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Plant Based Vegan Bolognese Sauce [+Video]

This plant based vegan bolognese sauce is a killer bolognese sauce but I love that it’s a vegetarian bolognese as well. Any special diet dinner recipe cannot compare!!

I looooove meat sauces as do my kids, but not one soul, not even Cade, guessed that this vegan bolognese sauce didn’t have meat in it. Whether you’re on a special diet or not, incorporating some plant based meals into your diet can make a huge difference in how you feel and even how your weight maintains a healthy number. 

A dinner plate of pasta topped with vegan bolognese sauce, It is a thick red sauce and there are cilantro leaves sprinkled on top and a fork is on the plate next to the pasta.

We’ve Joined the Detox Bandwagon

We did a fun little “detox” (I hate that word as it’s so misleading) a while back and now we do it once every quarter. We fell in love with Your Super plant based detox and no, this is not a sponsored post. Just something that’s working to make us healthier and in fact, my parents got sucked in too. While Cade and I just felt better, my parents actually lost weight AND Dad stopped taking meds for his arthritis and Mom’s Rheumatoid arthritis hasn’t given her a stitch of swelling or pain (she still takes her medicine as well) since doing it. 

So amazing!

Your Super Discount Code

P.S. Your Super was so kind as to give us a Your Super discount code (OSB15) if you want to try the detox or any of their supplements. Yes, we still drink the smoothies every day because we feel so good. But I’m getting distracted. 

A serving plate of pasta with bolognese sauce. The sauce is bright and thick and has a bit of grated cheese and cilantro on top.

What Ingredients Go in Vegan Bolognese Sauce?

Since this is a vegan recipe, as you would expect, most of this grocery list can be taken care of in the produce section. This is what you need:

  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Red Onion
  • Garlic
  • Butter
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cremini or Baby Bella Mushrooms
  • Chickpeas
  • Tomatoes
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • Almond Milk
  • Cooking Wine
  • Lemon Zest
  • Lemon Juice
  • Nutmeg
  • Bay Leaves
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parmesan

All the measurements can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.

Vegan Bolognese Substitutes

I started to play around with more plant based recipes like this Plant Based Vegan Bolognese sauce and while I’ll sometimes throw in milk, heavy cream or half and half instead of the almond milk, or a tablespoon of butter or real parmesan cheese here and there, I love that it really doesn’t matter at all. This sauce is so versatile!

When we are eating plant based we use zoodles, or spiralized butternut squash or yams as our noodles. 

If you aren’t interested in making a plant based vegan bolognese, definitely try our authentic bolognese sauce. It’s one of the most popular recipes on the blog!

A dinner plate piled with pasta that has a vegan bolognese sauce on top.

How to Make Vegan Bolognese Sauce

The hardest part of making this vegan bolognese sauce comes at the end of the recipe. Can you guess what it is? All the details for making this sauce can be found in the recipe card below, but here are the basic steps:

  1. Start by roasting the tomatoes and then blending them to make a tomato sauce.
  2. Dice the mushrooms and then saute them until fond develops on the pan.
  3. Add the rest of the fresh veggies and saute until tender.
  4. Pulse the chickpeas in a blender, then rinse and cool them.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for at least 2 hours. That’s the hardest part…the waiting and the smelling and the waiting longer!
  6. Remove the bay leaf and serve of your cooked pasta.
A serving plate piled with pasta that is topped with vegan bolognese sauce. It is being served up with two spoons.

The Best Pasta for Bolognese Sauce

Have you ever had a pasta dish and the type of pasta just didn’t seem to jive with the sauce? It is the worst! The type of pasta you use really matters.

Different shapes of pasta catch sauces differently, so you want the pasta to cling on to the sauce in the correct way. The flavor of the sauce should also mesh well with the texture of the pasta. Imagine eating penne with a light delicate sauce and all you can taste is the pasta. It’s no bueno. 

For a hearty bolognese sauce, papperdelle is the best. That wide egg noodle has a lot of surface area for grabbing the sauce  and the light texture is a great balance for a bolognese sauce.

If you don’t have papperdelle on hand or can’t find it at the grocery store, then fettuccini or spaghetti will work. Just don’t use penne! That is our least favorite pasta for bolognese.

