Vegan bolognese has always been one of my go-to meals. A few cups of cooked lentils, some garlic, shallots, and store bought sauce, it’s so simple!
For this dish though, I had to kick things up a notch.
I started with homemade marinara which is surprisingly easy to make! Then I threw some walnuts into the mix for a bit of added crunch. It’s kinda my new thing since it worked so well in my favorite holiday dish, Vegan Mushroom Walnut Bourguignon.
To give it a healthy New Year makeover, I added in a ton of fresh veggies and lentils and served the vegan bolognese over steamed rutabaga noodles! The rutabaga gives this dish a paleo vibe and makes it easily gluten-free!
As if that’s not exciting enough on it’s own, each serving of this best ever vegan bolognese has nearly 24 grams of fiber and 18 grams of protein.
It kept me and my husband full for hours and we normally eat quite a lot. Like, a lot alot. Like, I need a month of hot yoga and a juice cleanse a lot.
So if you’re looking for a healthy new dinner option (like me), this is a winner!
My favorite things about this BEST EVER vegan bolognese:
it’s SUPER nutritious
hearty + filling
packed with veggies
made with whole foods
just a bit spicy
But don’t take my word for it, try this vegan bolognese for yourself!!
I have to give a shout out to my sister for making rutabaga noodles for me over Christmas! They are my new fav, expect to see lots of spiralized veggie noodles from me in the future.
Well, once I get a nicer spiralizer that is. My handheld one is no match for such a hearty root vegetable like rutabaga. What I did instead was use the shredder attachment on my food processor. It got the job done in less than a minute!
If you try this recipe, be sure to rate it in the comments so we know how yours turned out! While you’re at it, tag a photo with #carrotsandflowers on Instagram so we can admire your creation!
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 7 garlic cloves, peeled and slivered
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp dried oregano, plus more to taste
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1½ cups cooked lentils
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ large zucchini, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 8 medium rutabagas
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the 7 cloves of slivered garlic when it's nice and hot.
- As soon as garlic starts sizzling (do not let it brown), add the crushed tomatoes. Stir in the red pepper flakes, salt, and oregano.
- Simmer sauce until thickened and oil on surface is a deep orange, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the shallot, 3 cloves minced garlic, and tomato paste cook for 1 minute stirring often. Add the lentils, bell pepper, zucchini and mushrooms. Sauté for another 5-7 minutes until the mushrooms give off most of their liquid. Add the tomato sauce to the lentil mixture and reduce heat to low. Stir in the walnuts and chopped basil and let simmer while you prepare the noodles. Add water ¼ cup at a time to thin the sauce as needed.
- Rinse your medium skillet. Using a food processor fitted with the shredder attachment, shred the peeled rutabaga. Heat the skillet over medium heat. Add 2 Tbsp water then transfer the shredded rutabaga to the pan. Cover and let steam for 5-7 minutes, stirring often and adding tablespoons of water as needed.
- When the noodles feel mostly soft but still firm (not mushy!) take them off the heat. Divide the noodles into serving bowls and top with large scoops of the vegan bolognese. Top with vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast and enjoy!
*Uncooked rutabaga noodles can be frozen then water sauté them for 2-3 additional minutes.
*Nutrition information is based on 5 servings.
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