Easy Vegan Bolognese (Spaghetti Sauce)

5 from 4 votes
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Enjoy this rich and flavorful vegan bolognese made with soy mince and a flavorful tomato vegan spaghetti sauce. This soy bolognese is hearty, meaty, and 100% dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan, and only takes 20 minutes to prepare!

Vegan bolognese sauce in a bowl topped with basil leaves

Just last week, I shared a delicious roasted tomato pasta sauce and used the leftovers to make myself a quick vegan bolognese, which ultimately made me realize that I had yet to share this vegan spaghetti sauce with you – which must be remedied today!

I think pasta has become my official comfort food of choice this winter, and I’m not mad about it. Surprisingly, I actually prepared this vegan bolognese for a recipe that is 100% pasta free though (this scalloped potato roll!). However, I’ve got leftover in the fridge and freezer for the next time I get the spaghetti out.

Vegan bolognese sauce in a large pan

Traditionally bolognese is a combination of ground beef, onions, tomatoes, and spices in a rich tomato sauce. However, if you eat meat-free, you can use several types of vegan bolognese options: lentils, mushrooms, or good ol’ soy protein. While I’ve tried each method, I always refer back to the latter for its meaty texture/consistency.

Best of all, this vegan bolognese recipe (or ‘vegan bolognaise,’ which I’ve learned is a common misspelling for this word, and honestly, it doesn’t look wrong!) takes just 20 minutes to prepare and 8 simple ingredients – a vegan spaghetti sauce that you’ll return to time and time again.

This is also a great meal prep option as the vegan spaghetti sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for several days and the freezer for several months! Perfect for those days where you want a quick, effortless meal.

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The Ingredients

Ingredients for vegan bolognese sauce
  • Soy mince: you can use frozen or dehydrated soy curls that can be rehydrated in water before cooking. Alternatively, since this is MASSIVELY subjective, feel free to use your favorite vegan mince alternative!
  • Tomatoes: for this recipe, I use a combination of fresh and preserves (canned/tinned) tomatoes. The tomatoes are the key to the vegan spaghetti sauce, so use high-quality options (like DOP ‘San Marzano’ tinned tomatoes and fresh vine tomatoes). Alternatively, you could even use a marinara sauce as your base.
  • Onion & garlic: a key element in any bolognese sauce.
  • Seasonings: salt & pepper, paprika (smoked or plain), cinnamon (optional but works great with the other seasonings), chili powder for a little heat.
  • Vegetable stock: or water, but the veggie stock will provide much more flavor.

Optional Add-Ins

  • Add a bay leaf to the tomatoes as they simmer for more flavor.
  • Soy sauce can be used in place of salt for extra umami/depth of flavor (use tamari for GF option).
  • Nutritional yeast will not only thicken the sauce but also add tons of flavor.
  • A splash of red wine (or white) will add extra richness to this bolognese sauce.
  • For more spice, add some dried red pepper flakes. 

How To Make Vegan Bolognese

Step 1: Prepare and saute the garlic & onion.

First, peel and mince the garlic and finely dice the onion.

Cutting garlic and onion

Then heat a large skillet with a little oil and saute the onion for 1-2 minutes until they begin to soften. Then add the garlic and all the spices and saute for a further 1-2 minutes (we don’t want them to brown too much).

Steps for cooking onion and garlic with spices

Step 2: Add the tomatoes to simmer

Add the tinned tomatoes and stir well, then add the fresh tomatoes and cover with a lid to cook for 5 minutes. If you want to add a bay leaf, add it at this time too.

I left my tomatoes whole as they soften while cooking and can then be peeled if you’d like to. Alternatively, you can chop them in half or quarters.

Steps for cooking vegan bolognese sauce

Step 3: Add the remaining ingredients

Add the soy mince and vegetable stock (or water) and stir well, cooking for a few more minutes (this will depend on what ‘mince’ you’ve used and the time they take to cook).

Taste the spaghetti sauce and adjust any seasonings, then remove the bay leaf (if used).

Vegan bolognese sauce in a large pan

Your bolognese sauce (aka ‘vegan bolognaise’/bolognese) is ready to use and enjoy!

