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Vegetarian Bolognese Recipe

This vegetarian bolognese recipe is made with mushrooms, carrots, celery, garlic, and onion. A delicious meatless vegetarian “meat” sauce recipe that everyone will enjoy!

a fork twirling a bite of spaghetti with vegetarian bolognese sauce

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 and million dollar baked ziti!

spaghetti noodles in a bowl topped with bolognese sauce

This vegetarian bolognese recipe is a great meatless substitute for “meat sauce.”

It’s super satisfying, packed full of good for you ingredients, and tastes amazing!

ingredients you will need to make meatless bolognese sauce

  • baby bella mushrooms
  • golden oak shitake mushrooms
  • celery 
  • carrots
  • garlic
  • onion
  • diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • dried basil
  • dried oregano
  • sugar
  • nutritional yeast
vegetable bolognese in a sauce pan with a spoon

How to make vegetarian bolognese sauce

First up, we will be using a food processor to make the veggie prep super easy.

If yours is small like mine, you can process in batches.

Otherwise just throw all the veggies in at once!

I started by processing 8 oz of baby bella mushrooms with 5 oz of golden oak shitake mushrooms.

Process them up until they are in minced like texture.

minced mushrooms in a sauce pan

Next come celery, carrots, garlic, and onion.

Mince it all up in the food processor until it is in tiny pieces like the mushrooms.

Once it’s all nice and minced up it will look like this picture below.

minced veggies in the sauce pan before cooking down

Time to let the veggies sweat and cook the liquid out.

Cook the veggies for around 25-30 minutes (I used my dutch oven to cook mine), until most of the liquid has evaporated and the vegetables have reduced in volume.

Next, puree fire roasted tomatoes in the food processor, add some spices, and a touch of sugar and it all comes together!

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!

the finished meatless bolognese sauce in a blue dutch oven

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. 

up close texture of the bolognese

The texture of the vegetable bolognese is so meaty.

I was genuinely surprised that it felt to me that I was eating meat sauce!

I just made this for my kids . They loved it and so did I. So much flavor! Super easy to make, also. We don’t eat meat and this was a fresh new recipe.

a spoonful of bolognese 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.

fork taking a bite of spaghetti with vegan bolognese

Made this last night and ooohhh what a wonderful Bolognese. I’ll probably never make it with meat again

Vegetable bolognese sauce over spaghetti and topped with parsley

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

a bowl full of pasta and sauce with a fork

If you’re vegetarian and not vegan (like me), parmesan cheese is a great topping for this recipe.

Freshly grated is best!

You could also top with vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast to keep it dairy free.

Such an easy and tasty recipe!!! One of these recipes that remind you why you are so happy to be a vegetarian!

a bowl with spaghetti and sauce topped with fresh grated parmesan cheese

While I usually don’t try to make meat substitutes in my recipes, this was definitely a great substitute for someone that might be transitioning to vegetarianism (or just as a meatless meal in general).

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.

Vegetable bolognese in a bowl topped with fresh parsley and parmesan with a fork

This recipe makes a huge batch of sauce so it is great to feed a lot of people!

 More vegetarian pasta recipes 

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!

image with text "vegetarian bolognese"

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Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce Recipe

Yield: 8 servings

Vegetable Bolognese Recipe

Vegetable bolognese sauce recipe made with mushrooms, carrots, celery, garlic, and onion. A delicious meatless vegetarian "meat" sauce recipe.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 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
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • Spaghetti, for serving


  1. Add baby bella and shitake mushrooms to a food processor and either pulse or shred, until minced
  2. Transfer mushrooms to a large skillet or dutch oven
  3. Add celery chunks, carrot chunks, garlic cloves, and onion pieces to the food processor and pulse/shred
  4. Add mixture to the mushrooms
  5. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper to the vegetables
  6. 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
  7. Puree diced fire roasted tomatoes in the food processor until smooth
  8. Add pureed tomatoes to the vegetables
  9. Add basil, oregano, nutritional yeast, and sugar
  10. Taste and add any seasonings if necessary (if it tastes too acidic, add a little more sugar as necessary)
  11. Serve over spaghetti and topped with parmesan cheese, if desired

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 85Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 43mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 5g

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