This bolognese will bowl you over! It is off.the.charts. And SO easy.
I swiped the recipe from one of my absolute favorite go-to’s, Minimalist Baker, and it’s a keeper! I followed the recipe exactly, not always easy for me :), and added a few handfuls of spinach at the very end to get some greens in and it was perfect. Vegan, of course!
You cannot tell it’s not ground beef. Now, if you *want* “ground beef”, then get Beyond Meat’s 100% plant-based hamburger meat and crumble it in, but I’m telling you, this blew me away.
I give it
Minimalist Baker Recipe:
- 1 Tbsp olive oil (or sub twice as much water)
- 3/4 cup finely diced onion or shallot
- 1 cup shiitake (or cremini) mushrooms, minced
- 8 ounces tempeh (finely chopped or grated on a box grater)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp coconut aminos (or 1 Tbsp tamari or balsamic vinegar)
- 1/2 tsp fennel seed
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flake (adjust to preferred spice level)
- 1/4 cup dry red wine (optional // we used Elephants Red Cuvée Rouge, but any dry red will do — preferably something you’ll enjoy with the meal!)
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp fresh oregano
- 1-2 Tbsp vegan parmesan cheese (plus more to taste)
- 1-2 Tbsp sweetener of choice (such as maple syrup or coconut sugar)
- Water as needed to thin
Heat a large-rimmed skillet, pot, or dutch oven (as large as possible to give room for browning) over medium heat. Once hot, add oil (or water) and onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes until translucent and soft, stirring frequently. If using water, add more water as needed as it evaporates quickly.
Add mushrooms and stir. Sauté for 2 minutes more. Then add shredded tempeh and garlic and stir (if your pan is small, do this in 2 batches so the tempeh has room to brown*). Then add coconut aminos, fennel seeds, and red pepper flake. Sauté for 4-5 minutes (or up to 10 minutes), stirring frequently, until everything is golden brown. Turn down heat if browning too quickly.
Add wine (optional), stir, and cook for 1 minute. Then add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, vegan parmesan, and sweetener. Thin with water if needed (we added about 1/4 cup / 60 ml). Stir to combine and simmer for 10 minutes.
Taste and adjust flavors as needed, adding more coconut aminos or salt for saltiness, red pepper flake for spice, oregano for herbal flavor, tomato paste for depth of flavor, or vegan parmesan for cheesy flavor.
Serve with your favorite pasta or pasta alternative, like spaghetti squash, penne, or zucchini or carrot noodles and garnish with fresh basil (optional)!
Cooled leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat in a saucepan or microwave until hot, adding a little water as needed to rehydrate.