Vegan Tempeh Bolognese Recipe


Vegan tempeh bolognese in a pink cashew cream sauce with garlic toast.

A hearty, protein packed vegan version of Bolognese that uses the goodness of plant protein from organic, non GMO tempeh.  This sauce goes one step further to add the creamy goodness of cashews to create a tempeh bolognese in a pink ‘cream’ sauce.  Everyone that has tried it has absolutely loved it.  I received the recipe from an amazing vegan chef, our friend Phil Martinez.  I altered it slightly by using crushed tomatoes instead of pureeing the tomatoes myself with an immersion blender.  Below is the slightly revised recipe:

For the cashew cream sauce:

  • ½ cup raw cashews (soak in a covered container in very hot water for 10 mins)
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup filter water

For the tempeh sauce:

  • 1 med onion diced (1cup)
  • 1 carrot peeled and diced (1/2 cup)
  • 1 celery stalk washed and diced (1/2 cup)
  • 4 cloves of garlic rough chop (or 2 teaspoons minced garlic from the jar)
  • 1 pkg organic non GMO tempeh
  • 1 can 28oz crushed tomatoes (look for jars that say ‘BPA Free’)
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt

1 pkg 16 oz pasta


While your cashews soak, dice the onion, carrot and celery and sauté in a tablespoon of olive oil until softened, about 3-5 minutes. I use a large pot so when I add the tomatoes and cream sauce I have room to fold and stir.   Add garlic. Sauté another minute.

Cut tempeh into large chunks and add to food processor.  Pulse a few times until you have the desired consistency for your ‘chopped meat.’  Add to the pot. Alternatively, if you don’t have a food processor, just take the tempeh into your hands and crumble it with your fingers right into the pot.

Fold everything together and sauté another 2 minutes.  Add your can of crushed tomatoes, salt & pepper, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Stir often to blend all flavors.

While that is simmering, take your cashews, nutritional yeast and water and add to your high speed blender.  Blend until it is all smooth.  About 1 minute or less.  After 20 minutes, stir the cashew cream sauce into the large pot.  Heat for two minutes and serve over your choice of pasta.


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