1-Pan Tempeh Bolognese

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Overhead image of tempeh bolognese in a pan with ingredients in the top right corner, wooden spoon resting in the pan, and parsley as a garnish

This hearty, 1-pan tempeh bolognese is a plant-based take on a classic that pairs perfectly with pastas, eggplant parmesan, lasagna, and more! Plus, it comes together in just 30 minutes. Let me show you how it’s done.

Overhead image of tempeh bolognese ingredients on a cutting board, including tempeh, onion, tomato sauce, and mushrooms

This bolognese starts with sautéed onion, mushrooms, and garlic for a flavorful base. Then comes finely grated tempeh, which cooks in the pan until seared. 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!

(Side note: Did you know tempeh originated in Indonesia? Learn more here!)

Next comes fennel, red pepper flake, coconut aminos, and dry red wine to infuse plenty of flavor into the tempeh. After a little more sautéing, you’ll add your crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, vegan parmesan cheese, a dash of sweetener, and a little water to ensure the right consistency.

That’s it! It just needs to simmer to deepen in flavor, but it’s essentially ready to go!

Overhead image of tempeh bolognese being stirred with a wooden spoon

We hope you LOVE this bolognese! It’s:

Quick & easy to make
Protein-rich (16 g / serving!)
& So delicious

This would make the perfect sauce for simple cooked pasta dishes, or to pair with Crispy Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan or layer in one of our Vegan Lasagnas!

For more Italian-inspired dishes, also check out our Socca Pizza with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Easy Vegan Pesto, Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Pasta, Easy 1-Pot Marinara Sauce, and 30-Minute Cashew Alfredo.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Image of tempeh bolognese over carrot noodles served on a white plate over a blue towel, garnished with parsley

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
Wooden spoon in a pan of Vegan Tempeh Bolognese topped with fresh parsley leaves
4.78 from 63 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Course 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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Serve with your favorite pasta or pasta alternative, like spaghetti squash, penne, or zucchini or carrot noodles and garnish with fresh basil (optional)!
  • 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 (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 309 Carbohydrates: 37 g Protein: 16 g Fat: 12 g Saturated Fat: 2 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 576 mg Potassium: 1229 mg Fiber: 7 g Sugar: 16 g Vitamin A: 720 IU Vitamin C: 24.4 mg Calcium: 177 mg Iron: 5.6 mg

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My Rating:

  1. Kristen says

    Success! I was a little worried it wouldn’t turn out because I used tempeh made from black eyed peas (that didn’t smell great as it was cooking) and Lion’s mane mushrooms (kinda smooshy). But I was wrong! It was great! This recipe is flavorful and versatile. Thanks so much!

  2. Tessa says

    Most of the recipes here I really like, but not this one. You can really taste the specific taste of tempeh, what I don’t really like. I followed the recipe as written. Even simmered it a bit longer.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry you didn’t enjoy it, Tessa! Would you mind sharing what brand of tempeh you were using?

      • Tessa says

        Just got the brand of the local supermarket (Albert Heijn). But I live in The Netherlands, so maybe it just tastes different here ;)

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Ah, okay! If there are different brands available, maybe try that. They vary in flavor and bitterness!

  3. Hanna Brearley says

    I make this at least once a fortnight. I always add carrot, celery and Zuchinni for extra veg and it’s always a hit!

  4. Raquel says

    The depth of flavor is insane! I really don’t like tempeh but I had a package of this to use up and this recipe did not disappoint. In fact I am now a tempeh convert and will use it in my spaghetti sauce from here on out! All I had on hand were mixed dried mushrooms so I rehydrated those to substitute for the fresh mushrooms. I used the residual mushroom broth to thin the sauce. I also added basically the entire 8-ounce can of tomato paste. So good!

  5. Cindy says

    Excellent!! Easy, fast, filling, and healthy. Added in 1/3 c green olives and brine while it simmered and served over spaghetti squash. Can’t wait to make it for my non-veg family – I know they too will enjoy.

