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Tempeh Bolognese

Seriously simple and hearty, this Tempeh Bolognese comes together in just 30 minutes.

I didn't know whether to call this a tempeh ragù, bolognese, stew, "meat" sauce, etc. but I went with bolognese because it has my last name in it :) It doesn't meet all the classic qualities of a bolognese (besides obviously containing no meat) but it's delicious and that's what matters!

This is a versatile base to make what you want of it - I served it over chickpea pasta here but I've also added extra broth and eaten it as more of a soup (with extra nutritional yeast of course). If you want to make it more of a chili, add in another can of beans and chili powder. You could also add in potatoes (sweet or white), peas, spinach, or any other veg you desire.

I've written about the differences between tempeh and tofu before (here) but this dish is an example of a perfect use for tempeh as it retains it's shape and has a "meaty" texture.


  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 C celery, chopped (3 stalks)

  • 1 C carrots, chopped (2-3 large carrots)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp oregano

  • 1 tsp thyme

  • 1 tsp rosemary

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1/2 tsp paprika

  • 3 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1, 15 oz can diced tomatoes

  • 3 C veg broth

  • 8 oz package organic tempeh, crumbled

  • 1, 15 oz can beans of choice (black, pinto, etc.) - I used a 3 bean mix

  • 1/2 C full fat coconut milk

  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

  • juice of half a lemon


  1. heat olive oil in large pot on medium heat, add in chopped onion, celery, and carrot, cook for 5 min until they start to soften

  2. add in garlic and cook for 1 min until fragrant

  3. add in spices, tomato paste, and crumbled tempeh, stirring to coat, cook for 2-3 min

  4. add in diced tomatoes, veg broth, and beans, bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, partially cover and cook for ~15 minutes until veggies are soft (can let it simmer even longer to further meld the flavors)

  5. stir in coconut milk, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice, cook for 2-3 minutes


Xx, Kara

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