it! 🙂
This looks really good and I’m going to try it on my family tonight. I have one question though in the nutritional information it says 14 grams of fat per serving but I don’t see any added fat in the recipe. Is the fat only from the walnuts? do you use oil when you stir fry the veggies?
Hi Marla! Yep, the fat is coming from the walnuts. I double-checked it because I wanted to be certain, and it’s true – walnuts contain about 75g of fat in 1 cup! They’re definitely an “in moderation” food for me, but I love how they add such a meaty texture to this bolognese, plus lots of nutrition (one serving will give you your recommended amount of Omega 3s for the day!). I don’t use any oil in this recipe, because it isn’t needed at all. I don’t mind using oil, but if I can leave it out, I do. I hope you’ll let me know how you and your family like this! 🙂
I have never commented on any recipe before, but how could I not tell you how delicious this was? AMAZING!!!!! Thank you for this recipe. The best vegetarian recipe I have ever made!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
I don’t know if I can explain how much this comment made my day. THANK YOU!!!! First, for making the recipe. Second, for the honor of your first recipe comment! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 <3 <3 <3 <3
All I have to say is this – my 3 1/2 year old and 5 year old gobbled it down.
That’s the highest praise there is!!! 🙂
I’ve been meaning to try this recipe for ages and finally got round to it yesterday. I am still trying to compute how delicious it was – amazing! I am already looking forward to the leftovers. I will definitely make this again, maybe with wholewheat pasta during the winter when zucchini are out of season over here in the UK. Thank you Beth for the recipe, and the clear instructions!
This recipe is delicious. I have made it many times now and passed it on many as well. It is one of the closest recipes to the meat version in taste and texture I have ever made. I don’t do the zucchini noodles just regular pasta and I always freeze a bunch. Thanks for the great recipe
This was delicious! I’ve only been vegetarian for about a year so I’m always looking for new recipes. And I was shocked how similar it looked to meat bolognese. Just thought I’d add, for anyone who really doesn’t like cauliflower, that I ended up using broccoli (because the grocery store was out of cauliflower??) and I thought it worked well with everything else. I was a little nervous about the broccoli ruining the texture but it looked very similar to your pictures. Thanks!!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Katie! And now you have me totally intrigued about subbing broccoli. I’m going to try it! Apparently there is a shortage of cauliflower everywhere, the prices have gone up like crazy too. Something to do with the crops being bad in California, I heard. Such a bummer!
This is just the best bolognese around. I’ve been vegetarian for just under a year and this is one of the dishes that made me realise that I don’t have to miss out on old favourites and helped me to stick with it. Thanks Beth!
Oh, Sally, your comment made me smile big after a rough day. Thank you!!! I’m so glad that you love it so much. Would you be excited to know that I’m testing other recipes with the ground vegetable base? 😉
Made this. DELICIOUS. Husband is a newly converted vegetarian and was convinced it was “meaty”. Added purple, white, orange carrots and half a cauliflower head, worked wonderfully. Thank you for this recipe! Will store some and freeze for a quick meal 🙂
A question – what does the yeast do? I left this out.
I’m so glad to hear it, Dali! I’ve heard of similar reactions from suspicious husbands. 🙂 The nutritional yeast adds a savory quality, but honestly, I sometimes forget it and don’t even miss it. 🙂
This recipe is super simple and my family loved it! I’ve been looking for a hearty sauce and this was perfect to make for my nonvegan family!
I’m so glad your family enjoyed this, Alexis! It’s so important to be able to have recipes that translate for all types of eaters, and I’m honored it had a place at your table. 🙂
Hope you are still seeing comments on this post … would this work in a slow cooker? I’m assuming yes but not sure if I should still saute all the veggies first. Any thoughts? Thanks!
Hi Tricia! I think it would, but I do think the veggies need to be sautéed first, otherwise you could possibly lose some of the texture and flavor that comes from sautéing them. It’s something I want to test, though!
I have had this recipe on my “to make” list FOREVER. I finally made it and it is delicious! I can’t believe how healthy it is, completely packed with veggies. I loved pouring two full food processors full of vegetables (I had a very large cauliflower) into the pot, definitely a good feeling. Didn’t use zoodles, just real noodles. Lots of left overs, we had some extra hamburger buns and I heated up a huge scoop and put it in the buns and that was delicious too. Still some more in the fridge, will have to think of something creative. Or just make more noodles!
Thank you! And now to make the cauliflower rice… 🙂 🙂
Woo hoo!!!! This makes me so happy. 🙂 Can’t wait to hear how you like the cauliflower rice too!
