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tempeh bolognese veggiekins
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5 from 1 vote

Hearty Vegan Mushroom Bolognese

A delicious high-protein Mushroom Bolognese with tempeh. This vegan take on bolognese is rich, hearty, and full of flavour!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: main dishes
Keyword: bolognese, dinner, gluten free, high protein, lunch, main dishes, mushroom bolognese, oil free, pasta, refined sugar free, tempeh, vegan
Servings: 3 -4 servings
Author: Remy


  • 1/2 cup shredded or very finely diced carrot
  • 3/4 cup minced onion
  • 1-2 stalks celery roughly 1/3 cup finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • spices
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • other
  • 1 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 2-3 cups mushrooms of choice I used shiitake, button mushrooms work too
  • 4-5 ounces tempeh
  • 8 oz diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup veggie broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 oz pasta of choice cooked
  • optional
  • 1/4 cup plant milk
  • cracked black pepper
  • grated macadamia nut in lieu of parmesan, or use vegan parmesan
  • parsley or basil to garnish


  • In a large saucepan over medium heat add a splash of oil or use veggie broth and sauté carrots, onion and celery until fragrant. Using a spatula, stir frequently for about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic and all spices to the pan, sautéing for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms and tempeh to a food processor on "chop" and give it a few pulses to break down and until desired texture is achieved. I like to keep mine a little chunky. Alternatively, use our hands and break down, then add to the pan along with soy sauce and miso paste.
  • Next add diced tomatoes to pan, along with veggie broth and bay leaves. Cover and lower heat to low, allowing sauce to simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If your mixture feels too dry, add additional veggie broth.
  • Optional step: to really allow flavour to marinate, you can place saucepan into the oven at roughly 300F for about 20 minutes.
  • While sauce is simmering, prepare your pasta according to package directions and save about 1/4 cup of your pasta cooking water. When ready to enjoy, add pasta and pasta water to sauce and fold gently to combine.


Secrets to Success

  • To make this recipe, I highly recommend using tempeh. However, if you're allergic to soy, it actually comes in soy-free varieties. Some alternatives include chickpea tempeh and black bean tempeh, for example. Be sure to use an unseasoned tempeh so that the bolognese flavour can really penetrate and do its thang.
  • I used shiitake mushrooms to get maximum texture and flavour, but you can also use button mushrooms, dried porcini mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, or portobello mushrooms if you prefer. Get creative and get your shroom on!
  • As mentioned, this is a recipe that gets more flavourful and delicious with time. So the cooking time is really just an estimate. If you have the additional time to do so, please let your sauce simmer or pop it in the oven at a low temp. Alternatively, throw it into a crockpot or store leftovers and re-heat to taste that extra flavour unlock.
  • If you see celery in the recipe notes and you're thinking oh no... because you hate celery, try this tip. Use a food processor to give a small chop to your celery slices, and make sure you really sauté the heck out of them. When they're softened and broken down, the astringent celery flavour disappears. Trust me, though, it's a classic in most bolognese recipes and usually offers a delicious flavour in tandem with onion and carrots. That's why it's included in Mirepoix and always paired with those two veggies.
  • To add some spice to this mushroom bolognese, feel free to garnish with red pepper flakes, to taste. 

Serving Tips

  • Serve this mushroom bolognese over your favorite regular pasta, legume-based pasta, or even polenta! Sprinkle on some vegan parmesan cheese, and enjoy! 

Storage Tips

  • Store leftover mushroom bolognese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. 
  • The flavour of the vegan bolognese sauce really gets better with time, so reheated leftovers might even be better than the first serving. 
  • To freeze, let the sauce cool completely, then pour into a freezer safe container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and boil a pot of fresh pasta.