This Mushroom Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce (or ragu) recipe has a wonderful, meaty texture that is surprisingly similar to the texture of ground beef. A hearty and healthy sauce that will hold up to and bind to any pasta shape that you can include in your meat-free meal rotation.

Large ribbons of pasta mixed with mushroom pasta sauce in a white bowl with a fork and a wedge of Parmesan cheese

What’s everyone’s favorite Italian sauce? Why, Bolognese, of course. But now, this take on the classic favorite just got a full-on meatless makeover.  Due to the enormous popularity of my Traditional Bolognese Sauce, I have been asked by many of my readers and followers for a meat-free version that is just as good. Well… here it is!

After a few tests to get it just right, I believe I have created the best mushroom Bolognese sauce I know how to make. And, the good news is that you won’t miss the meat because finely chopped mushroom cook up to a very similar texture.

A ladle full of mushroom Bolognese sauce, lifting it out a pan

This sauce has all the complementary flavors of my original Bolognese sauce and before your eyes pop out of your head and ask the question… what? milk? What is Culinary Ginger thinking? Yes, there is milk in this and it serves the same purpose as the meat sauce as it creates a thick, creamy texture and true depth of flavor.

Please know that this is not a vegan Bolognese, or if you’re not lacto-vegetarian, you can substitute the milk for your favorite non-dairy alternative and swap, or omit the Parmesan cheese. It’s that simple.

A closeup showing mushroom Bolognese mixed with pappardelle pasta that looks meaty garnished with basil leaves in a white pasta bowl

If you really want to explore your creative side and not just use this as a traditional pasta sauce, you can use it in my Lasagna Bolognese recipe.

You will need a blender or food processor, though, for this recipe because no one deserves to be subjected to finely chopping the amount of mushrooms the recipe requires!

A pan of chopped mushrooms, carrots, onion and celery ready to be made into Bolognese sauce

As an added bonus, this sauce also freezes very nicely. Just add the cooled sauce to a sealed container and when you’re ready plan your meal, defrost in the fridge overnight and reheat in a pan. Couldn’t be easier.

If you’ve made this Mushroom Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce or have a question to ask me, you can leave both below in the comments area.

Mushroom Bolognese and pasta viewed from overheard sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese
Yield: 4 servings

Mushroom Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce

Long, wide pasta noodles curled up in a pasta bowl covered with mushroom Bolognese sauce with some pasta twirled around a fork

Delicious and meaty, without the meat. A hearty and healthy sauce that will hold up to any pasta shape.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 2 pounds (1 kilogram) mushrooms of your choice (roughly chopped, they will blend up easier)
  • 2 cups (250 grams) large onion, chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups (168 grams) carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups (354 grams) good quality pureed tomatoes/passata or diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) whole milk or your favorite non-dairy milk
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) vegetarian stock
  • 1 cup (90 grams) Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)


  1. To a food processor, add the mushrooms, and pulse until they are chopped and resemble ground beef. Add to a bowl.
    To the same food processor, add the onion, celery and carrot. Pulse until finely chopped and add to the mushrooms.
  2. To a large, wide pan or a large high-sided skillet. Add the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms, carrot and celery. Cook while stirring. The mushrooms will produce liquid, cook until the liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes. You may need to lower the heat as the liquid evaporates so it doesn’t burn on the bottom and stir often.
  3. Add the garlic, salt, pepper and tomato paste. Cook for a minute, stirring until any liquid has evaporated. Add the wine, stir and allow to cook and reduce slightly for about 3 minutes. Add the puréed tomatoes/passata, milk, stock and mix well. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking to the pan.
  4. 10 minutes before the end of cooking, stir in the Parmesan cheese. Taste for seasoning adjust if needed.
  5. Serve with your favorite pasta.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 185Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 11mgSodium 732mgCarbohydrates 15gFiber 3gSugar 8gProtein 6g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.