When I think about comfort food, Italian food always comes to mind. Vegetarian Bolognese, for example, is one of my favorite dishes. Bolognese sauce, although traditionally a meat sauce, can easily be made vegan with just a few adjustments.
In fact, Bolognese sauce is much thicker than a typical American red sauce, because it’s creamier with just a touch of tomato. Since most Italian sauces are mostly tomato based, my vegetarian Bolognese is similar to a ragout.
HOW TO MAKE VEGETARIAN BOLOGNESE SAUCE
As I said earlier, traditional Bolognese contains meat and heavy cream. My bolognese, however, is full of lentils, vegetables, and a little oat milk and nutritional yeast for the creamy component.
WHAT VEGETABLES ARE IN THE BOLOGNESE SAUCE?
WHAT OTHER INGREDIENTS ARE IN VEGETARIAN BOLOGNESE?
- POMI Chopped Tomatoes
- Oat Milk (unsweetened and unflavored or other plant milk)
- Nutritional Yeast
- Tomato paste
- Vegetable Broth (only if making the one-pot option)
- Red Wine (dry)
- Vegan Worcestershire Sauce (I used Annie’s )
- Whole-Grain Spaghetti or Pasta of Choice
- Italian Seasoning
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese
In order to make the sauce, simply cook the ingredients in what I call layers in a large pot. For example, begin by sautéing the garlic and onions until translucent. Then, I add the chopped mushrooms and cook until brown. Next, I add the celery, carrots, and lentils and cook for about 10 minutes.
Once the carrots and celery soften, I add the tomatoes, vegetable broth, and tomato paste. As the mixture cooks down, I add red wine and allow it to cook down further with the ingredients.
COOK THE PASTA SEPARATELY OR USE THE ONE-POT VERSION
Even though I chose to cook the bolognese sauce separately from the pasta today, I love one-pot meals. Similar to my other one-pot meals, vegetarian Bolognese can be made in one pot by adjusting the ingredients. Because I planned to freeze half the sauce, and only make 6 servings today, I cooked the spaghetti.
ONE-POT VEGETARIAN BOLOGNESE OPTION (QUICK, EASY, AND ALL IN ONE-POT)
- Increase the vegetable broth to 3 cups
- Increase pasta to 16 ounces
- Add pasta to the pot after liquids, bring to a boil, cover and reduce to simmer for 15 minutes
Regardless if you cook the pasta to the pot for the one-pot version, or you cook the spaghetti separate, the plant-based milk and nutritional yeast is added last. As a result, the sauce becomes cheesy and creamy.
SERVING VEGETARIAN BOLOGNESE
FREEZING VEGETARIAN BOLOGNESE SAUCE
Whenever I make vegetarian Bolognese, I always freeze half the sauce or use the sauce for a variety of other Italian recipes during the week.
In order to freeze the sauce, make sure to leave 2 inches between the top of the freezer-safe container and the sauce. For best results, make sure the sauce is defrosted completely before reheating.
IF YOU LOVE QUICK AND EASY PASTA RECIPES, CHECK OUT THESE RECIPES
- One-Pot Tomato Basil Pasta
- Vegan Cajun Pasta
- Spinach Artichoke Pasta Recipe
- Creamy Spicy Vegan Sausage Pasta
- Pumpkin Rigatoni
- Bruschetta Pasta
- Lemon Pasta
- Buffalo Chicken Pasta
- Pesto Pasta with Mushrooms
- Enchilada Pasta
- Chicken Pot Pie Noodles