Tempeh Bolognese


Last Updated on March 15, 2021

vegan bolognese

Vegan tempeh bolognese! A cozy plant-based meal that’s packed with protein, heart-healthy fats, and tons of vegetables in each serving. This delicious meal comes together in just about 35 minutes, and tastes so good over some pasta or zucchini noodles!

tempeh bolognese

What is tempeh?

Tempeh is a plant-based protein made primarily from soybeans and whole-grains, like rice. It’s a good source of protein and fiber, and has a chewy, nutty flavor.

Compared to tofu, it has more of a firm texture, making it a great vegan substitute in meat sauces like this vegan bolognese. Tempeh pretty much takes on whatever flavor its given, so there’s so much you can do with it!

vegan bolognese

What you’ll need to make tempeh bolognese

For the perfect “meaty” texture, I used a combination of crushed walnuts and crumbled tempeh. Combined with the carrots and onions, they come together to form the most delicious, hearty “meat” sauce.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. One 8 oz package of tempeh- I usually grab an unflavored one
  2. Crushed walnuts
  3. Crushed tomatoes
  4. Low-sodium vegetable broth
  5. Onion, carrots & garlic
  6. Balsamic vinegar
  7. Dry red wine- this one’s optional, but so delicious!
  8. Tomato paste
  9. Olive oil
  10. Spices like oregano, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper

The longer you let the sauce simmer, the more flavorful it becomes. This delicious tempeh bolognese sauce can be served over your favorite pasta, or even a veggie noodle like zucchini! It’s so flavorful as is, but can also be topped off with nutritional yeast or some vegan parmesan.

Freezing leftovers

This recipe makes about 4 servings of sauce. If you’re only cooking for one or want to double the recipe, you can separate the leftovers into individual ziplock bags, and freeze them for up to 3 months.

It would be a great last-minute dinner option when you need something quick & nutritious!

This simple dinner is a great way to pack in more vegetables and plant-based protein into your diet. I can’t wait for you guys to try it!

Other plant-based meals you may like:

Crumbled Tofu Tacos with Kale Slaw

Vegan Pesto Pasta

Lentil Meatballs

Tempeh Bolognese

5 from 1 vote
Course: Main


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • 8 package 8 package of tempeh, crumbled

  • 18 oz 18 crushed tomatoes

  • 2 tbsp 2 olive oil

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced

  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed

  • 1 cup 1 low-sodium vegetable broth

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 dry red wine (optional)

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 walnuts, chopped

  • 1 tbsp 1 balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tbsp 2 tomato paste

  • 1 tsp 1 dry oregano

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 red pepper flakes

  • 1 tsp 1 salt

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 black pepper

  • Serve With
  • Pasta of choice

  • Fresh basil

  • Nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan, to top


  • Heat a large pan with the olive oil on medium/low heat, and saute your chopped carrots and onions until soft- for about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add in the crumbled tempeh, walnuts, garlic, spices, and balsamic and cook together for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Pour in the red wine, and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add in your crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and vegetable broth.
  • Cover the pot, bring it to a boil, and reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer over a low flame for about 15-18 minutes. If you prefer a thicker sauce, let it cook down even more until it thickens.
  • Serve fresh with your choice of pasta. Top with fresh basil or herbs, nutritional yeast, or vegan parmesan.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week. When rewarming, heat over the stove top or microwave, and add a little more water or vegetable broth if needed to thin.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @somethingnutritious on Instagram- I’d love to see your creations!


  1. Whittney

    When do you add the walnuts? With the tempeh?

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