This vegetarian bolognese recipe is made with mushrooms, carrots, celery, garlic, and onion. A delicious meatless vegetarian “meat” sauce recipe that everyone will enjoy!
Bolognese sauce is a classic family favorite dish.
Today I’m sharing a delicious alternative to the traditional bolognese sauce. vegetarian bolognese sauce!
As a vegetarian (and just a carb lover in general), pasta is one of my favorite meals.
It’s a great way to get lots of veggies, pasta, and protein for a well rounded meal.
I love to vegetarian-ize classic recipes like bolognese sauce, vegetarian meatloaf, and million dollar baked ziti.
This vegetarian bolognese recipe is a great meatless substitute for “meat sauce.” It is super satisfying, packed full of good for you ingredients, and tastes amazing!
ingredients to make meatless bolognese sauce
- baby bella and golden oak shitake mushrooms: these really give the bolognese that “meaty” taste
- onion: you can use yellow or white onion for this recipe
- diced fire roasted tomatoes: the depth of flavor from fire roasted tomatoes is so important to this recipe, don’t skip this!
- dried basil and oregano: or you can use italian seasoning
- sugar: just a touch to offset the acidity of the tomatoes
- nutritional yeast
How to make vegetarian bolognese sauce
Step 1: Add the baby bella and shitake mushrooms to a food processor and either pulse or shred them.
Process the mushrooms up until they are in minced like texture like the picture below.
Step 2: Transfer the mushrooms to a skillet, and add the celery, carrots, garlic, and onion to the food processor.
Mince it all up in the food processor until it is in tiny pieces like the mushrooms.
Once it’s all processed it will look like this picture below.
Step 3: It’s time to let the veggies sweat and cook the liquid out.
Cook the minced mushroom, garlic, onion, carrots, and celery with the salt and pepper in a large skillet for around 25 – 30 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the vegetables have reduced in volume.
Step 4: Next, puree the fire roasted tomatoes in the food processor until smooth.
The fire roasted tomatoes add a great depth of flavor, and the spices help round it all out.
The flavor is key to nailing the perfect vegetarian bolognese sauce!
I have had a few people tell me that they cannot find fire roasted tomatoes.
I buy mine in the same aisle as the other canned tomatoes. If you are unable to find them, just substitute regular canned diced tomatoes, and adjust the spice amounts as necessary.
Step 5: Add the tomatoes, basil, oregano, nutritional yeast, and sugar to the vegetables. Stir until hot and it is ready to serve!
The texture of the vegetable bolognese is so meaty.
I was genuinely surprised that it felt to me that I was eating meat sauce!
Made this today and LOVED it, thank you so much, it’s such a great idea! I make normal bolognese all the time and even my kids didn’t notice anything different about it.
Top with fresh chopped parsley if you want for more added flavor.
I like to do this for that little extra garnish and flavor.
I totally love this recipe! It’s so delicious and my 2 years old picky eater devoured it. Yay happy mom over here
If you’re vegetarian and not vegan (like me), parmesan cheese is a great topping for this recipe.
Freshly grated is best!
Otherwise, this bolognese sauce is vegan as written.
You could also top with vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast to keep it dairy free.
It’s honestly so delicious and so filling.
You won’t miss the meat at all!
For more yummy inspiration, be sure to read our 25 best vegetarian recipes.
This recipe makes a huge batch of sauce so it is great to feed a lot of people!
More vegetarian pasta recipes
- Easy Meatless Spaghetti Sauce
- Vegan Creamy Tomato Shells
- Veggie Lover’s Baked Rigatoni
- Easy Crockpot Baked Ziti
Are you making this recipe? I want to see! Don’t forget to tag me on instagram @buildyourbite and hashtag #buildyourbite with your recipe creations!
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Did you make this recipe? Be sure to leave a star rating below!
Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce Recipe
Vegetable Bolognese Recipe
This vegetable bolognese sauce recipe is made with mushrooms, carrots, celery, garlic, and onion. A delicious meatless vegetarian "meat" sauce recipe.
- 8 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms, rinsed and patted dry
- 5 oz golden oak shitake mushrooms, rinsed and patted dry
- 3 celery stalks, ends cut off and cut into 3 pieces each
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3 sections each
- 10 cloves of garlic
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 4 (14.5 oz each) cans of diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- Spaghetti, for serving
- Add baby bella and shitake mushrooms to a food processor and either pulse or shred, until minced
- Transfer mushrooms to a large skillet or dutch oven
- Add celery chunks, carrot chunks, garlic cloves, and onion pieces to the food processor and pulse/shred
- Add the celery/carrot/garlic/onion mixture to the mushrooms in the pan
- Add 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper to the vegetables
- Turn the burner on medium high heat and sautee vegetables for 25-30 minutes, stirring often, until vegetables cook down and most of the liquid evaporates
- Puree diced fire roasted tomatoes in the food processor until smooth
- Add the pureed tomatoes to the vegetables along with the basil, oregano, nutritional yeast, and sugar
- Taste and add any seasonings if necessary (if it tastes too acidic, add a little more sugar as necessary)
- Heat until hot throughout, then serve
- Serve over spaghetti and topped with parmesan cheese, if desired
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 85Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 43mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 5g
Friday 13th of January 2023
Is the nutritional yeast used in place of milk that usually goes in Bolognese sauce?
Saturday 13th of August 2022
This was so good! I didn't even miss the ground beef.
Sunday 27th of March 2022
This recipe is amazing! I'm planning to make it again next week. Thank you so much!
Wednesday 24th of November 2021
I'm going more and more plant-based this fall and love the effects. I've been craving a good Bolognese like it's nobody's business. So I'm ready to give this a try. What size food processor are you using? I don't currently own one so I have no concept of size. However Black Friday sales are beckoning, and I know I can get a lot of use out of it. Any tips? I generally cook for four.
Wednesday 24th of November 2021
It depends on what you'll be using it for, but a 6-8+ cup might be the best choice in your case!
Friday 4th of June 2021
The perfect veggie bolognese. I often find with vegetarian meals that something feels like it is missing, but this one lacks nothing!! It is so satisfying and easy. Definitely a staple in my rotation.
Saturday 5th of June 2021
So glad you enjoyed the recipe Allison! Thanks for leaving a comment :)