    • Anika says

      Thank you for this recipe! My good friend is vegetarian but he loves pasta! So this was perfect it turned out amazing such hit! Will cook it again! It was my first time ever cooking Tempeh.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Thanks so much for the lovely review, Anika. We are so glad you both enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a star rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

      • Kiki says

        Delicious, easy, and super quick. I reconstituted dried shiitakes because that’s what I had, and used the mushroom soaking liquid to deglaze the pan while sautéing, in lieu of using any oil. Turned out amazing. Additionally, I didn’t have coconut aminos so I subbed that out for vegan “oyster sauce”, which worked perfectly and added great umami. Served over whole wheat spaghetti and sprinkled with more vegan Parmesan and *chefs kiss*!!

  6. Hana says

    I really enjoyed this recipe. Super easy and satisfying. I never would have thought of making tempeh this way. I made it with spaghetti squash, which was a great combination. The only problem was there wasn’t enough sauce to finish the full squash. I blogged my experience on my blog Nimble Veggies.

  7. Katie says

    I was really excited to try a new tempeh recipe especially since this has fabulous reviews, but as written it was majorly disappointing for me. I needed to add more salt, heat, and herbs (I did use low sodium tamari so maybe that contributed).

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Katie, we’re so sorry to hear it didn’t turn out as hoped for! It is better with coconut aminos, so that’s likely at least part of the issue. Hope the next one goes better!

  8. Ani says

    WOW!!! i’ve just started getting into cooking with tempeh and this recipe was incredible! the fennel really adds something special to it. LOVE LOVE LOVE! i didn’t feel like pasta tonight, so i had it on some quinoa and additionally mixed in some white sweet potato that i was sauteeing on the side! ate the rest of it plain out of the pot haha so good. thank you so much!!!!!

  9. Theya says

    I made this as is (with the addition of some fresh basil) and it came out amazing! Next time I may add shredded carrot in place of the sweetener.

  10. Gabrielle Manaskie says

    Honestly this is friggin delicious. I make this at least once per week so I play around quite a bit with this one. I’m Italian so my grandma used to make traditional bolognese quite often.

    I do add a bit of sweetener (1 tsp of sugar to cut the acidity) and I sometimes add diced carrots and peas for added texture, protein and nutrients. I always try to add fresh basil. Also, for even more protein I love adding nutritional yeast.

    I serve over pasta (and sometimes on a baguette).

    My husband and I love it!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! Thanks for such a lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Gabrielle. We are so glad you both enjoy it! xo

  11. Ren Atkins says

    This is the first tempeh recipe I’ve actually enjoyed rather than merely tolerated, so thank you! I was out of mushrooms (sad), and had to sub salt-reduced soy sauce for the aminos and nutritional yeast for the vegan Parmesan, so can imagine it would be even better if I followed the recipe ;)

  12. Jennifer says

    This is delicious! I scaled down the recipe for two but kept the amount of tempeh and mushrooms as written. I also added some chopped red pepper I needed to use up, and used 365 shredded vegan parmesan, but otherwise followed as written. I served it over Trader Joe’s hearts of palm linguini and it was filling, satisfying and quite tasty! I will definitely make it again. Thank you for sharing your recipes.

  13. Michael Shube says

    Really good. Store was out of tempeh so I substituted vegetarian chorizo. Still tasted great. Also, for some reason I thought it had basil in it, so I picked up fresh basil at the store. I figured I’d just add it–it tasted pretty good. I did not add sweetener, but people said it still tasted sweet. Also, I used baby bellas instead of cremini or shitakes… still tasted great!

  14. Hannah says

    Delicious!! Have made more than once, and I just used the sauce to make a lasagne too, so yum! I did throw a few extra veg in finely diced just to use them up, also used normal mushrooms because they are cheaper!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Hannah. We are so glad you enjoy it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  15. Angela says

    This is one of my favorite recipes. I make it 1x a week with spaghetti squash. Thank you so much ! I use oyster mushrooms and omit the wine and fennel. Thank you so much, so quick, light and delicious !

  16. Adrienne says

    This is delicious! Mostly followed the recipe, with the only change being that we sprinkled in the sugar a little at a time until it just cuts down the acidity. One tablespoon seems like a lot, but to each their own!

