Tempeh Bolognese

Here’s a rich, hearty, vegan meal for your cold weather enjoyment. The fennel seeds add some amazing flavor to this dish. It’s worth going out of your way to get them, if you don’t have them already.

If spaghetti squash isn’t your thing, try this over spiralized veggie noodles, cooked quinoa, or pasta (I recommend chickpea or lentil pasta for flour or grain-free eaters).

Tempeh Bolognese & Spaghetti Squash

Veggies | Protein | Fat
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Servings 4



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


  • 2 8-oz packages of tempeh, crumbled or grated

Fat Serving

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 oz

Condiments & Spices

  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce, or tamari or coconut aminos for gf
  • 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


Spaghetti Squash

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. 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.

Tempeh Bolognese

  • In a large cast iron pan, heat the olive oil. Sauté the onions and mushrooms for 10 minutes or so, until browned and caramelized.
  • 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.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste.
  • Simmer for a few minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup of water or broth to thin.
  • Serve atop the spaghetti squash.
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  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. silvia

    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.

    • Elaine

      Where do you find chickpea tempeh?

      • We have a great local tempeh guy in Portland, OR. He makes all kinds of tempeh. Their company’s name is Squirrel and Crow. I’ve also seen many non-soy tempeh products in natural food stores.

  3. J-Go

    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?

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