How To Use

There are several ways you can utilize this vegan bolognese sauce, and for more than just pasta. Here are just a few of the ways I love to enjoy it. 

How To Store

Fridge: leftover vegan bolognese sauce can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Freezer: store in airtight container/s for between 3-4 months. Allow it to thaw in the fridge before reheating.

To reheat: reheat in a pan on the stovetop or in the microwave; if the sauce has thickened up too much for your liking, then add a splash of water or vegetable stock in and mix well.

Vegan Bolognese sauce in a bowl

Recipe Notes

  • For a thicker sauce, you can add a cornstarch slurry (of between 1/2-1tbsp cornstarch with 2tbsp water) to the spaghetti sauce in the last few minutes of cooking. 
  • For a more meaty texture, you can add some ground walnuts to the pan too. Even better, pulse it with the soy mince first, so it’s better ‘combined.’ 
  • You can easily ‘hide’ extra veggies in this simple vegan spaghetti sauce by adding some finely grated carrot and finely sliced celery to the mixture. As they cook, it combines so well with all the other ingredients that you can barely tell they’re there. 

If you try this vegan bolognese recipe, then let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments. I’d also really appreciate a recipe rating and would love to see your recreations – just tag @AlphaFoodie.

Vegan Bolognese (Spaghetti Sauce)

5 from 4 votes
By: Samira
Enjoy this rich and flavorful vegan bolognese made with soy mince and a flavorful tomato vegan spaghetti sauce. This soy bolognese is hearty, meaty, and 100% dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan– and only takes 20 minutes to prepare!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 
 

  • 18 oz soy mince or your preferred vegan mince alternative
  • 14 oz preserved tomatoes or canned/tinned tomatoes (high-quality)
  • 3 fresh tomatoes Roma/vine tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 18 oz vegetable stock or water
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon powder optional
  • 1/2 tsp paprika (smoked or plain) and/or chili powder

Instructions 

Step 1: Prepare and saute the garlic & onion.

  • Peel and mince the garlic and finely dice the onion.
  • Heat a large skillet with a little oil and saute the onion for 1-2 minutes until they begin to soften. Then add the garlic and all the spices and saute for a further 1-2 minutes (we don't want them to brown too much).

Step 2: Add the tomatoes to simmer

  • Add the tinned tomatoes and stir well, then add the fresh tomatoes and cover with a lid to cook for 5 minutes. If you want to add a bay leaf, add it at this time too.
    I left my tomatoes whole as they soften while cooking and can then be peeled if you'd like to. Alternatively, you can chop them in half or quarters.

Step 3: Add the remaining ingredients

  • Add the soy mince and vegetable stock (or water) and stir well, cooking for a few more minutes (this will depend on what 'mince' you've used and the time they take to cook).
  • Taste the spaghetti sauce and adjust any seasonings, then remove the bay leaf (if used).
    Your bolognese sauce is ready to use and enjoy!

How To Store

  • Fridge: leftover vegan bolognese sauce can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
    Freezer: store in airtight container/s for between 3-4 months. Allow it to thaw in the fridge before reheating.
    To reheat: reheat in a pan on the stovetop or in the microwave; if the sauce has thickened up too much for your liking, then add a splash of water or vegetable stock in and mix well.

Notes

  • For a thicker sauce, you can add a cornstarch slurry (of between 1/2-1 Tbsp cornstarch with 2 Tbsp water) to the spaghetti sauce in the last few minutes of cooking. 
  • For a more meaty texture, you can add some ground walnuts to the pan too. Even better, pulse it with the soy mince first, so it’s better ‘combined.’ 
  • You can easily ‘hide’ extra veggies in this simple vegan spaghetti sauce by adding some finely grated carrot and finely sliced celery to the mixture. As they cook, it combines so well with all the other ingredients that you can barely tell they’re there. 
Course: Main, Side
Cuisine: Italian
Freezer friendly: 4 Months
Shelf life: 4-5 Days

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 206kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Sodium: 989mg, Potassium: 535mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 919IU, Vitamin C: 16mg, Calcium: 36mg, Iron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

5 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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