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

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

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! | hurrythefoodup.com

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! | hurrythefoodup.com

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.

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! | hurrythefoodup.com
Vegan Tofu Bolognese
4.95 from 20 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
Calories:478kcal

Ingredients

For the pasta

  • 5 oz wholewheat pasta (choose your favourite, wholegrain would be best)

For the tofu

For the sauce

Instructions

For the pasta 

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

NOTES

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

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Tofu Bolognese
Amount per Serving
Calories
478
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
11
g
17
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
4
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
4
g
Sodium
 
719
mg
31
%
Potassium
 
664
mg
19
%
Carbohydrates
 
72
g
24
%
Fiber
 
11
g
46
%
Sugar
 
13
g
14
%
Protein
 
23
g
46
%
Vitamin A
 
556
IU
11
%
Vitamin C
 
28
mg
34
%
Calcium
 
251
mg
25
%
Iron
 
4
mg
22
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Comments

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Recipe Rating




19 comments
  1. If I didn’t have my soy allergy, I would be all about the tofu! I miss it!

  2. Pasta is life!! I don’t know why people hate carbs because I would die without them! For real, I tried going low carb once and I felt like I wanted to die by 2. LOL! This looks amazing!

  3. This pasta looks fabulous! I love tofu.

  4. I love tofu, my all time favorite. But never had them with pasta. Now it’s time to try! Looks delicious:)

  5. 5 stars
    Just wanted to let you know I made this exactly as instructed….it was fantastic! I love the texture that the crispy tofu adds. The simplest of ingredients are oftentimes the best! Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Hi Melissa!
      Wow, you really created some tension there with the four dots (….), hahaha. but when I continued reading I was relieved 😀
      Thanks for the feedback, I’m really glad you liked the recipe. Yep, often times simplicity wins!

  6. What a wonderful dish, this tofu bolognese looks fantastic! I need to try this! 🙂

  7. Is it really 728 cal per serving? That’s a lot!

    1. Hey Rei, yep it goes in that direction. I’d argue any serving of a pasta dish will clock in at that region, probably more 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    I added mushroom! So delicious!

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

  9. 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!

  10. 5 stars
    The sauce was amazing. but any good alternatives to tofu? I find it a bit boring.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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!