Quick Tempeh Bolognese with Pasta {vegan, gluten free}

19 Jul

Ok, I know that “tempeh Bolognese” is an oxymoron. The traditionally meat-based Italian sauce is meant to be used in a variety of pasta dishes. In fact, it’s the most common sauce I grew up with. Craving a comfort dish, I knew there must be a relatively easy alternative. Enter: tempeh! The block of pressed soy and rice make a perfect faux meat crumble. And when paired with the right flavors, this dish brings back all those memories of the beefy sauce my mother would make for our pasta.

Quick Tempeh Bolognese with Pasta | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

This version is quick, too. In the time it takes to bring your water to boil and cook the pasta, your Bolognese will be cooked through and ready to toss. It’s a great weeknight meal that will be on your dinner table in 20 minutes. Not vegan? Add a dusting of freshly shaved parmesan, or stick with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast to achieve a similar flavor and texture.

Quick Tempeh Bolognese with Pasta | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

The fastest pasta sauce ever! Add whichever spices suit your fancy.

Looking for something spicier? Check out this soy chorizo Bolognese, which is sure to turn up the heat!

Tempeh Bolognese

Serves 4

  • 8 oz penne or rotini GF pasta
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 8-oz package tempeh, crumbled
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
  • 1 28-oz can whole Italian peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tbsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar (to cut through the acid)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Optional: Nutritional yeast or freshly grated parmesan or gouda, to garnish

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta to according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot; set aside.

While the pasta cooks, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over medium-high. Saute the onion and garlic 5-7 minutes, being careful not to burn them – turn down the heat to avoid this if necessary.

Add the crumbled tempeh, salt, and pepper and cook another minute to heat through.

In a blender, combine the can of tomatoes, another tablespoon of olive oil, sugar and seasoning. Puree until smooth. Pour into the tempeh mixture and stir to coat.

Add the bolognese to the pasta in its pot and toss to coat. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, allowing everything to come together and the flavors to meld. Serve hot and garnish with nutritional yeast or freshly grated cheese if not vegan.

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28 Responses to “Quick Tempeh Bolognese with Pasta {vegan, gluten free}”

  1. Diana July 19, 2016 at 8:21 am #

    Quick, easy and perfect for after workout dinner! Thanks!

  2. GiGi Eats Celebrities July 19, 2016 at 8:21 am #

    See! You really can make ANYTHING vegan!

  3. Mikki July 19, 2016 at 10:27 am #

    Another awesome recipe! Great job!

  4. sarah@creatingbettertomorrow July 19, 2016 at 11:51 am #

    I’ve really been into tempeh lately so I’m pumped to add another recipe to my list to try!

  5. SuzLyfe July 19, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

    I make faux-lognese all the time! I use TVP. So good.

  6. Chrissy @ Snacking in Sneakers July 19, 2016 at 1:23 pm #

    I’m not a tempeh fan but love everything else about this recipe! I’d probably just make the pasta and sauce and gobble all that up! 🙂

    • xtinaluvspink July 19, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

      That’s perfectly fine! Bet it would work with crumbled veggie burgers just as well.

  7. Cassi Schmigotzki (@LAWRTW) July 19, 2016 at 9:28 pm #

    Haven’t had tempeh yet so I’m not sure if I could enjoy this. If someone made it I’d at least take a bite.

    • xtinaluvspink July 19, 2016 at 9:54 pm #

      It’s really quite delicious! Especially when doused in sauce and mixed with pasta 🙂

  8. Jill Conyers (@jillconyers) July 20, 2016 at 2:49 am #

    I’ve never had any luck cooking with tempeh but this makes me want to try again.

    • xtinaluvspink July 20, 2016 at 6:36 am #

      Oh no! It definitely requires paying attention because it cooks so fast.

  9. fitfoodiemama July 20, 2016 at 5:09 am #

    I have never actually made anything with tempeh but this looks delicious!

  10. Janelle @ Run With No Regrets July 20, 2016 at 5:53 am #

    I’ve had tempeh only a couple of times but I really like it. Love this idea to add to a pasta dish!

  11. Julie Wunder July 20, 2016 at 7:56 am #

    Tempeh is such a good versatile ingredient. Love this way to cook it!

  12. Melissa (@melissagabbs) July 20, 2016 at 8:24 am #

    Love the idea of blending the sauce to make it smoother. I make homemade pasta sauce (for my Italian bf haha) nearly every week – I should try this!

    • xtinaluvspink July 20, 2016 at 8:27 am #

      Oooh, do you have a recipe for that? I’m always looking for more sauces!

  13. Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health July 20, 2016 at 9:44 pm #

    i havent had tempeh in a long time..seems like it works so well as a meat alternate.

  14. ilkasblog July 21, 2016 at 1:06 am #

    This is such an awesome creative recipe idea for a vegan dish! Yum!

  15. Adriana VM September 16, 2016 at 5:19 pm #

    I so want to try this recipe, never would have thought of using tempeh in Bolognese, so intriguing and tempting at the same time. I absolutely love your creativity, seen some mind-blowing combinations on your blog, wow!!!

    • xtinaluvspink September 18, 2016 at 7:59 pm #

      Thank you so much! That means a lot. Let me know your thoughts if you try out any of my recipes 🙂

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