Tempeh Bolognese


Here’s a rich, hearty, vegan meal for your cold weather enjoyment. Sometimes I make a similar dish with lentils and mushrooms (which is delicious) but I’m always looking for yummy things to do with tempeh. I modified this recipe from this one over at Minimalist Baker. I’ve never cooked with fennel seeds before, but they add some amazing flavor to this dish. It’s worth going out of your way to get them.

I like this over spaghetti squash, but it would also be delicious over spiralized veggie noodles or legume pasta. If using legume pasta, you can use one less package of tempeh and divide up the protein serving between the tempeh and legume pasta. Personally, I count legume pasta as a grain on maintenance.

Tempeh Bolognese

  • Servings: Makes 4 Servings
  • Print

Each Serving Contains:

  • 14 oz Veggies
  • 1 Protein Serving
  • 1 Fat Serving


Veggie Serving

  • 1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 of a large onion
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 spaghetti squash (optional) 

Protein Serving

  • 2 (8-oz) packages of tempeh, crumbled or grated (I used Trader Joe’s) (4 protein servings)

Fat Serving

  • 2 oz olive oil (4 fat servings)

Condiments & Spices

  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp tamari, soy sauce, or coconut aminos
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or more to preferred heat level)
  • 1 Tbsp dry Italian herbs
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine (optional)
  • Sprinkle of vegan parmesan (optional)
  • Fresh basil, to garnish (optional) 

Maintenance Modifications

  • Grain Additions: Mix in cooked quinoa!
  • Protein Additions: Serve over legume pasta.


  1. If using spaghetti squash, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Lightly spray with olive oil and generously salt and pepper. Place flat side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast until the strands pull apart easily with a fork, like spaghetti (about 30 min). Alternatively, you could steam the spaghetti squash in large rounds in a steamer basket, which works great too and takes less time.
  2. In a large cast iron pan, heat the olive oil. Sauté the onions and mushrooms for 10 minutes or so, until browned and caramelized.
  3. Add the crumbled tempeh, garlic, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar. Sauté for a few more minutes until the tempeh starts to stick to the pan. Stir in the wine (if using) towards the end or substitute for water or broth.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste.
  5. Simmer for a few minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup of water or broth to thin.
  6. The way that I weigh this meal is to divide it into four servings and weigh one of them. I then subtract the 4 oz for the tempeh, 0.5 oz for the oil, and 2 oz for tomato sauce condiment allowance, and then I add spaghetti squash to reach my veggie quota. The total-meal-weight method works well here too.

Recipe Source: Katie’s Bright Kitchen


Rate This Recipe:

Subscribe to Katie's E-mail List


  1. Marsha Weiner

    Katie, This looks so yummy! I’m definitely going to try this as I’ve recently become interested in using Tempeh (will be grocery shopping this afternoon).

    I have your cookbooks (hard copy), and have used them frequently. Glad you’re part of my BLE “tools”. 👍💕

  2. I made this recipe yesterday, using chickpea tempeh and zoodles, and it´s delicious!!! Thank yo very much, Katie, I´m always looking for recipes with tempeh, which I don´t like particularly, but I know it´s very healthy.

  3. How do you count a 28 oz can of tomatoes for a veggie serving? Is it about 20 oz once you account for the water and cooking?

Leave a Comment!