Tofu and vegetable bolognese

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!

(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 a leek/spring onions, sliced
Fresh basil

2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
Fresh or dried chilli
Mixed Italian herbs
All-purpose seasoning
Oil (olive or garlic-infused oil)
Salt and pepper

  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).