Vegetarian Bolognese

This hearty plant-based bolognese is packed with fresh veggies and gets a meaty texture due to meatless ground crumbles. Serve over pasta or polenta for a satisfying vegetarian dinner.

cast iron pan of Vegetarian Bolognese
Photo: Blaine Moats
Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
6 cups sauce + 3 cups polenta


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 16 ounce fresh cremini mushrooms, chopped

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • 1 cup chopped carrots

  • 1 cup chopped celery

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 12 ounce pkg. refrigerated cooked and crumbled ground meat substitute (soy protein)

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • ¾ cup half-and-half or whole milk

  • 1 14.5 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

  • 1 3 inch Parmesan cheese rind

  • 1 ½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese (2 oz.)

  • 1 recipe Polenta

  • Chopped fresh Italian parsley


  1. In a 4- to 6- qt. Dutch oven heat oil over medium-high. Add mushrooms, onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are brown and liquid is evaporated, stirring occasionally.

  2. Stir in meat substitute and wine; simmer 5 minutes or until wine is evaporated. Stir in half-and-half; simmer 5 minutes or until evaporated. Stir in tomatoes, cheese rind, Italian seasoning, and salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring in water, 1/2 cup at a time, if sauce becomes too dry.

  3. Stir shredded cheese into sauce. Serve sauce over Polenta and top with parsley.


Omit half-and-half and shredded Parmesan cheese and rind. Stir 1 recipe Cashew Cream and 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast into sauce in Step 3.Cashew Cream: In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews and enough boiling water to cover. Let stand, covered, 15 minutes; drain. Rinse and drain again. In a small food processor combine cashews, 1/4 cup water, and dash salt. Cover and process 5 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Makes 1/2 cup.Per Serving: 301 calories, 20 g protein, 38 g carbohydrate, 8 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 7 g fiber, 7 g total sugar, 72% Vitamin A, 17% Vitamin C, 1100 mg sodium, 9% calcium, 23% iron


In a 3-qt. saucepan bring 2 3/4 cups water to boiling. Meanwhile, in a small bowl stir together 1 cup yellow cornmeal, 1 cup cold water, and 1 tsp. salt. Slowly add cornmeal mixture to boiling water, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until mixture returns to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 10 to 15 minutes or until mixture is very thick and tender, stirring frequently and adjusting heat as needed to maintain a slow boil.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

325 Calories
10g Fat
37g Carbs
22g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 325
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 1244mg 54%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 22g
Vitamin C 15.8mg 79%
Calcium 258mg 20%
Iron 3.5mg 19%
Potassium 611mg 13%
Folate, total 40.5mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.3mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.3mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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