Try This Classic Vegan Bolognese

Try this rich and flavorful vegan take on the classic bolognese


1 Minutes Read

vegan classic Bolognese made with ragu-style tomato sauce and topped over pappardelle pasta Try this vegan take on the classic Bolognese topped over thick pappardelle pasta - Media Credit: Rebecca Hincke

Are you looking for a decadent and classic vegan bolognese? This recipe by Rebecca Hincke pulls out all the stops when it comes to deep and classic Italian flavors in a plant-based format. Bolognese is a slow-cooked meat sauce made with tomatoes, onions, herbs, wine, and other additions for a savory ragu-type flavor.

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This vegan adaptation of the well-known pasta dish opts for pappardelle — wide ribbons of pasta with a great chew — over the traditional tagliatelle that Bolognese is usually served over. However, you can use any pasta you have on hand.

Rebecca’s version doesn’t exactly follow the traditional bolognese recipe. Instead, she’s created something in between by incorporating ideas from home for a more simplified recipe. You’ll also get the benefits of plant protein with the addition of vegan “ground beef” or mince in this dish.

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Classic vegan Bolognese

This classic vegan Bolognese is made with traditional flavors, rich tomato, soy sauce, Italian seasoning, garlic, and vegan "ground beef" of your choice.
vegan classic Bolognese made with ragu-style tomato sauce and topped over pappardelle pasta
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Duration1 hr 20 mins
Servings6 people


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions finely diced
  • 5-6 large garlic cloves minced
  • 2 medium carrots finely diced
  • 2 ribs celery finely diced
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning or 1½ tsp each dried basil, parsley, oregano, and sage
  • 340 grams fresh or frozen vegan "ground beef"
  • ½ cup vegan red or white wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 794 grams can of crushed or chopped tomatoes
  • 500 grams tomato passata
  • 2 tsp flaked sea salt plus more to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2-3 dried bay leaves
  • Handful of fresh basil, leaves only (optional)
  • 340 grams dried pappardelle or other long, flat pasta of choice
To serve
  • Almond parmesan
  • Fresh basil


  • In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat, and once hot, sauté the onions for 3 to 4 minutes, until soft and translucent.
  • Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute before adding the carrots and celery to the pot.
  • Cook for about 5 minutes, until the veg has softened, then add the seasoning and vegan “ground beef,” stirring it into the sautéed vegetables.
  • Cook for another 5 minutes (or until the “meat” is thawed and cooked through if using frozen), stirring occasionally, then pour in the wine and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat to cook off the alcohol.
  • Next, add the tomato paste and tamari, along with the tomatoes and tomato passata.
  • Stir everything together until well incorporated, and then season with the salt and pepper and add in the bay leaves.
  • Cover the pot with a lid and simmer on medium-low heat for1 hour, stirring occasionally throughout.
  • If the sauce is sticking to the bottom of the pot, reduce the heat a little. If adding basil, stir it into the sauce just before serving. Season with more salt and pepper as needed.
  • When the Bolognese is nearly ready, cook the pasta in salted, boiling water to al dente.
  • Drain, then transfer it back to the pot it was cooked in, and stir in a few spoonfuls of sauce to keep the pasta from sticking together.
  • Serve topped with a generous portion of Bolognese and garnish with Almond parmesan and basil. Remove the bay leaves before serving.
For an added depth of flavor, stir in 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar or 2 to 3 teaspoons of vegan Worcestershire sauce (or both) to the sauce while it simmers.
If you don’t want to use almond parmesan as a garnish for your pasta, you can grate nuts atop your dish for a mild and nutty flavor. Use a microplane or fine grater to get soft, nutty flakes. Walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, and hazelnuts all work for grating.

This recipe was republished with permission from food photographer and recipe developer, Rebecca Hincke. You can find her Instagram here and her cookbook The Vegan Pasta Cookbook here.
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