I tried this Bolognse sauce over brown rice. I thought it was awesome. Put a little Parmesan on top for flavor, but it would probably be just as good without. One thing I have discovered with the recipe: you don’t have to cook it very long. In fact, I think it is better crunchy! I don’t have a food processor so bought cauliflower crumbles, grated carrots, and sliced mushrooms. I chopped the mushrooms and walnuts into smallish pieces and called it good. I like how the texture and crunch turned out. This recipe is really wonderful. Thanks, Beth!
Thanks so much, Aileen! I”m so glad you enjoyed it. 🙂
One of the best recipes I’ve ever made.
This makes me so happy, Susan! Thank you for letting me know. 🙂
Elise from Montreal says
I made this last night for my non-vegan family and they LOVED it!!! This is such a great recipe and easy to make (with a food processor it takes mere minutes to prep all veggies!) It cooks fast and the texture is amazing! The taste is meaty enough but not bulky like some vegan meats can be.
Next time I will add in some celery and green peppers just for fun!
Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe!
Natacha B says
Made it… and LOVED IT!!!!!!! Froze most of it, since I am the only one in my family interested in eating it. Could barely get my carnivorous family to taste it. They prefer the meaty sauce, but I love this as a low calorie option!!
DELISH!!! also.. Beth, could you please tell me what you consider a serving for your nutritional information.
Oh, bummer that your family wouldn’t even taste it! It’s gone over well with other meat eaters, but perhaps their minds were made up going in. I’m so very glad you liked it! As for the serving size, I went with 6 servings for the whole batch, which is a pretty generous serving. Hope that helps!
Laura Sacks says
This was a great sauce – did not meat the meat at all!! A do again for sure!!! Thank you Beth 🙂
Woo hoo! So glad you liked it, Laura. 🙂
Your Vegetable Bolognese recipe is a favorite in my household and I’m talking about my two friends who are dedicated meat eaters. They can’t believe there’s no meat. In addition, I belong to a book club where the host serves the main dish and so, I made the sauce to accompany some pasta when it was my turn to host. No one could believe there was no meat. I ended sharing the recipe because everyone wanted it. Just this past week, my friends asked me to make the sauce again. I always treat a special request seriously so I’ll surprise them over the weekend. Thanks, Beth! You’re tops in my book!!
I have been letting this comment swim around in my head the last few days, because it just makes me so happy. Thank you for sharing this recipe with your friends! I’m thrilled that you all love it so much and that it makes repeat appearances in your kitchen. Have you seen the Vegetable Meat Substitute post? I’m currently developing several recipes that use it as a replacement for ground meat in other dishes besides the bolognese. I’m more excited than ever to keep going, knowing that so many meat-eaters enjoy it. Thanks again!!!
Gloria Hornback says
I made this tonight and it was a hit! What I loved is that there was enough leftover for me to freeze (glad I saw in the comments that it worked bc I was going to do it anyway!) SO, one day next week when I have a crazy day, I can just pull it out of the freezer, make some quick noodles and boom, there is dinner! Love it!
I am systematically working my way through all your recipes, Beth, so keep them coming! Love everything I have tried and the girls do, too! The double chocolate muffins are a favorite in this house! They disappear super fast AND love that they are so easy! 🙂
I’m not up on what sun-dried tomatoes are supposed to add to a dish. Can you tell me why you add them to this awesome sauce!
Amazing bolognese sauce. Have just made it and load to freeze. Thank you very much..
Definitely signing for your newsletter
Hello! So sorry for the delayed response, I took a bit of a break this summer and am playing catch-up now. I’m so glad you enjoyed the bolognese! Newsletter to come very soon. 🙂
Super recipe! My dad and hubby are meat totals and they ate it without fuzzing, which says a lot. Best thing though, my wee one ate it with joy, too. Great taste and amazing texture. Best bolognese I have ever cooked and it was so easy with all your advice and great recipe layout.
btw, I am planning on using the left over sauce for a pasta bake tomorrow: take some vegan tortellini, add grilled veg and this fab bolognese, some cheese or vegan cheese on top, et voila… I can’t wait to try it out.
Hi Katja! So sorry for the delayed response, I took a bit of a break this summer and am playing catch-up now. I’m thrilled that you all enjoyed this so much! Your comments made my day. 🙂
I was craving meat sauce and pasta, but wanted something lighter and healthier and a internet search brought me to your recipe. I was skeptical about an all vegetable Bolognese, however your recipe has exceeded my expectations, The Taste was amazing, and although the texture was a bit crunchy I must say this recipe is delicious. I did change one of the ingredients from a bay leaf which I didn’t have to allspice. I want to thank you for this recipe!
