Spaghetti with meat sauce was always the ultimate comfort food for me. It’s hard to think of anything quite as satisfying. But alas, I don't eat meat anymore, so what to do? Come up with a killer vegan bolognese sauce, of course! This one is particularly chewy and meat-like, because it has not just one, but three “meaty” ingredients: tempeh, mushrooms and lentils. Could this be the vegan holy trinity?

Bolognese Sauce [Vegan]

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  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 8-ounce package tempeh, crumbled
  • 8 ounces cremini or white mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 cup dried red lentils
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, undrained, chopped
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or up to 1 teaspoon, to taste


  1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven. Add the garlic, onion, bell pepper, carrot, celery and crushed red pepper, and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Turn the heat up a bit, add the mushrooms and tempeh and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Lower the heat back to medium, stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes more. A
  3. dd the herbs, tomatoes, parsley and wine, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Add the lentils and cook until they just tender. This usually takes 20 minutes, but I’ve had some lentils take a lot longer. So keep tasting it along the way to determine when it’s done. If the sauce gets too dry, add a bit of water. Add salt at the end of the cooking time. Serve on whole wheat spaghetti or use in lasagna.

Nutritional Information

Total Calories: 2153 | Total Carbs: 302 g | Total Fat: 104 g | Total Protein: 104 g | Total Sodium: 3450 g | Total Sugar: 52 g Per Serving: Calories: 269 | Carbs: 38 g | Fat: 13 g | Protein: 13 g | Sodium: 431 mg | Sugar: 7 g Note: The information shown is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.


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