Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce without Mushroom is a bean bolognese sauce made with red wine, mashed kidney beans, tomatoes, carrots, onions, parsley, and garlic. Red wine and tomato juices give it a sweet and savory flavor, while mashed beans give it a thick bolognese texture. This easy bolognese sauce is ready to eat in less than 30 minutes and is an easy way to sneak your family their daily dose of veggies and protein!
This fantastic, quick and easy vegetarian bolognese sauce without mushroom was developed many years ago when my husband was in a physical training academy. We wanted to transform our eating habits and make healthier choices without giving up our favorite foods.
We wanted to eat for energy and give up the unhealthy fats we were consuming. So we found ourselves eating a lot of vegetarian meals to get in as much veggies and fruits as we could. I ended up replacing most of my red meat meals with high protein and high fiber meatless versions, so lots of beans and legumes!
This vegetarian bolognese sauce with no mushrooms was a hit from the first time I made it.
It is full of flavor and healthy, whole ingredients. It's a nutritious family meal and a great way to sneak your kids in their daily dose of veggies! Give it a try, I know you'll love it too!
Traditional bolognese sauce is a meat sauce made with tomato, minced meat, garlic, wine, milk and herbs. It is thick, but not chunky. Some chefs will insist that tomato does not belong in an authentic bolognese sauce, except for the addition of tomato paste for color.
Whether you put tomato in your bolognese sauce or not, one thing should hold true: bolognese sauce is thick and savory and the minced meat is the most abundant part of the sauce.
Traditional bolognese sauce is also slow simmered, usually for hours. Today many recipes have cut down the time it takes to less than 60 minutes, and in some cases just 30 minutes.
This recipe for vegetarian bolognese takes less than 30 minutes to make! The perfect bolognese for a quick and easy weeknight dinner!
"Non-traditional" bolognese sauces like my vegetarian bolognese, vary in their ingredients but should all consist of the same thick texture.
They should use most ingredients that are specific to bolognese to give it a sweet, rich flavor. Let's find out what those ingredients are!
Traditionally, bolognese sauce is made from a mix of minced beef and pork. Some recipes add veal into the mix or use only beef or only pork.
The sauce is made of wine, onions, garlic, celery, carrots, and herbs. Like I mentioned early, whether or not tomatoes are part of bolognese sauce is debatable. Many recipes also call for milk to give it a creamy texture.
Non-traditional recipes may replace the beef, pork, or veal with mushrooms, Italian sausage, or beans. Whether you choose to make your bolognese traditional or not, the key ingredients you should always include are wine, garlic, and herbs.
The main differences between a bolognese sauce and an American meat sauce for spaghetti are the ingredients and the texture.
American meat and spaghetti sauces mostly use tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oil, onions, garlic, and herbs as their base. Lots of tomato and very little vegetables!
Whereas bolognese sauces use just a little tomato and lots of minced meat and a variety of vegetables.
Bolognese sauce is rich, sweet, and savory. Bolognese with minced meat will taste mostly like the meat. My vegetarian bolognese sauce tastes much like the beans and tomatoes, with a wonderful sweet flavor from the wine.
Most people will say that true bolognese sauce is served over spaghetti pasta, but my favorite is rigatoni or penne. Any pasta will do fine though. Fettuccine is also another favorite.
In my vegetarian bolognese sauce without mushroom, I use red kidney beans in place of the minced meat.
While the beans are the main ingredient for my sauce, I use diced carrots, garlic, onion, and canned tomatoes (with their juices) as my vegetable base.
To create a thick sauce similar to traditional bolognese, I mash up half of my beans to make a bean paste. Without the mashed beans, my sauce would be too watery due to the juices from the canned tomatoes.
And thus I'd have a tomato sauce instead of a bolognese sauce!
My vegetarian bolognese sauce ingredients are:
- red kidney beans (to replace the traditional minced meat and to give it texture and thickness)
- red wine (I use red sherry cooking wine for sweetness and a big punch of flavor, but any red wine is good!)
- canned tomatoes and their juices
- a bay leaf
- parmesan cheese (for serving only)
You can make a vegetarian bolognese sauce quickly and easily, in just 30 minutes! You need 2 pots, 1 for the pasta and 1 for the sauce.
Or, you can make this a 1 pot meal by cooking the pasta first, then using that pot to make the sauce (which will turn this into about a 45 minute dinner).
Here's how to make it:
- On medium heat, heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add onions, carrots, and salt. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. While veggies cook, boil the pasta til al dente.
- Add the bay leaf and garlic to the pot of veggies and cook for 1 minute, stirring so the garlic doesn't burn.
- Pour in the red wine and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and their juices, parsley, and mashed beans. Simmer for 5 more minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf and add the remaining whole beans. Cook for 1 minute, slightly mashing the sauce to reduce chunkiness. You can use a meat masher or potato masher to do this.
Transfer the rigatoni to serving bowls, top with the yummy vegetarian bolognese sauce, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce without Mushroom
- 16 oz rigatoni or other pasta
- 2 cans red kidney beans (15 oz)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 carrots, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cans diced tomatoes (15 oz)
- 4 tsp parsley
- Parmesan cheese, for serving
- In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium. Add onion, carrot, and salt. Cover and cook 5 minutes.
- While cooking, mash 1 can of beans. Boil the pasta according to the instructions, reserving pasta water for use in sauce.
- Add the bay leaf and garlic to the pot of onion, carrot, and salt. Cook 1 minute.
- Add wine and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, parsley, and mashed beans. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add remaining whole beans and cook 1 minute. To serve, top pasta with sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan.
🍲 Serving and Storing
Serve vegetarian bolognese sauce over your favorite pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bolognese sauce is freezer friendly and will keep well for about 1 year.
I hope you enjoy making and eating this vegetarian bolognese sauce! Let me know what you thought in the comments below. Make sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest recipes and more!