Vegan Tempeh Pecan Bolognese

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Vegan Tempeh Pecan Bolognese


This is my most recent go-to recipe with tempeh. It’s so easy to make, yet flavorful and filling. I hope you enjoy it too if you decide to make it.


  • 6oz pasta your choice (dry weight)
  • 8oz tempeh
  • 1/3 cup pecans* (or walnuts)
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes*, ideally unsalted
  • 1 red onion, diced or sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (or more if you like it extra garlicky)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning, optional
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth (more if needed)
  • 1 pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup marinara (or tomato basil) sauce*
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar (or maple syrup or soft dates)
  • 1/4 cup vegan mozzarella shreds (or as much as your heart desires), optional
  • Fresh basil to top (very optional)


  1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions (this should take about 7-10 minutes).
  2. While the pasta is cooking, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil in a deep pan or pot over medium heat for 3 minutes.
  3. Crumble the tempeh using a fork (or your hands, but I find that a fork on a chopping board works best). Chop the pecans (roughly) and sun-dried tomatoes and add them to the pan with the tempeh and the liquid smoke.
  4. Mix well, then add the vegetable broth and cook for 2 more minutes before adding the marinara sauce, coconut sugar, salt and pepper to taste and Italian seasoning (optional). If the sauce is too thick, add a little more water or vegetable broth. If it’s not thick enough, you can thicken it by mixing in a teaspoon of cornstarch.
  5. Reduce heat to low-medium and let simmer for 3 more minutes.
  6. Add the vegan mozzarella shreds in last and mix until they’re melted into the sauce. 
  7. Serve with the pasta and enjoy!


  • This makes 2 generous servings of the sauce (which I’m a fan of), so if you’re someone who likes a little less sauce, it’ll probably be enough for 3 or even 4 if you make more pasta.
  • If the pecans are already chopped when you measure them, you’ll only need 1/4 cup
  • If your marinara sauce is not or only lightly seasoned, feel free to add 1/2 – 1 tsp Italian seasoning or dried basil.
  • If the your sun-dried tomatoes are from and jar with oil, be sure to pat them dry first. If they contain added salt, don’t add any extra salt to the recipe and taste test first (you can always add more if need be). If they’re not soft, then be sure to soften them in a little boiling water first). If you don’t have sun-dried tomatoes at all, you can omit or add a handful of cherry or grape tomatoes.
  • To make this recipe gluten-free, simply use lentil or chickpea pasta.



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