Plant based bolognaise

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

I know this might be a shock to you, that this is not a cake post... but bear with me, this is comfort food gone plant based and it's unbelievably tasty, I love this dish so much, really I do!

If you are looking to eat less meat and get more veggies, you have come to the right place. Celebrating the ingenious idea #Meatfreemonday - this is one of my contributions to that very theme.

This recipe has become one of my favorite recipes of all time, and this is a big thing coming from a girl who grew up eating beef bolognaise as much as she could get away with.

I started experimenting with different versions of plant based bolognaise and over the past year the evolution if this recipe has turned into this recipe that you get to try.

Last year it was published in a danish climate friendly cookbook called Klimakogebogen and I have had a lot of feedback from families telling me their kids love it, so you should absolutely give it a go. I promise you you will not be disappointed.

Plant based bolognaise

Yield: 6 servings

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes.

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 3 carrots

  • 3 celery stalks

  • 2 onions

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 250 g red lentils (1 cup)

  • 1 tbsp dried oregano

  • 1 tbsp dried basil

  • 1 tsp dried thyme

  • 4 bay leaves

  • 140 g tomato concentrate

  • 2 cans peeled tomatoes

  • 150 ml bouillon (you can use water and 1/2 a bouillon cube)

  • salt and pepper

  • olive oil

  • balsamic vinegar to taste

Optional ingredients

  • 250 ml redwine (1 cup)

  • 2 star anise

  • 2 twigs rosemary

Serve with:

  • Spaghetti (gluten free or regular)

  • Zucchini

  • Rice

  • Buckwheat

  • Potato mash

  • your favorite starch (starch is the filling ingredient on your plate)

  • eat as is without a starch

Step 1.

Peel the onions, garlic, carrots and rinse the sellery stalks.

If you are using fresh rosemary give that a rinse.

Step 2.

Now theres two ways to go about the preparation of the veggies.

No. 1: The "I-went-to-chef-school-or-I-have-watched-200-episodes-of-masterchef-and-I-want-to-show-of-my-skills" Method.

Cut the onion, celery stalks, garlic and carrots into fine brunoise. (Chef Bruno here can show you here)


No. 2: The "lets-get-this-dinner-over-and-done-with" method

Cut it all into chunks and chuck it in the food processor and pulse until minced.

Personally I go for the no. 2 solution.

Step 3.

Heat up a large pot with 3-4 tbsp olive oil to medium heat.

Sauté the veggies with the dried herbs for a good 6-7 minutes, until they are tender, season with salt and black pepper.

Step 4.

Add the lentils and combine well.

Step 5. (SKIP THIS STEP if you are not using wine)

Pour the wine in, and let it cook away, keep stirring until there is no more liquid left. (Sort of like with a risotto)

Step 6.

Add the tomato concentrate and cook for 2-3 minutes

Step 7.

Add the canned tomatoes and bouillon. IF you are using canned tomato passata, then you should not use bouillon, the sauce will get waaaaaaay to liquid.

Step 8.

Bring the sauce to a boil, season with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and let it simmer at low heat for 10-15 minutes.

Now cook your pasta (or what you decide, gluten free pasta, Zucchini etc.)

NOTE: You can simmer the sauce longer, however I prefer the lentils to have a little bit of a bite to them. But this is your choice of course.

Step 9.

Serve the plant based wonder bolognaise with a bit of fresh basil and await the applause from your family and friends.

I tell you the kids will eat it too.

TIP: Make heaps and put it in the freezer for a rainy day.

If you like what you are reading and cooking, please share the link to this recipe with your friends and family - Who knows perhaps they will invite you over for a meal one day... you never know, I say give it a go!

Thank you for reading and cooking.

Keep sharing your dishes with me on social media - it's awesome!

Take care, lot's of love

- Hannah

Check out my classic lasagna recipe