Vegan Main Dishes/ Vegan Pasta and Noodles/ Vegan Recipes

Vegan Pasta Bolognese

Vegan Pasta Bolognese

In this vegan adaptation of pasta Bolognese, a classic Italian specialty, the tomato sauce is made meat-free with high-protein quinoa and flavored with wine, garlic, bell pepper, and seasonings. Simple and hearty, this is a perfect weeknight meal served with a colorful salad. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.

Serves: 6

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 large celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine
  • 14- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 14- to 16-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon natural granulated sugar
  • 10 to 12 ounces short, chunky pasta, preferably whole grain
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Raw Vegan Cashew Parmesan-Style Cheez, optional

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until it is translucent. Add the garlic, bell pepper, and celery and continue to sauté until the mixture is golden. Add small amounts of water if necessary to keep the bottom of the saucepan moist.

Add the quinoa, wine, tomatoes, tomato sauce, seasonings, and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer, then simmer gently, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the quinoa is tender and infused with the tomato-y flavors.

Vegan Pasta Bolognese recipe

About halfway into the cooking time for the sauce, cook the pasta in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente, then drain.

When both the pasta and sauce are done, combine them in a large serving bowl and toss together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at once, passing around the Raw Vegan Parmesan-Style Cheez if desired.

Vegan Pasta Bolognese sauce


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  • Reply
    January 20, 2012 at 9:39 am

    How can this recipe be vegan? Doesn’t pasta contain egg?

  • Reply
    January 20, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Nikki, on the contrary! Only egg noodles contain egg. Most pastas are just flour and water.

  • Reply
    January 15, 2015 at 1:12 am

    Is it wise to use Virgin olive oil? That is not supposed to be heated up I have learned.

    • Reply
      January 15, 2015 at 11:42 pm

      Monica, it’s OK to use virgin olive oil in a gentle sauté. It’s not good as a high-heat oil

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