Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese

When it comes to hearty and comforting dishes, Spaghetti Bolognese holds a special place in our hearts. Traditionally made with ground meat, this Italian classic has undergone a delightful transformation to cater to the preferences of vegetarians and vegans. Enter the Veggie Spaghetti Bolognese – a dish that retains all the rich flavors of the original while embracing the goodness of plant-based ingredients.


For the Sauce:

  • 2 cups of textured vegetable protein (TVP) or plant-based ground meat substitute
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 can (28 oz) of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup of red wine (optional, for depth of flavor)
  • 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

For the Spaghetti:

  • 12 oz of whole wheat or gluten-free spaghetti
  • Salt for pasta water

For Garnish:

  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Vegan Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. Prepare the Sauce:
    • Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
    • Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent.
    • Stir in the minced garlic, carrots, celery, and red bell pepper. Cook until the vegetables are tender.
  2. Add the Flavors:
    • Incorporate the TVP or plant-based ground meat substitute into the pan. Sauté for a few minutes until it’s well combined with the vegetables.
    • Pour in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable broth, and red wine (if using). Stir to combine.
  3. Season the Sauce:
    • Sprinkle in the dried oregano, basil, thyme, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper according to your taste.
    • Allow the sauce to simmer over low heat for at least 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. This helps the flavors meld together beautifully.
  4. Cook the Spaghetti:
    • In a separate pot, bring water to a boil and add a generous amount of salt.
    • Add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook until al dente according to the package instructions.
    • Once cooked, drain the spaghetti and set aside.
  5. Combine and Serve:
    • Remove the bay leaf from the sauce.
    • Serve the cooked spaghetti on plates or in bowls.
    • Ladle the rich and flavorful veggie Bolognese sauce over the spaghetti.
  6. Garnish and Enjoy:
    • Finish each plate with torn fresh basil leaves and a sprinkle of vegan Parmesan cheese, if desired.
    • For a touch of heat, add red pepper flakes according to your preference.

Final Thoughts:

This Veggie Spaghetti Bolognese recipe is a celebration of both the classic Italian flavors and the modern shift towards plant-based eating. With its robust and hearty sauce made from textured vegetable protein and an array of aromatic vegetables, this dish doesn’t compromise on taste or satisfaction. Whether you’re a committed vegetarian, a dedicated vegan, or simply looking to diversify your meals, this recipe promises a delightful dining experience that pays homage to tradition while embracing innovation.

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