    Will be adding this to our Minimalist Baker rotation. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing, Adrienne! Yes, feel free to adjust sweetener to preference =) It may also vary based on the type of tomatoes.

    • Aliya says

      I made this tonight (just didn’t have wine so omitted it) and even my picky 5 year old ate it. My husband ate two helpings. We are not huge tempeh eaters and this recipe made it taste so good! Will definitely make again!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Yay! We’re so glad you and your family enjoyed it, Aliya. Thanks so much for the lovely review!

  17. Leslie says

    Turned out really well — my first recipe with tempeh since my teenager became a vegetarian a month ago. The rest of us eat meat. (I was referred here by a friend who has two college-age daughters who are vegan/vegetarian.) I would just second one reviewer’s note about using less fennel (I’d cut to 1/4 teaspoon also) because I’m not a fennel fan. But my family wasn’t othered by the fennel at all, so it was just me. Also, we’re not vegan so I used real parmesan cheese. My meat-eating husband and in-laws were impressed with its “meatiness.” I have been wondering about how to get the same depth of flavor in plant-based sauces, soups, etc. as you can from the fat/flavor in meat. I will also experiment next time I make this sauce with balsamic vinegar or tamari instead of the aminos, which have a flavor I’m not wild about. Looking forward to having leftovers for lunch!

  18. Esther says

    I made this recipe the other day and it was absolutely amazing. I’m planning on making it again soon and quite often.
    My meat-eater partner couldn’t believe how good it was, kept saying there must be meat! Even said ‘if that’s how we eat then I’m becoming vegan for sure!’ multiple times ;)
    I didn’t use red wine, used dried oregano and only 1/4tsp of fennel seeds but lightly crushed them, which really helped release the flavours. 10/10 would recommend

  19. Susan S says

    This was so good! My meat eater husband enjoyed it! I have IBS so no onions or mushrooms but added lentils and had it over spaghetti squash. I didn’t have Parmesan so use a sprinkle of Nutritional Yeast. Will definitely make it again

  20. Monique says

    This is really delicious! I made it as written except using dried oregano instead of fresh. The fennel seed really adds to the depth of flavor. Thank you!

  21. Courtney says

    My husband doesn’t like mushrooms. Would you recommend something as a substitute?

    Thanks! Looks yummy!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Courtney, We haven’t tried this one without mushrooms, but think it could work by increasing the tempeh or onion. If you give it a try, we’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • Sarah says

        Wow this recipe is AWESOME! I omitted mushrooms, added extra onion, red wine, Garlic, and tomato paste. I substituted nutritional yeast for vegan parm. Sooo yummy!

  22. CD says

    Awesome recipe!!! Loved the texture, umami flavor, and the subtle heat. Thanks for the recipe Dana.

    Didn’t have shiitake mushrooms, fennel, crushed tomatoes, or fresh oregano, but made do with white button mushrooms, cumin, cans of pureed and fire-roasted tomatoes, dried oregano, and fresh basil.

  23. Bridie says


    Another beautiful recipe; so quick, easy and delicious! My 17month old toddlers loved it (I left out chilli for their little mouths) and snuck in some carrot and zucchini :)

    NOTE: I pulsed everything in the blender for speed, first the onion, garlic, carrot, zucchini all together and sautéed in the pan, then tempeh and mushrooms in the blender and added to the pan, followed the next steps, using balsamic instead of coconut aminos as noted.

    THank you!

  24. Kathy Stanford says

    I made this in my Instant Pot last night. I added 2 large Portobello mushrooms, chopped, and fresh parsley, with the oregano. I added 11 oz. of dry pasta and 2 cups of water and cooked on High Pressure for 8 minutes. I didn’t add any sweetener, I forgot. Nevertheless, it turned out great. I’ve just started making Tempeh at home and am always looking for recipes. Thank you for this!

  25. Tanya Scott says

    Just made this. Love the concept. It’s lovely in color, fragrance and taste and nutrients but too sweet for my liking (I added just 1tbsp maple syrup and did NOT include the wine); I added salt and veggie broth. It’s been simmering about 30min to integrate the flavors. Also it’s taking almost 2hours w/the food prep and slow simmer. But I’m not mad at it! Can’t wait to enjoy over pasta and perhaps put in lasagna in the next couple days. Thanks as always!

