Vegan Bolognese Recipe | Meatless Rigatoni Plant-Based Dish

vegan bolognese recipe

I decided to make this vegan bolognese recipe for you all today because I was craving something meaty.

As you may or may not know, I have had highs and lows throughout my journey being vegan. In fact, at some point I couldn’t continue being vegan due to health reasons, but now that I’m A-OKAY, I decided to slowly transition back.

To kick off my journey back to veganism, I decided that a vegan bolognese recipe would be the ultimate welcome back package. I had seen many plant based cooks use walnut as a ground beef substitute, so I decided to give it a try with my own twist.

Thus far, I have made a couple of recipes at home using walnut, and I cannot begin to describe how thankful I am that I discovered it. It has changed the vegan game for me completely, and I doubt I would ever be returning to ground beef.

Vegan Bolognese Recipe

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Preparing The Bolognese Sauce

Before preparing the sauce, I recommend soaking the walnut in water for a couple of hours. This makes the walnut softer and easier to process in a food processor. Not only that, but it makes it a lot less nutty when incorporated in the sauce.

I personally soaked my walnut for over 24 hours because I was so busy with work that I barely had time to cook. But you don’t have to leave yours soaked for that long. Between 1hr to 24hrs should be fine, so pick any time frame you want. Just make sure you soak it first.

That being said, I also added seaweed to this bolognese sauce because I love the fishy taste of seaweed. The taste is similar to crayfish, so if you happen to be a crayfish fan, but are vegan, then consider this as an alternative.

Vegan Bolognese Recipe

Vegan Bolognese Pasta Recipe

vegan bolognese recipe
Print Recipe

Vegan Bolognese Recipe

Meatless and delicious vegan pasta bolognese recipe.
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 841kcal
Author: Eleanor Henry


  • 1 lb Rigatoni
  • cups walnut - soaked
  • 1 cup carrot
  • 1 bunch green onions - Cut into chunks for blending
  • 2 cloves garlic - chopped
  • ½ cup red onion - diced
  • 2.5 oz tomato paste
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 1 cup spinach - chopped
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsps soy sauce
  • 1 seaweed - cut into pieces
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsps vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp red pepper - ground
  • ½ tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp curry
  • tbsp salt - divided


Preparing the Rigatoni

  • Heat up about 3 cups of water in a medium sized pot.
  • Add in the rigatoni pasta, 1 tbsp salt and a little oil (to avoid sticking).
  • Boil for 10-15mins or until al dente.

Preparing the bolognese sauce

  • Soak walnut in water for an hour in the fridge.
  • In a food processor blend carrot, soaked walnut, and green onions until you achieve an even consistency.
  • Heat up oil in a medium sized pot and throw in your red onions. Fry the onions until the redness starts to fade.
  • Add in tomato paste, thyme, Maggi cubes, ground red pepper, garlic, Italian seasoning, curry, and ½ tbsp salt. Combine together and allow the tomato paste to fry in the oil for about 3 mins.
  • Add in blended walnut mixture, spinach, tomato sauce and combine.
  • Add in seaweed, vegetable stock, soy sauce, nutritional yeast and plant based milk. Combine together and leave to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Add in cooked rigatoni pasta and mix until fully combined.
  • Serve with vegan cheese and enjoy!


Calories: 841kcal | Carbohydrates: 105g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 26g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 3705mg | Potassium: 1054mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 6831IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 140mg | Iron: 5mg
*See Nutrition Disclaimer

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