Hearty Bolognese Sauce with Tempeh and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Recipe by Katie Mae

Makes about 6 cups | Ready in 30 minutes | Stores 10 days in fridge


½ onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
5 cremini mushrooms, finely diced
8 oz eggplant, finely diced
8 oz tempeh, crumbled
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, minced
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth or water
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
12 oz tomato sauce or strained tomatoes, no salt added




  1. In a large sauté pan or skillet over medium heat, add the onion, carrot, mushrooms, and eggplant. Sauté for a few minutes.
  2. Add the tempeh, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, red wine vinegar, vegetable broth, tomato sauce, and dried herbs. Stir well to combine, cover, and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until the eggplant is soft. Stir occasionally for even cooking and to prevent veggies from sticking to the pan. If the sauce becomes too thick, add more wine or water.
  3. Serve over whole grain or legume pasta, or spiralized vegetables.


To save time, you can finely dice your ingredients using a food processor. I have a Cuisinart food processor with both a 14-cup and 4-cup container. What I do is 1) grate the vegetables using the large container fitted with the fine grating blade, and then 2) in the small container fitted with the “S” blade, I pulse the tempeh and sun-dried tomatoes until they’re crumbled.

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Traditional Bolognese sauce is served over a big bowl of pasta, but this delicious plant-based bolognese sauce is so good you’ll want to put it over everything! With mushrooms, eggplant, tempeh, and sun-dried tomatoes, the umami richness is abundant. Have it once, and your mouth will be watering just thinking about it!


  1. Ellen Martino

    Hi! This looks great. But if I leave out the tempeh do you suggest I replace it with something like quinoa or lentils or can I just leave it out and do the rest of the recipe as is? Thanks!

  2. theculinarygym

    Hi Ellen, great question. My suggestions to replace the tempeh are 1) add more mushroom (to your liking, exact amount doesn’t matter), or 2) add lentils (french green lentils would be my preference). Hope you enjoy the bolognese!

  3. Ellen

    Perfect! Thanks so much for your quick reply and suggestions!

  4. Ellen

    This sauce is DELICIOUS! Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Cynthia

    Is tempeh gluten free?

  6. theculinarygym

    Hi Cynthia! If you are sensitive to gluten, you should choose a tempeh that is Non-GMO certified, as gluten can sneak in a couple different ways. Traditional tempeh is made from just soybeans and vinegar, but even some vinegars contain gluten. Also, some tempeh products include grains with the soybeans, so again the certification is important.

  7. judyaboutcolor

    Katie, I can’t print out this recipe!

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