Hi Jen! I’m so excited that you loved the recipe! The crunch factor likely came from either the veggies not being quite cooked through, and/or the walnut pieces being slightly too large (so tough to know, not being in your kitchen, ha). I’m a little bit confused, thought, because there isn’t a bay leaf in the recipe. 😉 Did you mean basil? Either way, good for you for making it work with what you had. That makes you a confident cook!
Hi there! what can you recommend to substitute cauliflower with? I was told to avoid cruciferous veggies by my nutritionist but this recipes looks and sounds delish!
Hi Jane! So sorry for the delayed response, my computer was out of commission for almost a month and I’m finally getting back into the swing of things. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and am thinking that doubling up on the mushrooms and carrots and walnuts might work. It’s tough because the cauliflower represents quite a bit of the bulk of this recipe, so I’m not 100% sure how it would work. You’ve got me wanting to test a cauliflower-free version, so if I do (likely), I’ll be sure to update you!
I own a vegetarian kid and saw this recipe with its sexy star rating and proceeded to make it.
… I’m impressed, amazed; and so were my kids, both carnivore and vegetarian. Big thanks!
Thanks for posting this amazing recipe! Wow…just delicious! Did everything exactly as in the recipe except I didn’t have any sundried tomatoes so added a handful of cherry tomatoes near the end. Also didn’t add the maple syrup as I didn’t think it needed any sweetening. Oh and we love black olives which went very nicely. Thanks again…I’m so excited now to check out your other recipes! This one has already been printed and carefully placed in a plastic sleeve for longevity lol…its gonna be used ALOT!
Wow! Thank you so much for posting this. I was looking for a recipe with cheaper ingredients and less meat (very tight budget) and I found this recipe. It did take me quite a while to prep/cook; mostly because I couldn’t figure out how to attach the shredder bit to my Moulinex Masterchef 270, which I inherited from my Mother-in-law. I was surprised at the volume; there was enough to feed us and have leftovers/extra to freeze. My 5 yr old was reluctant to eat it after the first mouthful, but my 11 yr old told her she had to try it 14 times before she said she didn’t like it… 3 more mouthfuls and she was tucking in like a champ! We all wolfed it down and came back for seconds! The 11 year old has taken cold leftovers for her lunch today and when I offered to heat it up and pop it in a flask, she confessed that she’d just sneaked a bit, as a pre-breakfast snack, and it was rather yummy when cold! So my plans of converting leftovers into a chilli will have to wait for next time, because there’s none left! By the way, I love the way you write, a humorous, enjoyable read – nice one! (Also, thanks for helping me to learn how to use my shredder – I’ll do that again!)
funny i had bolognese this afternoon but i am going to have to try this vegetable option! It looks simple enough cause i am not one to cook lolll
Superb veggie bolognese. I think it is great just the way it is – tastes like a good traditional Italian bolognese.
My husband lives spice so I added some crushed red pepper.
Just wanted to say this is the vegetarian bolognese recipe I have made. This is now a regular meal in my household.
This looks amazing! I don’t have nutritional yeast – is there anything to substitute? I’m guessing active dry yeast wouldn’t work based on what I saw when I looked it up! Thanks for the recipe and help!
Made this last night for my husband and I. Although he said it was a little “grimmy tasting” he had 2 plates! It was very good. I did need to add about 1/4 cp maple syrup, a little more salt n pepper, plus onion powder to wake up the flavour. I used veggie pasta. And I only have a small food processor so had to do batches but that was fine. Had it with a side of buttered toast with a sprinkle of garlic powder. Very filling! Yum!
OMG OMG OMG!!!
Thank you thank you thank you!
My fussy kids love this too 🙂
Oh my God, you saved me from breaking my vegetarian streak. I literally was about to go out and buy some ground beef because I was craving spaghetti and meat sauce SO badly, but I Googled “vegetarian bolognese” and viola! You saved another cow!!
I have a blender that functions as a food processor as well. Could I use that in small batches and use the pulse function? Alas, I don’t have a food processor.
Thanks so much!
Woohoo! So glad you found this. If your blender’s food processor function can pulse things into small pieces before everything gets puréed, it should totally work. I would recommend chopping everything into small pieces before processing it, because everything will process more evenly. Good luck!
