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veggie tofu bolognese pasta

Veggie Tofu Bolognese Pasta

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


Tofu Crumbles

  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tsp chili powder or sweet paprika for less spice
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp liquid smoke optional
  • 1 block extra firm or high protein tofu

Veggie Sauce

  • 3 celery stalks diced
  • 2 large carrots diced
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 zucchini diced
  • 1 tsp garlic minced
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes San Marzano if possible
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • tsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 package whole grain pasta of your choice


Tofu crumbles

  • Preheat air fryer or oven to 350 degrees
  • Add all the ingredients to a medium sized bowl except for the tofu
  • Mix together until they form a paste
  • Crumble the tofu into the bowl and mix with the paste
  • Place in the air fryer pan or spread evenly on a pan then place in the air fryer/oven
  • Bake for 15 min in the air fryer or 35-45 min in the oven. Oven temperatures may vary so watch it carefully and remove when browned. Place aside.

Veggie Sauce

  • Dice the onion, carrots, and celery first. You can get these cooking while you finish dicing the red bell pepper and zucchini to save time.
  • Heat stock pot or Dutch oven on the stove at medium heat, add oil (avocado, canola, or olive are my preferred), then add the onions, carrots and celery and saute until softened.
  • Add the red bell pepper and zucchini to the pot and saute until softened.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and all the spices to the pot. Add 1/2 cup of water.
  • Allow the sauce to get to a low boil then cover and reduce the heat to simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Cook the pasta per package instructions while the sauce is simmering.
  • When sauce is ready, add the tofu crumbles until heated through then turn off the heat and top the pasta with the sauce.
  • INSTANT POT NOTE: If using the Instant Pot, follow the above directions using the saute mode to cook the vegetables first. Turn off when done sauteeing while you add the rest of the sauce ingredients. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. I would prefer to allow it to naturally release but if you are short on time, you can quick release. Be careful not to get burned from the hot steam! I like to cover it with a dish towel.
  • BABY & TODDLER NOTE: Purée the sauce ingredients in a high speed blender or a stick blender to your preferred consistency. You may need to add extra water. Mix with the pasta. If using noodles you may want to use scissors to cut to smaller pieces.
Keyword Baby-friendly, Kid-friendly, Plant-based, Toddler-friendly, Vegan