Wooden spoon in a pan of Vegan Tempeh Bolognese topped with fresh parsley leaves
4.88 from 31 votes

1-Pan Tempeh Bolognese

Hearty, saucy 1-pan tempeh bolognese! Easy to make, ready in just 30 minutes, and perfect for pasta, eggplant parmesan, lasagna, and more!

Author: Minimalist Baker
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Category: Sauce
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Italian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 5 Days



  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (or sub twice as much water)
  • 3/4 cup finely diced onion or shallot
  • 1 cup shiitake (or cremini) mushrooms, minced
  • 8 ounces tempeh (finely chopped or grated on a box grater)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos (or 1 Tbsp tamari or balsamic vinegar)
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flake (adjust to preferred spice level)
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine (optional // we used Elephants Red Cuvée Rouge, but any dry red will do — preferably something you’ll enjoy with the meal!)
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1-2 Tbsp vegan parmesan cheese (plus more to taste)
  • 1-2 Tbsp sweetener of choice (such as maple syrup or coconut sugar)
  • Water as needed to thin

FOR SERVING optional


  1. Heat a large-rimmed skillet, pot, or dutch oven (as large as possible to give room for browning) over medium heat. Once hot, add oil (or water) and onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes until translucent and soft, stirring frequently. If using water, add more water as needed as it evaporates quickly.

  2. Add mushrooms and stir. Sauté for 2 minutes more. Then add shredded tempeh and garlic and stir (if your pan is small, do this in 2 batches so the tempeh has room to brown*). Then add coconut aminos, fennel seeds, and red pepper flake. Sauté for 4-5 minutes (or up to 10 minutes), stirring frequently, until everything is golden brown. Turn down heat if browning too quickly.

  3. Add wine (optional), stir, and cook for 1 minute. Then add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, vegan parmesan, and sweetener. Thin with water if needed (we added about 1/4 cup / 60 ml). Stir to combine and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Taste and adjust flavors as needed, adding more coconut aminos or salt for saltiness, red pepper flake for spice, oregano for herbal flavor, tomato paste for depth of flavor, or vegan parmesan for cheesy flavor.
  5. Serve with your favorite pasta or pasta alternative, like spaghetti squash, penne, or zucchini or carrot noodles and garnish with fresh basil (optional)!

  6. Cooled leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat in a saucepan or microwave until hot, adding a little water as needed to rehydrate.


*It’s important to use a pan large enough that the tempeh has room to sauté. Add a bit more oil as needed to deglaze the pan and ensure the tempeh is browning up nicely!
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with lesser amount of vegan parmesan cheese and maple syrup and without the optional ingredients.

Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 4)