Can Bolognese Sauce Be Made in Advance?

Bolognese just gets better with time, so it is a great made ahead meal. It actually should be made advance to develop the deep flavor. I always start it in the morning and then let it simmer all day long. It makes the house smell AH-mazing! It can also be made the night before and then stored in the fridge and reheated the next night for maximum flavor.

Pasta with bolognese sauce. A little grated cheese and chopped cilantro is on top.

How to Reheat Bolognese

Bolognese is best reheated on the stove top. Put it into a pot over medium heat and stir it occasionally. It should only take a few minutes to warm up.

How Long Will Homemade Bolognese Sauce Keep?

You can store bolognese sauce in a jar with a tight fitting lid, in the refrigerator for 4 days.

Can You Freeze Bolognese Sauce.

Freeze in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.

What is The Difference Between Spaghetti Sauce and Bolognese?

Bolognese sauce is thicker and is usually used with a wider pasta. Spaghetti sauce is also known as marinara.

A plate full of pasta topped with vegan bolognese sauce. There is a fork on the plate and the pasta is topped with a little grated cheese and cilantro.

What to Eat with Bolognese Sauce?

When we do our detox, we go no carb, so no herbed focaccia or potato rolls for scooping up that sauce. But if we aren’t detoxing, you know one of those is on the table! If we are detoxing, a side salad is perfect, like our winter roasted butternut squash kale salad or a simple veggie like lemon pepper asparagus.

 

You don’t need to be detoxing to make this recipe! It’s just plain delicious! I issue a challenge to make this plant based vegan bolognese sauce and then take a vote from your family….meat or no meat? I have to know what they say!

How to Make Bolognese Video

 

 

More Detox Recipes

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Add in your super mixes and don’t use dairy or sweeteners

Dinners

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A dinner plate of pasta topped with vegan bolognese sauce, It is a thick red sauce and there are cilantro leaves sprinkled on top and a fork is on the plate next to the pasta.

Plant Based Vegan Bolognese Sauce

0 from 0 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil plus 1 Tablespoon, divided
  • 1 1/2-2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
  • 1 Onion red, minced fine
  • 5 Cloves Garlic minced fine
  • 2 Carrots minced
  • 2 Stalks Celery minced
  • 10 oz Cremini or baby bella mushrooms
  • 15 oz Chickpeas drained
  • 2 Cups Tomatoes halved
  • 2 Cans Tomato Sauce 15 oz. cans
  • 15 oz Tomatoes fire roasted
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1 Dash Cooking Wine  white *SEE NOTE
  • 1 Lemon zested
  • 1 Squeeze Lemon Juice
  • 1 Dash Nutmeg
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese for serving optional

Instructions

  • Heat an oven to 425 degrees.
  • Place 2 Cups of fresh tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1/3 cup oil and salt.
  • Roast for 20 minutes or until soft and charred bits are appearing.
  • Remove the tomatoes and set aside.
  • Once cooled a little, blend the tomatoes in a blender to make a tomato sauce.
  • Pulse mushrooms in two batches in food processor or blender until chopped into 1/8- to 1/4-inch pieces.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the pot over medium heat and add the mushrooms, cooking stirring occasionally until the mushrooms have browned and a bits are all over the bottom of the pan. This is called a fond, caramelized bits to flavor a dish. Add the salt, stirring it in evenly.
  • Add the carrots, onion, celery and garlic, stir to combine. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, pulse the chickpeas in a blender until small bits. Set in a colander and rinse in cool water. Set aside. 
  • Add the remaining ingredients (including chickpeas) and simmer over medium low heat for 2 hours. Remove the bay leaf before serving. 
  • Serve over pasta

Notes

Store in a glass container with a tight lid for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts
Plant Based Vegan Bolognese Sauce
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 267 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 4mg1%
Sodium 2262mg98%
Potassium 1211mg35%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 15g17%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 4140IU83%
Vitamin C 35mg42%
Calcium 101mg10%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

A dinner plate of pasta topped with vegan bolognese sauce, It is a thick red sauce and there are cilantro leaves sprinkled on top and a fork is on the plate next to the pasta.

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