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overhead shot of vegan bolognese in large le creuset pot with ladle
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5 from 26 votes

Vegan Bolognese

This vegan bolognese is hearty, rich, and packed with plant-based protein. Made with red lentils, mushrooms, walnuts, and a ton of vegetables! Not only is it approved by picky meat-eaters and kids, but it's also perfect for stocking the freezer!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 187kcal


  • 1 onion peeled and cut into 8
  • 8 oz mushrooms 225g; washed, trimmed and cut into 4; note 1
  • 1 cup walnut pieces note 2
  • 2 carrots peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 ribs celery cut into chunks
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ cup white wine note 3
  • 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 bay leaf
  • cup red lentils
  • 2 cups water or vegetable stock

Before serving


  • Process - In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the mushrooms and onions. Process, until chopped into very small pieces, scraping down sides as needed.
    Add the walnuts to the processor with the onions and mushrooms and pulse 10-15 times, until chopped into very small pieces.
    Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl. In the food processor, add the carrot and celery. Process until chopped in very small pieces, then set aside.
  • Sautée - In a 4 quart pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion/mushroom/walnut mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture has steamed off most of the liquid and begins to brown. Keep an eye that it doesn't burn.
    Make a space in the middle of the pot and add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Deglaze - Add the white wine and simmer for 2-3 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot with a spatula to remove all brown bits.
  • Combine - Add the carrot/celery mixture, crushed tomatoes, salt, nutmeg, bay leaf, lentils and water
  • Simmer - Cover and simmer for 45 minutes, or until lentils are done to your liking. Stir the pot occasionally and keep an eye on the temperature so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.
  • Serve - Stir in the nutritional yeast and balsamic vinegar, taste and adjust seasoning, and serve!



  1. you can use button, cremini or even portobello mushrooms for this recipe
  2. walnut pieces add a meaty texture to the sauce; it is possible that hazelnuts or almonds might work, however we have not tried.
  3. if you don't consume alcohol, simply swap for extra stock
  • Fridge - let cool completely, then store in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 4 days
  • Freeze - let cool completely, then store in airtight freezer containers in the freezer for 3-6 months.
  • Reheat - thaw completely, then reheat in a pot on the stovetop or in the microwave until steaming hot!


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 395mg | Potassium: 500mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1871IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg