Download your FREE 7-Day Vegetarian High Protein

Weight Loss Meal Plan

Invalid email address
Start Today

Vegan Tofu Bolognese – Ready in 30 mins and damn tasty!

HurryTheFoodUp is reader-powered. If you click through using links on our site we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Vegan Tofu Bolognese - It was about time we veganized this Italian classic! |

Vegan Tofu Bolognese. I imagine this is about as far as you can get from the recipe that gave the original dish its name.

Although we thought we’d pissed off the Italians with our quick risotto, this one is taking things a step further.

We swap the meat for tofu, the two hours for thirty minutes (or less) and the egg based pasta for a vegan variety. The awesome taste and enjoyment stay the same.

Vegan Tofu Bolognese - It was about time we veganized this Italian classic! |

The good news is that we’re calling this bolognese. In Bologna they’d never even suspect this tofu bolognese had anything to do with the traditional Ragu alla Bolognese.

Instead of strips of old meat like beef that needing softening or pork that had to be used up, we use tofu for an easy but tasty replacement that can be cut into chunks (like our pictures) or crumbled into tiny pieces to give that modern ‘minced effect’ – which also means it’s a lot quicker.

There are no carrots or wine (although I wouldn’t stop you throwing some in) and the pasta doesn’t contain any animal products – certainly, none are necessary.

But you know what? It all works. It all combines to make a hell of a tasty meal, so bollocks to any chefs who say we can’t make it how we want.

Vegan Tofu Bolognese - It was about time we veganized this Italian classic! |

Health Benefits – Vegan Tofu Bolognese

Let’s make the much-maligned tofu the star of the health section and put him right in the spotlight. Here’s the crucial question: Is tofu (aka soy) good or bad for you?

After a good amount of research I can honestly say there is no other food article out there causing as much discussion as this one.

There are lovers and there are haters, and interesting arguments from both sides.

In a nutshell, science says that after 5000+ studies soy can replace meat as a protein and it is fairly certain it may reduce cholesterol and it may reduce blood pressure (thanks bon appetit for this comprehensive article). So far so good.

But why do so many people think that soy is the devil?

There are three main reasons:

1. Infertility in men: there is a rumour circulating that men will have a lower sperm quality when consuming too much tasty tofu.

The scientific evidence is inconclusive though, some studies say it may reduce sperm quality, others say they don’t find any evidence.

Tricky stuff, I’d say, and as long as this matter is not resolved then it’s probably best to only eat soy occasionally.

2. NON fermented soy products: they contain phytic acids, which according to some studies reduces your ability to absorb certain nutrients like iron (1).

Neither tofu nor soy milk is fermented. So, ideally you’d want to eat mostly fermented soy products like natto, miso and tempeh.

3. GMO soy products: most studies conclude that it’s not certain that genetically modified soy is causing health problems (2).

But then that means it IS possible that it’s unhealthy. So, make sure you only buy non-GMO-tofu and the like, just to be on the safe side.


So there you have it. Our conclusion after looking into it is this: chill people. If you eat only GMO free, mostly fermented soy products in reasonable amounts, everything’s fine.

As usual, moderation is key. And as to the recipe: I’m sure that this tasty AF Vegan Tofu Bolognese is healthier than any “original” Bolognese (either way, its one of our fave vegan tofu meals so that’s high praise).

But that’s not what the Italians had in mind anyway, was it? 😉

Vegan Tofu Bolognese - It was about time we veganized this Italian classic! |
Vegan Tofu Bolognese
4.96 from 23 votes
Vegan Bolognese. It was about time we veganized the Italian classic. And we’re proud to say we were successful. Please welcome, the amazing Anti Bolognese!
Cuisine:Italian, Vegan
Diet: dairy-free, egg-free, vegan
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:20 minutes
Total Time:30 minutes
Servings:2 people


For the pasta

For the tofu

For the sauce


For the pasta 

  • Cook the pasta as instructed. Once finished, add a dash of olive oil, some salt and oregano for taste.
    5 oz wholegrain pasta

For the tofu

  • Dice the tofu into small pieces or crumble it for a mince like effect.
    8 oz firm tofu
  • Heat up oil to medium heat in a large frying pan and add the tofu. Add some salt and let it fry for 15 min or until it’s crunchy. Make sure to stir occasionally, have patience and taste test! If you crumbled it, reduce cooking time by about 3 minutes.
    1 tsp olive oil

For the sauce

  • Dice the onion and garlic into small pieces.
    1 red onion, 2 clove garlic
  • Heat up oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Now pour in the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, basilmaple syrup, salt and pepper. Let it simmer.
    1 tsp olive oil, 1 can tomatoes, diced, 2 tbsp tomato paste, 1 handful basil, fresh, 1 tsp oregano, dried, 1 tsp maple syrup, Salt and pepper to taste
  • Once everything is ready, stick some pasta on your plate, pour the sauce on top and add the tofu.
    Vegan Tofu Bolognese - It was about time we veganized this Italian classic! |
  • Enjoy!
    Vegan Tofu Bolognese - It was about time we veganized this Italian classic! |


  • See if you can press out some excess water. Then let the tofu bits fry for 15 mins on medium heat. They’ll crispen up eventually, I promise!
  • Crumble the tofu in the Bolognese for a more authentic experience! If tofu is not your thing, any meat replacement will work here too. Or cooked lentils!
Make-ahead? Yes, prep the night before, it’ll be even more flavorful that way.
Freezable? Yes, it holds up nicely!
If you liked this recipe: then you definitely need to check out our Asian Tofu Salad (vegan, low carb – high protein) and our Red Pesto Pasta (all vegan and incredibly tasty!)


Nutrition Facts
Vegan Tofu Bolognese
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Tag @HurryTheFoodUp on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece!

Leave a comment below

Your comments make our day. Thank you! If you have a question, please skim the comments section – you might find an immediate answer there. If you made the recipe, please choose a star rating, too.

Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    This is a really tasty sauce! I’ve made it a couple of times. I eat it with chickpea pasta for added protein. I want to comment on the section of this post about phytic acid, which is present in all beans and legumes and can cause some issues in the digestive tract. Woodstock brand tofu is made from sprouted soy beans, and sprouting helps so break up the phytic acid like fermentation does. It’s like predigesting the beans. Therefore if it’s in stock I will always choose Woodstock brand.

    1. Hi Erin! Awesome, glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for writing. Yes phytic acid is something to think about, though happily I’ve found as long as the beans and legumes are not eaten in excessive amounts, its not a problem. Thanks for the heads up about the tofu!

  2. What do I use instead of pasta?

    1. There are decent gluten-free pasta options available in case you’d like to keep the “pasta feel”, but avoid gluten. Otherwise, I think rice is a fair alternative.

  3. 4 stars
    Keep up the good work. If you dig a bit deeper, you’ll find that tofu does not contain phytic acids. It is thus much healthier than soy beans or soy powder that you find in commercial foods.

    1. Thanks Robert, will do! Really glad you liked the bolognese though!

  4. 5 stars
    The sauce was amazing. but any good alternatives to tofu? I find it a bit boring.

  5. 5 stars
    I just wanted to say thank you! I’ve been vegan for all of three weeks and your recipes have been a god send. My biggest worry about going vegan was feeling like the meals I was eating were “incomplete”, but it is not so! I absolutely love this recipe, and don’t miss the beef at all. So tasty!

  6. 5 stars
    I added mushroom! So delicious!

    1. Haa, so cool! Thanks for trying out the Bolognese 😀