  26. Elena says

    LOVE this recipe exactly as it’s written, but I’ll also use this recipe as a guideline when I make a simpler “cheat version” with bottled marinara.

    In my cheat version I don’t add the:
    -crushed tomatoes (although they could add more texture/heartiness)
    -tomato paste
    -red pepper flakes (i do add spice which I’ll explain later)

    Instead, I’ll add:
    -jarred marinara
    – 1-2 tablespoons of Trader Joe’s Tunisian Harissa chili pepper paste
    – I also buy already chopped up onions and mushrooms if I’m short on time.

    I make the rest of the recipe pretty much the same. Super tasty!

  27. Geeves says

    AWESOME!!! I made this last night because I was craving spaghetti. My husband and I absolutely loved this.. the depth of flavor was fantastic and took me by surprise. I am looking forward to having it again tonight! This is going to be a staple in our home, and a go-to when I’m craving pasta. Best way to use tempeh, ever!

  28. KT says

    This is so good! I followed the recipe exactly but added fresh basil and also needed to add about a cup of water to get it to the right consistency. I used the pasta water. Delicious!

  29. Lydia says

    Delicious! I can’t eat tempeh so switched it for Gardein ground “meat,” and I also added fresh basil at the end. So great and easy, and it seems like a versatile recipe. Thank you!

  30. Nico says

    This was absolutely amazing! I’ve never thought to use tempeh in this way and it’s so inspired. I only used 1/2 tbsp maple syrup and upped the red pepper flakes to 1 tsp. We were so impressed by the depth of flavor. Will definitely be adding this to our regular recipe rotation. Thanks for another great recipe.

  31. Julie says

    This is absolutely delicious as written! I used lentil pasta, 1 TBSP maple syrup and only 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, so the kids would eat it as well. Thank you for making healthy food taste incredible!

  32. tarheel mom says

    We really liked this meal. I added a little more mushrooms and fennel for my personal taste but followed the directions otherwise. This is definitely going in my weekly rotation. I tasted no bitterness from the tempeh without steaming. I served it over pasta with some steamed kale on the side to get extra veggies. Thank you for this recipe! Your website has been a lifesaver since my husband had to go on a strict whole food, non processed, no oil diet 7 months ago.

  33. Colleen says

    I made this yesterday, it exceeded my expectations. Very hearty, and delicious! I will definitely be making this again. My husband didn’t even realize it wasn’t a meat sauce!

  34. Vashti says

    I’ve made this recipe at least five times… I usually add a couple diced zucchinis and play around with the seasonings a bit, but I always love it!

  35. Leslie says

    This is seriously amazing. I didn’t use wine because I didn’t have an open bottle. Served it over zucchini noodles.

  36. Nicole says

    Something about this recipe is a little off to me… it might be that I’m not a huge fan of tempeh or that it seems a little heavy handed on the tomato paste as written.

  37. SueD says

    I made this tonight and served it with zucchini noodles. The reviews I read before making this were spot on. It was easy and delicious. I added extra fennel and extra red wine. Fabulous recipe – thank you so much for sharing it. I can’t wait to try more of your recipes. X – SD

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for sharing, Sue! We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  38. Clara says

    This recipe is so delish and easy to make. I’m not a fan of Tempeh, so I was sceptical, but it turned out to be awesome. I didn’t have any vegan Parmesan so I added nutritional yeast instead. I omitted the sweetener too.
    Served with courgette spaghetti. Yum, will definitely make again.
    Dana, I love your recipes, I have made so many and they have always turned out great. Best vegan website for sure.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the sweet note and lovely review, Clara. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  39. Daniela says

    This recipe is AMAZING! SO flavorful (I omitted some ingredients I didn’t had (garlic, fennel, dry wine, vegan parmesan – and still fantastic).

