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A bowl of tempeh bolognese over pasta with a grey tea towel in the background
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Tempeh Bolognese

This easy vegetarian bolognese sauce is made with crumbled tempeh, nutritional yeast, and flavourful spices. Done in under 30 minutes but with all-day flavour and packed with plant-based protein, this vegetarian pasta sauce is the perfect quick and healthy weeknight dinner. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword pasta, tempeh bolognese, vegan bolognese
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 205kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 8 oz package tempeh crumbled
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup water more as needed
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion, and sauté until it just begins to brown, stirring frequently.
  • Add the garlic, and cook for 2-3 minutes, more, until it has just softened.
  • Now add the tempeh crumbles, and sauté with the onions and garlic until the tempeh begins to brown - about five minutes.
  • Add the oregano, thyme, and chili and cook with the spices for about a minute.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, water, and nutritional yeast and stir well to combine. If the mixture is to thick, add a bit more water as needed (remember it'll thicken as it cooks).
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low, and let the bolognese simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve over hot whole wheat spaghetti, with extra nutritional yeast sprinkled over the top.

Notes

  • Nutrition values are an estimate only
  • Nutrition calculation is for sauce only, does not include pasta. 
  • Help, I can't find tempeh! Bummer, man. But worry not, you can replace the tempeh with an equivalent amount of crumbled tofu or cooked lentils.
  • Can I make this veggie bolognese sauce in advance? Yup! It'll last you 3-5 days in the fridge and it reheats like a dream.
  • Can I freeze this vegetarian bolognese? You sure can! I like to portion it into single or double servings and then freeze it, or you can totally freeze the entire batch, too. 
  • Is this recipe vegan? It is 100% vegan as written. 
  • Is this recipe gluten-free? If you serve with gluten-free pasta, then you bet your butt it is!
  • Can I add extra vegetables to the pasta sauce? You sure can! Grated zucchini and carrots work great in this recipe. 

Nutrition

Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 297mg | Potassium: 728mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 330IU | Vitamin C: 22.5mg | Calcium: 143mg | Iron: 3.9mg