Holy wow, this recipe was incredible. If you don’t have a food processor, it takes a lot of prep, even with a blender, but MAN it’s worth it and it makes a TON. Seriously amazing. I don’t like mushrooms, so I used more walnuts and cauliflower. I used sundried tomatoes canned in vegetable oil, so there was no need to soak them. I live in Australia right now, and they didn’t have “nutritional yeast” at the store, or maybe it was called something else, but EITHER WAY, it was still incredible without it. I served it with wholemeal spaghetti. I can’t believe this isn’t a meat sauce and has no weird meat substitutes. I will be making this again and again. Thank you for saving me from relapsing on beef, you beautiful culinary genius!
Hi Kansas, all the way in Australia! Wow. I’m so glad you powered through to make this in a blender, and that you loved it so much! Another happy cow, just like this one. I need to say that the nutritional yeast is optional, because it’s just for a little extra savory flavor, but totally not necessary. Speaking of how much it makes, the base of the bolognese is used in this meal plan, spread out into three meals (including the bolognese itself). Just in case you need any more ideas. 😉
This is an incredible recipe – it is so absolutely delicious and you really can’t tell it’s all plant-based. The prep was quicker and easier than I expected. I didn’t need to add the maple syrup and I used whole grain pasta instead of the zoodles – it was still fabulous! My husband went back for seconds and even asked if we could keep the recipe in the menu rotation 🙂
uwielbiam wegański sos boloński says
Looks tasty. I need to try this recipe.
Len Gutman says
How come you don’t cook the zoodles? I’ve made zoodles a bunch but always steam them in a sauce pan then mix them in with whatever I’m cooking — less “sauce” than stir fry.
This was amazing! It made a lot! I tried the recipe for my vegetarian hubby. He loved it, and so did my meat eating son! Def a make again recipe! Thank you ! ????❤️
I’m so glad that you all enjoyed this!! It’s one of my favorites. 🙂
Hi Beth, Towanda here. 🙂 Just realized I never marked what our results were with this sauce. My 9 yr old (soon to be 10!) has dubbed this Bologn-yayness! sauce, and insisted that I change the name in the recipe file to reflect that. 😀 It’s delicious, filling, makes plenty, and is pretty dang easy to make (thanks to the food processor). The only change I’ve made is that it’s served over pasta. Other than that, no changes, and we love it.
Thanks for creating a fantastic recipe that the whole family, including the 9 yr old, truly enjoys!
Oh wow! Thus recipe is amazing!!! We are life long meat eaters and switched to vegan 2.months ago after husband got a cancer diagnosis. No joke, your meat substitute recipe has helped us so much! I have made 3 huge batches if it now making 3-4 meas with it each time and use it to make
tacos, ,chili’s, burritos, etc. My hubs says it tastes just as good as ground beef, if not better.and I feel.good abiut serving it. So good! We both love it.
Which brings me to this recipe. After making my last batch, I thought I should try this. We had it over baked potatoes instead of Zoodles and it was.fantastic!!! Another winner!
I.also wanted to add that since we are juicing we end up with lots of pulp. J have started using the carrot pulp instead of putting that part through the food processor. Saves a few minutes, mets me use some pulp and works beautifully!
Thanks again for your recipes.
JD Palmer says
Oh my gawd, you just blew my mind. I’m using carrot pulp next time from my juicing, too!
JD Palmer says
Beth, you are genius! We just had this last night and let me tell anyone reading this, it is SO DELICIOUS! We followed recipe exactly with the exception of using the sauté function on the Instant Pot, then pressure cooking for 8 minutes. I also love spaghetti squash so I used that instead (cut on short axis, so obvious now! Thanks for that hint too!) I’d like to try this meat substitute with things like sloppy joe and “beef” nachos sometime. Maybe even 7-layer vegan dip – all the classics! They say a family makes about 8 or 10 recipes on average and this one just went into our repitoire; thank you for sharing your amazing recipes, you’re so gifted!
I’ve had this recipe saved for ages but didn’t have a food processor so I never attempted it (too lazy to grate do much by hand haha). Recently moved and got a food processor and finally made this. And it was amazing!! So full of flavour. Served it wil whole wheat pasta. Really yum!
I did make a few small changes but I don’t think they affected the end result by much. Didn’t have enough crushed tomatoes so I quickly sauteed&blended a few fresh ones to get the volume. I didn’t have nutritional yeast so I skipped that, bud added a splash of soy sauce to still get some of that umami. I also happened to have about 1/3 of a zucchini lying around so I added that to the mix.