  40. Alexandria Williams says

    I’m planning on making this again (I made it a couple weeks ago) because it was sooooooo good and I’ve been dreaming about it ever since. All the wonderful comfort and deliciousness when you think of homemade bolognese, but without the meat component. It was absolutely delicious, and had such rich and wonderful flavor and I’m not even a tempeh fan!!

  41. Stephanie says

    Simply delicious! The wine definitely added depth, as well as the tempeh and mushrooms. I didn’t have fennel so look forward to adding that next time. Thanks for sharing!

  42. Natasha says

    Since going Vegan I just avoided having spaghetti nights. I made this today and it’s so delicious! I skipped on the parm, but it was still great!

  43. Kristine says

    Thank you!
    I loved this! Will definitely make this plenty of times more!
    It also worked really well in the freezer :)

  44. Nora says

    This was amazing! I didn’t simmer for long enough at the end so my tempeh was a little crunchy but I liked that. Great flavor and so hearty. Thank you!

  45. Diana says

    I loved this recipe and what a cool way to use tempeh! I am not vegan….so used parm and rigatoni which were fantastic vehicles of goodness to hold bites of flavorful and texturally superb bolognese. Also didn’t add any sweetener and thought I came out really fantastic without the additional sweetness. Only had dried mushrooms which I rehydrated in hot water for about 15 mins before mincing and also was pleased with how not rubbery they turned out. Great meal and my meat eating friends didn’t miss the beef one bit. Will keep this in my repertoire and will keep an eye out for more tempeh recipes from Dana!

  46. Daniel says

    This was delicious. Since it is a Monday night, I did not wish to open a bottle of wine. I brew artisan beer (I have a 10 tap Keezer), so I replaced the wine with English bitter. I doubled the mushroom volume (used portobello). I’m not vegan, so I used real parmasan cheese.

    Great recipe.

  47. Lucy Stolzenburg says

    I did make this recipe last night. The reason I did not give it 5 stars was for two reasons: using maple syrup as a sweetener made it too sweet (I used 1Tbsp.), and I don’t like using tomato paste in my sauce, but I wanted to follow the recipe.

    I loved the sauce, but I am Italian, and, of course, I make my sauce the way my mother always made it. This was great except (for my taste–that is) the two ingredients I mentioned above. I know that people are always adding sugar or carrots to their sauce due to the acidity of the sauce. My mother never did, and I guess I am used to the taste without it and prefer it. Also, as you cook sauce, it thickens, which is why I never add tomato paste, and the flavor is quite good on its own with the flavors of the onion, garlic, and herbs–oregano, basil, parsley, etc.

    Unlike my mother’s recipe, I added tempeh instead of meat. I made the spaghetti squash and a brown rice pasta. It was delicious, but again, my only issue was the sweetness. So, take my comments with a grain of salt or consider that when you make it yourself.

    I love all your recipes. So, I am a loyal fan.

  48. Cath says

    I made the recipe with a few modifications: I added 1 extra tablespoon of tomato paste, used soy sauce instead of coconut aminos, and omitted the wine since I didn’t have any bottle open. It turned out delicious! The combination of the soy sauce, tomato paste and maple syrup really gave it a great depth of flavor. Tempeh bolognese is a regular for me, and I think I just found my new go-to recipe! Thank you :)

  49. doctorchris says

    This is now literally my most favorite red sauce – I made with spaghetti squash as my “pasta” which was just so very yummy! I did add the maple syrup for a bit of sweetness and I think that is why I am so in love with it! Would be great on a pizza crust (if the cauliflower ones). Really I just want to eat it with a spoon!! IN LOVE!!

  50. Diets.Guru says

    While that s happening you can cook up a big pot of pasta to go with your tempeh bolognese. Spoon the sauce over the pasta, sprinkle with extra nutritional yeast, and enjoy your dinner!

  51. Mallory says

    So so so good. Why haven’t I thought of grating tempeh before??
    I followed the recipe as is, and then decided it wasn’t enough… I wanted more! So I threw in the rest of the carton of mushrooms (chopped) and an additional can (28oz) of tomatoes and then spices to taste. Absolutely to die for. Thank you for yet another game changer recipe.

