The Very Best Vegan Bolognese

Sometimes you just want something classic. Nothing screams pasta like bolognese and I’ve made it my mission over the last few months to come up with a fool proof vegan bolognese that’s better than the original. You read that right – “better” than the original. This bolognese has everything, salty, umami, crunchy, you name it. Believe me when I say you will not be disappointed with this recipe.

When to eat

Every day should be bolognese day, but to get the best of your veggies I’d recommend eating this dish from September to early March.


Serves 8
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

This meal is around 87% less polluting than the average UK meal.

  • Eating this recipe will save around 2.58 KG CO2e per person.
  • That’s equivalent to the emissions produced driving 21.30 KM in a modern car.


  • 3 Medium Onion (peeled and loosely chopped)
  • 2 Medium Carrot (peeled and loosely chopped)
  • 2 Sticks Celery (loosely chopped)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic (peeled)
  • 500 g Chestnut Mushrooms (loosely chopped)
  • 150 g Walnuts
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 100 ml Red Wine
  • 2 Teaspoons Paprika
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
  • 2 Teaspoons Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 2 (400g) Cans Plum Tomatoes (decanted and lightly crushed with your hands so no large pieces remain)
  • 600 g Pasta
  • 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 25 g Parsley


  • Place the chopped onions, carrots, celery and garlic in a blender and pulse until the vegetable pieces are much finer. Remove the mixture reserve in a bowl for later.
  • Next, blitz the walnuts in a food processor until it resembles a fine crumb. Remove the nuts and place the mushrooms into the blender. Pulse until the mushrooms are shredded but not a paste. Don't be tempted to over process.
  • Add the walnuts back into the blender and blitz for a short time to incorporate. Remove the mixture from the blender and reserve.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a deep pan over a low heat and add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic mixture. Cover with a lid and sweat the vegetables for about 10 minutes.
  • Whilst the mixture is sweating heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan over a high heat and add the walnut and mushroom mixture. Fry on high for about a couple of minutes, stirring to make sure it doesn't stick.
  • Add the soy sauce and red wine to the pan and reduce the mixture until none of the moisture remains. This should take 5 – 8 minutes.
  • Once the mushrooms are done, add them to the sweating onions. Turn the heat up to medium and add the paprika, oregano and sugar. Stir the mixture to combine the spices and fry for a minute or two.
  • Tip in the balsamic vinegar and tomato paste, cook for another minute then add the plum tomatoes. Reduce the heat of the pan, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • When your sauce has simmered for 30 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Then cover and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  • At this point you can cook your pasta. Bring a pan of heavily salted water to the boil on the hob and cook your pasta according to the packet instructions.
  • Finely chop your parsley and serve the bolognese generously heaped over your pasta and topped with the chopped parsley and some nutritional yeast.


4.64 from 11 votes

Leave a Reply


  • Ellie Parkes

    July 18, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    This was absolutely deliciousss!! Great taste, comforting and definitely a crowd pleaser. 100% recommend for vegans and non-vegans alike. This recipe makes tons which is great because, like standard bolognese, it’s even better the next day. I used packet lentils (which were also cooked in onion and bay leaf) which was a bit naughty but we had them in the house…

    • hugo

      July 19, 2020 at 7:51 am

      So great to hear – thanks Ellie! 😍