This hearty, 1-pan tempeh bolognese is a plant-based take on a classic that pairs perfectly with pastas, eggplant parmesan, lasagna, and more! Plus, it comes together in just 30 minutes. Let me show you how it’s done.

Overhead image of tempeh bolognese ingredients on a cutting board, including tempeh, onion, tomato sauce, and mushrooms

This bolognese starts with sautéed onion, mushrooms, and garlic for a flavorful base. Then comes finely grated tempeh, which cooks in the pan until seared. It’s important to use a pan large enough that the tempeh has room to sauté. Add a bit more oil as needed to deglaze the pan and ensure the tempeh is browning up nicely!

Next comes fennel, red pepper flake, coconut aminos, and dry red wine to infuse plenty of flavor into the tempeh. After a little more sautéing, you’ll add your crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, vegan parmesan cheese, a dash of sweetener, and a little water to ensure the right consistency.

That’s it! It just needs to simmer to deepen in flavor, but it’s essentially ready to go!

Overhead image of tempeh bolognese being stirred with a wooden spoon

We hope you LOVE this bolognese! It’s:

Quick & easy to make
Protein-rich (16 g / serving!)
& So delicious

This would make the perfect sauce for simple cooked pasta dishes, or to pair with Crispy Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan or layer in one of our Vegan Lasagnas!

For more Italian-inspired dishes, also check out our Socca Pizza with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Easy Vegan Pesto, Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Pasta, Easy 1-Pot Marinara Sauce, and 30-Minute Cashew Alfredo.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Image of tempeh bolognese over carrot noodles served on a white plate over a blue towel, garnished with parsley


US Customary – Metric


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (or sub twice as much water)
  • 3/4 cup finely diced onion or shallot
  • 1 cup shiitake (or cremini) mushrooms, minced
  • 8 ounces tempeh (finely chopped or grated on a box grater)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos (or 1 Tbsp tamari or balsamic vinegar)
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flake (adjust to preferred spice level)
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine (optional // we used Elephants Red Cuvée Rouge, but any dry red will do — preferably something you’ll enjoy with the meal!)
  • 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1-2 Tbsp vegan parmesan cheese (plus more to taste)
  • 1-2 Tbsp sweetener of choice (such as maple syrup or coconut sugar)
  • Water as needed to thin

FOR SERVING optional

  • Spaghetti squash
  • Cooked pasta
  • Fresh basil


  1. Heat a large-rimmed skillet, pot, or dutch oven (as large as possible to give room for browning) over medium heat. Once hot, add oil (or water) and onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes until translucent and soft, stirring frequently. If using water, add more water as needed as it evaporates quickly.

  2. Add mushrooms and stir. Sauté for 2 minutes more. Then add shredded tempeh and garlic and stir (if your pan is small, do this in 2 batches so the tempeh has room to brown*). Then add coconut aminos, fennel seeds, and red pepper flake. Sauté for 4-5 minutes (or up to 10 minutes), stirring frequently, until everything is golden brown. Turn down heat if browning too quickly.

  3. Add wine (optional), stir, and cook for 1 minute. Then add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, vegan parmesan, and sweetener. Thin with water if needed (we added about 1/4 cup / 60 ml). Stir to combine and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Taste and adjust flavors as needed, adding more coconut aminos or salt for saltiness, red pepper flake for spice, oregano for herbal flavor, tomato paste for depth of flavor, or vegan parmesan for cheesy flavor.
  5. Serve with your favorite pasta or pasta alternative, like spaghetti squash, penne, or zucchini or carrot noodles and garnish with fresh basil (optional)!

  6. Cooled leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat in a saucepan or microwave until hot, adding a little water as needed to rehydrate.


*It’s important to use a pan large enough that the tempeh has room to sauté. Add a bit more oil as needed to deglaze the pan and ensure the tempeh is browning up nicely!
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with lesser amount of vegan parmesan cheese and maple syrup and without the optional ingredients.

Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 4)

  • Calories: 309
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Sodium: 576mg
  • Potassium: 1229mg
  • Carbohydrates: 37g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 16g
  • Protein: 16g
  • Vitamin A: 14.4%
  • Vitamin C: 29.6%
  • Calcium: 17.7%
  • Iron: 31%