Will definitely make again! Thank you for the recipe 🙂
Yay!!! So glad you enjoyed this! I’m impressed that you figured out how to adapt it to what you had on hand, it’s such an important skill to have. 🙂
Amazing! I make turkey bolognese as a staple, but am uncomfortable with eating meat more than once or twice a week… this was delicious, made tonnes, and the base will be easy to adjust for flavours and seasons! Thank you xx
Hi Carly! This makes me so happy! I’m so glad it worked out so well for you. If you haven’t seen them yet, I’m adding recipes using the vegan ground beef base all the time, like this vegan taco meat. I’d love to know how I can help you “plantify” any of your other staple meals, so just let me know if you have any recipe requests. 🙂
Thank you for this recipe. I constantly search Google for vegetarian dishes when I cook for my vegetarian best friend. I tried this for the first time tonight for her and we both loved it. I was hoping to have some for lunch tomorrow but she took all the leftovers home with her. I did add grated sweet potato and some chilli flakes to the mix and also added some sweet potato noodles (obviously too many sweet potatoes in the house) cooked with turmeric along with the zucchini noodles. I used raw sugar instead of maple syrup and it worked beautifully. I will absolutely make this dish again.
Seriously so good…my go to! It really doesn’t take as long as you might think. And the flavor is outstanding! I prefer it to the meat version anytime and that’s spoken from a part time meat eater. Well done!! ???????? ???????? ???? ????
This made me so happy to read such a wonderful comment! Thanks Kara! I’m pumped that you love this dish so much, it’s a favorite of mine too! 🙂
This is a fabulous recipe! Love it!! …as have all my guests mainly because of its rich tasting quality. Who would guess it’s plant based?
I’m so happy to hear this, Yolanda!!! <3 That’s my goal with these recipes, so it is wonderful to hear that they are hitting the mark.
Was able to pull this recipe off with a few audibles.—due to being slightly limited on resources here in Kampot, Cambodia. Namely, I substituted Cashews for the Walnuts. Plus, the natural gas canister fueled countertop stove was frustratingly critical of anything relatively close to a medium-high or simmer-friendly flame. In short, I had to cut the base cauliflower vegetable mix and blended cashew ingredient in half to make a convincing Bolognese sauce. Still, super tasty. Thanks for the discovery
Tara Thomas says
Delicious! My 6yr old is going through a very fussy stage and this sauce she enjoyed with her pasta.
Angela Johnson says
I could live on this stuff! I’ve made it a couple of times and loved it! I’m on the Keto diet now, though…but I think this will work! Carrots and yellow onions are usually discouraged, but cauliflower is a mainstay of that diet, and walnuts and mushrooms pass muster, as do zuchs. .I’ll have to make sure the crushed tomatoes I get have no added sugar, I’m gonna make it again! I love it! I even got a spirilizer special last time I made it, and zoodles are amazing!
Delicious! Have been looking for a vegetarian Bolognese – your recipe ticks all the boxes and more. Thank you for sharing : )
Thank you so much, Mel! So glad you enjoyed it. <3 I realized I hadn’t made it in a while, so your comment helped me decide on dinner plans last night! 🙂
Maeva Giraudo says
I have been making your Bolognese for years now, it is by far my favorite recipe ever! I like it even more than regular/meat bolognese!!!
I have passed on your recipe to all my friends and they all have been making it for years too!
Thank you so much!
Hi, how much cauliflower did you use in grams/ounces? The cauliflower heads we get are very small and I’m wondering if I should use two. Thanks.
Carol Agler says
This is my (non-vegan) family’s favorite recipe that I cook. I make it saucier by adding a 25 oz jar of Engine 2 basil pasta sauce, another 28-oz can of diced tomatoes processed in the food processor, a 6-oz can of tomato paste, an 14-oz can of tomato sauce, and maple syrup to taste. I double the oregano and triple the basil. Makes tons! I freeze it in a variety of sizes. It just is not the same without the walnuts. They make it meaty. An AWESOME recipe!! Great on toasted bread, too.
Hi Beth! I really want to try this recipe, but I need to know if I can take out the tomato…I know it is essential in these sauces, but my daughter cannot have tomatoes……and wants vegan lasagna…….
Thank you for any advice!
This is a recipe I come back to time and time again. It is rich and ‘meaty’ and flavourful. Some family members have nut allergies, so I have to eliminate the walnuts but I do add a bit more nutritional yeast and some hemp hearts. No one knows the difference.
Thank you for creating this. It is so yummy.
Hi Cath! Thank you for this feedback! Just a heads up, I’ve had success using pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds) in place of the walnuts, in case you are missing that texture. But I think leaving them out makes sense too! I really need to make this again, I’ve missed it!