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5 from 9 votes

Vegetarian Bolognese Recipe

This Vegetarian Bolognese recipe is full of hearty vegetables that cook down into a rich sauce very similar to the meat filled version. It's a perfect replacement for the classic over pasta or gnocchi.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: bolognese, vegan pasta, vegetarian
Servings: 2
Calories: 67kcal
Cost: $10


  • 1 small yellow onion peeled and minced
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 large carrot peeled and minced
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 red bell pepper stem and seeds removed
  • 1 (26-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan-Reggiano plus more as garnish
  • 1 pound of cauliflower gnocchi OR regular gnocchi


  • Pull out your food processor. If you don’t have one, you can just minced everything with a knife. But I do love the fine mince that is provided by the food processor because it makes it almost “ground.” Add the onion and garlic and pulse until diced. Repeat with the carrot, cremini mushrooms, zucchini and red bell pepper.
  • In a medium Dutch oven, set over medium-low heat, add the olive oil. When warm, add the minced onion, garlic and carrot; cook until softened about 10 minutes.
  • Then add the mushrooms, zucchini and red bell pepper, adding a few tablespoons of olive oil if needed (I needed it). Cook, stirring frequently, until liquid has released from the vegetables and evaporates and they’re totally softened, 15 to 20 minutes. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, water, salt, dried oregano, red pepper flakes and finely grated Parmesan. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, just until the flavors have married together. Give it a taste and adjust the salt to your liking. Turn the flame to low to keep warm while you cook the gnocchi.
  • To cook the cauliflower gnocchi, add a tablespoon of olive oil to a non-stick skillet. When warm, add the gnocchi and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until lightly golden brown. Add a ladle or two of the sauce and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Divide amongst bowls and top with another spoonful of “bolognese.” Garnish with parmesan cheese, basil leaves, more crushed red pepper…if you’re into that sort of thing.
  • You’ll end up with leftover ‘bolognese’—good! This freezes so well. Add to a freezer-safe container and place in the freezer. To thaw, transfer to the fridge or leave out on the counter.


Serving: 2g | Calories: 67kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2345mg | Potassium: 907mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2059IU | Vitamin C: 95mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg