This vegan tempeh spaghetti Bolognese recipe is the perfect introduction to plant-based and vegan diets as it is incredibly simple to prepare yet full of delicious flavours.
Ideal for new college students looking for budget-friendly, quick wholesome meals. Or kids learning to cook.
Or simply busy families with impatient hungry bellies to feed!
Serve with a simple throw-everything-together mixed salad and perhaps a wedge of crusty bread or a few slices of garlic bread.
Why tempeh for this Bolognese?
I decided to use tempeh for this recipe as my local supermarket had a special offer on tempeh and as I had never tried this ingredient before I was curious.
Tempeh has more texture compared to tofu, and the flavours are pleasantly nutty and savoury. Tempeh works really well with this Bolognese and I especially enjoyed using this ingredient as it doesn't require long cooking! A bonus for busy days.
As tempeh doesn't have a strong taste it is perfect for fussy eaters especially kids.
What exactly is tempeh?
Tempeh originated in Indonesia at least a 1000 years ago. It is soybeans that have been cooked, but not completely, and then fermented. As such Tempeh is much more easily digestible and thankfully can lead to less wind! Perfect for new plant-based eaters who are concerned with bean products and there digestibility.
Is tempeh good for you?
Tempeh's health benefits are quite impressive including antioxidant and prebiotic benefits, and being useful for conditions related to the menopause, heart problems, insulin resistance, bone health, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
Tempeh is a complete protein containing all the amino acids needed. Eighty-four grams (about ½ a cup) of tempeh has about 15g protein so is a good choice for those needing to eat more plant-based protein.
A serving of tempeh Bolognese with spaghetti packs in an estimated 26g protein!
Quick Origins of Spaghetti Bolognese
Bolognese is an Italian meat-based sauce that is also known as a ragu.
Bolognese served with pasta was recorded as a recipe in an Italian cookery book dated 1891.
I usually serve my family's Bolognese with spaghetti but was surprised to discover that tagliatelle is traditionally the type of pasta to serve with Bolognese.
How To Quickly Prepare Vegan Tempeh Spaghetti Bolognese
Vegan Tempeh Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe FAQs and Notes:
Leftover Bolognese can be stored in the fridge, in a covered container, for up to 3 days.
Tempeh Bolognese is great for meal prep. Freeze in a freezer-proof container for 4-6 months.
Defrost before reheating.
Place leftovers back in the same cooking pan or a small saucepan, and bring to a simmer.
Lower the heat and cook for 2-5 minutes until piping hot throughout. Add a
little extra veggie stock or water if the sauce has become too thick.
A few suggestions:
a wedge of Irish soda bread
tasty quick dinner rolls
Scottish vegan oil-free cheesy oatcakes
mixed crispy salad
steamed veggies especially green leaves such as kale, chard, collards, spinach.
roast veggies, such as courgette/zucchini, aubergine/eggplant, bell peppers, garlic, onions, carrots, Brussel sprouts, tomatoes, broccoli, corn, green beans, asparagus
peas and sweetcorn
Just ensure that the veggie stock that is used is certified gluten-free, and use a gluten-free soya sauce such as Tamari.
Also use gluten-free spaghetti/ pasta shapes and check that your tempeh doesn't have any wheat or wheat derivatives added.
Replace the tempeh with the same amount of firm tofu, fine chopped mushrooms,
or a can of green lentils or vegan mince.
Or even fine chopped soft veggies such as courgette, eggplant and bell peppers.
Grated carrots would also work, perhaps mixed with another replacement like mushrooms, and would add extra tasty sweetness.
More easy family vegan meal ideas
Vegan Quick Tempeh Spaghetti Bolognese
- Sauté pan/deep frying pan/ skillet
To sauté the onion and garlic:
- 250 millilitres vegetable stock or 1-2 tablespoons of oil
For the Bolognese:
- 200 grams tempeh Crumble, grate or dice your tempeh block. Alternatively use 200-300 grams of fine chopped mushrooms.
- 2 cans chopped tomatoes 400g/15oz cans
- 170 grams onion diced
- 2 whole bell peppers any colour, diced. Or use the equivalent of frozen mixed peppers.
- 4 cloves garlic minced/fine diced. Use more if liked. Or replace with 2 teaspoons of garlic powder.
- 2 tablespoon tomato puree paste
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar Alternatively use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
- 1 tablespoon tamari soya sauce or just regular soya sauce. Tamari has less sodium and is gluten-free.
- 2 teaspoon mixed herbs or oregano.
- 1 teaspoon sugar optional and only needed to balance out the tomatoes if required. Can replace with maple syrup/coconut or date sugar.
- 400 grams spaghetti or the amount that works for your family.
- Cook the onion and garlic in 250ml/1 cup of vegetable stock for 10 minutes. If the pan is getting too dry add an extra splash of stock.(Alternatively heat oil over a medium heat and cook for 5-8 minutes until soft. Mix through the garlic and cook for a further few minutes. If the pan gets too dry simply add a little splash of water)
- Tip in the diced bell pepper and chopped tempeh pieces.Mix.Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add small splash of veggie stock if necessary.
- Meanwhile cook your spaghetti pasta according to instructions. Once ready drain and leave in the pan with the lid on to keep warm.
- Lower the heat and add chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, red wine vinegar, soya sauce, sugar and mixed herbs to the Bolognese.Mix well.
- Simmer for 10 minutes.Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a little veggie stock if required to loosen up the sauce but this is personal preference.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict analysis as ingredients vary.
- Nutritional info includes 400g spaghetti.
- Leftover Bolognese can be stored in the fridge, in a covered container, for up to 3 days.
- Or frozen for 4-6 months.
- Reheat in a saucepan with a little extra veggie stock added if the sauce is too thick. Heat until piping hot throughout.
- Leftover Bolognese is lovely served on toast for a quick lunch. Or used as a baked potato filling.
- Leftovers also make a delicious sloppy joe filling. Simply heat the Bolognese and serve in a bread bun or sub/hotdog style roll.