  52. Jessica Marquis says

    Gah this looks sooo fantastic! We are crazy about tempeh so I can already tell this is going to be our new favorite recipe!
    And I just wanted to say thank you for all of your amazing recipes, my husband and I no joke use your recipes at least 2-3 times (a lot of times more) a week for dinner so I don’t know where our meal planning would be without you! :D

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for the sweet note, Jessica! So glad our recipes are helpful for you xo

  53. Renée says

    Wow! This recipe is amazing! Made it yesterday and it tasted so good. My (meat eating and Italian food loving) boyfriend was eating unholy amounts of it, haha. We were so surprised of how similar it was to ‘regular’ bolognese. I used a lot of the spices and red wine, way more than the recipe indicated, so I would say adjust to your own taste :) I minced the tempeh in a food processor and that worked fine. Next time I would steam the tempeh beforehand because I could taste some of it’s bitterness. Will definitely be making this again, thanks for the great recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Haha yay! Thanks for sharing, Renée! Your tips are super helpful. I’ve also found that steaming tempeh can reduce bitterness. But sometimes it’s so little that it’s hard to notice / justify the extra time. But yes! I think if I was serving this for folks eating tempeh for the first time, I’d steam it!

  54. Cassie Autumn Tran says

    Wow, who knew that tempeh could be so hearty and versatile in an interesting way?! I definitely think this bolognese could pair perfectly with zucchini noodles, bean pasta, or even on top of a salad or steamed vegetables! Definitely will try making this one day with TVP!

  55. Alistya says

    THANK YOU FOR THIS RECIPE. Im a Indonesian and Tempes are ABUNDANT here where i live. We eat it almost every other day but to cook it like this, never cross my mind before. I just made it for lunch, with few modifications based on what available here. I caramelized the onion first, sub the wine with pasta water, used mushroom powder instead of coconut aminos, used homade tomato sauce instead of tomato paste. It came out amazing. I DID NOT MISS THE MEAT AT ALL. You can not believe how estatic i am right now because tempes are andundant and cheap and nutritious and locally made and sold wrapped in a banana leaf here. It ticks soo many boxes. Thank you thank you thank you

  56. Anna says

    This was okay. Grated tempeh gave it a great beefy texture, but it wasn’t one of those recipes that you’ll remember forever. Still good though!

  57. Maria Morris says

    I could not find the red wine suggested. We live in a very small rural town . Can you make another wine suggestion that would be easier to find?

  58. Jes says

    Great recipe.
    I minced the mushrooms and tempeh together in a food processor. It made a a great ‘mince blend’. Although I’d like to see how the recipe works if I baked it briefly prior to using, to dehydrate it somewhat. If I do this, I’ll post the results.
    Overall, a great recipe. I would never have thought to use tempeh this way.

  59. Irina says

    This was the first recipe from your blog that I made, and it was amazing! I haven’t eaten meat in a really long time so I can’t say if it tasted like the meat version of Bolognese, but my meat eating friends said it tasted a.ma.zing! Thank you for a great recipe!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Lovely! Thanks for sharing, Irina! Next time would you mind leaving a rating? It’s super helpful to us and other readers. xoxo!

  60. Jenn Cattaneo says

    Made this tonight. When I first saw the post I wasn’t sure. But I love tempeh and I want the fam to too. Started with sauteing the garlic and mushrooms. Didn’t do onion, but instead fennel (like the bulby part–cuz we don’t do onion) and celery cut real tiny. let that get nice and yummy with salt and olive oil for a good 10-15 in the pan. then I added the finely chopped tempeh and let it all cook together for another 20 and I’ll be darned if that tempeh didn’t end up tasting hella good!!! lots of smoked paprika (that’s about my spice tolerance these days), added the crushed tomato, paste, and water. let that simmer for 30 ish min. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t even tell you how dang good it was. This will be in my weekly rotation until further notice. Thank you so much :-)

  61. Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

    Lovely! Thanks for sharing your experience, Nic! So glad we could provide some inspiration.

  62. Nic says

    Absolutely delicious. We’re in the process of cutting back the amount of meat we eat. Such that we only eat meat once or twice a week now. For someone who was brought up on meat and 3 veg as ‘normal’ this recipe was a revelation.

