Bolognese sauce

How to make bolognese sauce without meat

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to make bolognese sauce without meat

Bolognese sauce is used very frequently to accompany pasta. It is a sauce with a thick consistency and a characteristic red colour produced by the tomato. Though it is traditionally made with minced meat, we can also make a version that is suitable for vegetarians and vegans that will taste absolutely delicious. So, if you also want to know how to prepare it, do not miss this OneHowTo article with the recipe to produce a rich homemade Bolognese sauce without meat.

You'll need:

  • 500 g ripe tomatoes, blanched, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup of canned chick peas
  • Half a cup of walnuts
  • An onion
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic
  • One or two carrots
  • Olive oil
  • A glass of red wine
  • Water
You may also be interested in: How to Make Lasagna without an Oven

Steps to follow:


The first step in preparing your homemade Bolognese sauce without meat is to peel and chop the onion into small pieces. You can choose to shred it with the help of a sharp knife or pass it through the blender to achieve proper crushed pieces. Likewise, you can also cut the garlic into thin slices and cut the carrots into cubes.

How to make bolognese sauce without meat - Step 1

Then you should pour some olive oil in a pan and put it over the heat. Once hot, you should add the chopped vegetables and let them cook over a low heat to avoid burning.

You need to get the onion to acquire a transparent colour and keep the soft texture, so you should not raise the heat or they will very likely burn.

How to make bolognese sauce without meat - Step 2

Whilst the onion is cooking, crush the cooked chickpeas and walnuts well, if necessary use the blender to get the consistency you desire.

When the onion has turned transparent, add this mix to the pan and even add herbs such as Provencal herbs or cumin. Use a wooden spatula to keep stirring whilst cooking so the chickpeas don't clump together.


When the chickpeas and walnuts have begun to turn golden, its time to add the red wine. Turn up the heat a little so that the alcohol in the wine evaporates and the chickpeas are not cooked. If you prefer a smoother sauce and a lighter colour, you can also choose to prepare it with white wine.

Similarly, some people add milk to bolgonese source. If you also want to do this, you must add it when the wine has evaporated.

How to make bolognese sauce without meat - Step 4

Finally, we add the peeled chopped tomatoes canned or fresh tomatoes along with the water and leave it on a medium-low heat for about 15 more minutes until all ingredients are well integrated into the Bolognese sauce. If you see that it is too dry, you can add some more water and it is also recommend to test and to adjust for salt and spices.

How to make bolognese sauce without meat - Step 5

Now you have your veggie bolognese sauce, you can accompany it with spaghetti, macaroni or even add it to your lasagne.

Another way of making bolognese sauce without meat is with TVP. Want to know how to use it? Read this article on How to cook Textured Vegetable Protein.

If you want to read similar articles to How to make bolognese sauce without meat, we recommend you visit our Recipes category.

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1 comment
I wasn't looking for a veggie or vegan recipe, I just want to prepare batches of sauce ahead of time to add to meat later. I can't seem to find that anywhere.
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Dave,

The veggie version here replaces the meat with chickpeas and walnuts. If you wanted to make the same dish, but without these, you could happily refrigerate it and add some mince meat later. All you need to do is sauté the meat until it is browned and then pour in the sauce. Let it simmer until warmed through and at the right consistency. A little fresh basil and/or thyme at the end would also be tasty.

Hope this helps!
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How to make bolognese sauce without meat