Vegan spaghetti bolognese

By Rodney Bowers
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Spaghetti bolognese is classic comfort food—especially in the colder months. Chef Rodney Bowers puts a vegan twist on this classic, using walnuts, mushrooms, green lentils and bulgar wheat. 



Bolognese Sauce

  • 3/4 cup chopped raw walnuts
  • 1 sweet onion, finely minced
  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablepsoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 500ml canned tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup dried mushrooms (soaked in water)
  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1/4 bunch fresh basil
  • 1 cup green lentils


  • 1 lb dry spaghetti
  • Salt, for the pot


  • Firm, vegan Parmesan


For the Sauce 

  1. In a skillet pan, toast the nuts until golden and aromatic, avoiding burning.  Pop them in a food processor and finely grind.  Set aside.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, mushrooms and garlic to the food processor and blend until well chopped. Set aside.
  3. Add the oil to a pre-heated large pot on medium-high and add the veggies.  Sweat for five minutes until golden.
  4. Add the salt, chilli flakes, tomatoes, tamari, vegetable stock, soaked mushrooms and water.  Bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce to simmer and add the nuts, bulgur, basil, lentils and stew for 30-40 minutes or until the lentils are cooked.

For the Spaghetti

  1. Meanwhile, boil a large pot of salted water. 
  2. Cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions. 
  3. Once cooked, strain and set aside. 

To Serve 

  1. Once the sauce is ready, serve with cooked spaghetti noodles and garnish with firm, vegan Parmesan.  Enjoy!

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