Bolognese sauce, or ragù alla bolognese in Italian, refers to a tomato-based meat sauce and originated in Bologna, Italy. Traditionally, this sauce is made with ground or chopped pork and beef. I set out to make a delicious vegan version this recipe, and the Beyond Meat hamburger was the perfect solution.

Spaghetti and meat sauce is another classic dish that most American kids grew up eating. It’s one of my favorite comfort foods because it’s so versatile and hearty enough to feed a crowd. The best sauces are those that are made from scratch with fresh ingredients.

This sauce freezes well, so feel free to make a double batch and set some aside for another day. This recipe also makes enough for leftovers, and you can use the remaining sauce for Nextover Bolognese Grilled Cheese Sloppy Joes.

The Secret to Epic Tomato Sauce

If you scan through the ingredients here, you may notice something seemingly out of place. Lemon juice and zest in pasta sauce? Yes. Trust me, this is a chef’s “secret” trick that finishes the sauce and takes it to that next level. A squeeze of lemon brings out the acidity of the tomatoes while enhancing the flavor of the noodles, making the entire dish more savory and delicious. Give it a try and you’ll never go back!

Another trick for great meat Bolognese is to add just a tad of creaminess to the sauce. The vegan sour cream and almond milk in this recipe give just the right amount of richness to pull the dish together without making it too creamy.

Beyond Meat Bolognese Recipe†

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes or more

Serves: 4, with leftover sauce


For the Sauce

For the Pasta

Garnish (optional)


For the Bolognese with Beyond Meat

  1. In a large stockpot set over medium high heat, add the butter and oil. Once melted, add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Sauté, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Then add Beyond Burger to pot and break up with a wooden spoon.
  3. When meat is heated through, add tomatoes and sauté for 1 minute.
  4. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, sour cream, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, nutmeg, bay leaves, and thyme and oregano sprigs. Stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. Simmer for at least 35 minutes, preferably an hour or more. Halfway through cooking, taste and season the sauce again.
  5. Before serving, remove bay leaves and thyme and oregano sprigs.

For the Noodles

  1. While sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and boil for 6-8 minutes.
  2. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.

To Serve

  1. Place a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add four ladles-ful of Bolognese sauce to warmed skillet. Then add cooked pasta and pasta water, and toss to combine.
  3. Finally, garnish as desired with fresh basil, vegan Parmesan, crushed red pepper, dried oregano, and/or fresh cherry tomatoes.

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