I have always loved spaghetti bolognese. It is simple, delicious and comforting. Recently I saw a technique of baking tofu to replicate mince. Now that I don’t eat meat I was keen to try it out, and it seemed a great opportunity to create a bolognese recipe!

I have added in a lot of vegetables, which does differ from traditional bolognese; feel free to pick and choose which you add in – it’s up to you! I have avoided a tomato-heavy sauce as I can not tolerate much of it, but you could add in chopped tomatoes or passata if you choose to.

(Makes 2- 3 serves)


250g extra firm tofu
1 large carrot, grated
2 large celery stalks, sliced
125g tinned corn
4 large mushrooms, sliced
1 small red capsicum, sliced
5 olives, sliced
1/2 – 1 large eggplant, cut into chunks
1/2 a leek/spring onions, sliced
Fresh basil

2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
1 – 2 cups of beef stock (I use a gluten free and vegan powder) and/or red wine

Fresh or dried chilli
Mixed Italian herbs
All-purpose seasoning
Oil (olive or garlic-infused oil)
Salt and pepper
1/4 – 1/3 cup cheese (I used vegan cheddar or mozzarella)


  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees.
  2. Crumble the tofu to replicate the texture of mince (not too fine, not too big). Spread it out evenly on a tray lined with baking paper.
  3. Season the tofu with salt and pepper. Add all-purpose seasoning if you fancy.
  4. Bake in the oven for at least 15 – 20 minutes, checking regularly. The tofu needs to be golden, firm and crisp. Don’t overcook it so that it becomes crunchy and dry, and don’t undercook it because it will get mushy in the sauce.
  5. Heat oil in a large fry pan and slowly cook the eggplant on low.
  6. When it starts to soften, add the mushrooms and leek/spring onions. 
  7. When they are golden and soft, add the carrot, celery, corn, chilli, olives and tomato paste.
  8. Season with salt, pepper and mixed herbs. Add all-purpose seasoning if desired. 
  9. Add 1 cup of the beef stock/wine and the soy sauce. Bring to the boil. 
  10. Turn down to a low to medium heat and gently stir in the tofu.
  11. Let it simmer until the vegetables are cooked through, adding more liquid when it gets dry. I stir in cheese here to thicken it and add taste, but this is optional.
  12. Stir in fresh basil leaves.

Serve with pasta and cheese (I use rice and quinoa gluten free pasta and vegan parmesan).

I hope you enjoy this recipe. I have been eating this meal as often as possible since I came up with it! Please let me know in the comments if you make it; I’d love to know what you think.

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2 Comments on Tofu and vegetable bolognese

    • I think it definitely depends on how it’s cooked as to whether you like it, so don’t give up on it if you don’t like it the first time. Something like this recipe is probably a good introduction because you can’t actually taste it! It just gives the texture and health benefits you want in this dish I hope you try it!

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