    I’ve never eaten or cooked with Tempeh before so a quick trip to the local chinese supermarket and we were off! We followed the recipe except for the following …
    Mushrooms – we finely chopped the chestnut mushrooms that we had in the fridge (basically brown button mushrooms).
    Tempeh – the only stuff I could source was frozen so I sliced it into strips and then diced it further before cooking.
    Coconut aminos – we used 1/2 dark soy sauce (no light soy in the house) and 1/2 balsamic vinegar.
    Tomatoes – I worked out that 28 ounces of tomatoes = 2 tins of tomatoes in the UK
    …oh and we used a lot more of the chilli flakes, non vegan parmesan and omitted any sweetener!

    Loved it. It tastes amazing and I will be pairing it with the crispy eggplant parmesan that I’m off to make now. I know that I am gushing about this recipe but it tastes fabulous and I will definitely be making it again! Thank you so much xx

  63. Emily says

    Where have you found tempeh in Portland? I always look in Fred Meyer and New Seasons but haven’t found it for a looong time!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      In Portland we have ALL the options. At the PSU Farmers Market (and Alberta Coop) there’s Squirrel + Crow soy-free tempeh! Otherwise I just get Torfurky brand at New Season’s b/c it’s typically gluten-free.

    • Emily says

      Thank you! My neighborhood store hasn’t had the tofurkey brand (or any) for at least a year – good to know that other locations still stock it!

    • Jenn Cattaneo says

      I really like the Surata Soy Foods Organic Original Soy Tempeh, I get it at Natural grocers. sometimes they are out, so whenever I see it I grab like 3 packs!

  64. Mollie says

    Bulletproof recipe! I just polished off the leftovers from last night and added some cottage cheese on top. Never shredded tempeh before – what a cool idea :)

  65. Chris Walker says

    This is another excellent recipe. I goofed and had to make a last minute change. I did not have the fennel seeds, so I omitted the red pepper but went with the oregano – added a bit of fresh basil and parsley to make it a sweet tomato sauce. It was excellent. The flavor of the mushrooms came through. I used shiitake mushrooms and in every other way followed the recipe. I served it over pasta. A new family favorite. Thank you, Dana!

  66. Linda says

    Very Good Dana.. I didn’t have the shrooms you suggested but I did have dry porcini. They gave a nice flav… no wine either or fresh oregano but use the dried version. I use grain penne pasta is what I had. I will make this again. Maybe make double batch for sauce for a vegan lasagna. Thank you for sharing all the delicious eats. Peace

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      “Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Linda. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  67. Paul says

    Every week I look forward to see what you come up. Since going plant-based, I do pretty well with substitutions. What could I do to substitute tempeh in this recipe due to allergies? Thank you

    • Gustavo says

      Hey Paul, I guess tofu wouldn’t be a good substitute for you, perhaps? You’d break it up in pieces with your hands.
      Else, my plan b would be to use cooked lentils.
      Good luck!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried it, but think adding more mushrooms would work. Other readers have suggested lentils and we think that could work as well. Hope that helps!

    • Cindy says

      Hi Paul, I used a pea protein based meat substitute (Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles) and this recipe was freaking fantastic with them. (We have a soy allergic member of our family, too).

  68. Elle says

    Would any other kind of mushrooms work? I’ve got white button and dried shiitake, porcini and maitake; maybe one for flavor and one for texture?

    • Jes says

      Cremini mushroom is white button mushroom, and is listed as an alternative. So I think that will be fine. It’s what I’m planning on using :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried other mushrooms, but think it would work! Fresh mushrooms would probably be best. Hope that helps!

  69. grady says

    I will definitely try this! I wonder if you would consider it necessary to simmer the tempeh block before shredding and cooking. Many tempeh based recipes I’ve read mention pre-simmering tempeh prior to cooking in order to reduce any bitterness. I assume this step wasn’t necessary for this recipe?

    Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Good question! We don’t find it necessary to pre-simmer the tempeh in this recipe. Hope that helps!