Vegetable Bolognese recipe

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  • Healthy
  • Vegetarian
serves: 4
Skill: easy
Cost: cheap
Prep: 25 min
Cooking: 25 min

Nutrition per portion

Calories 320 kCal 16%
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  • Replace all the meat in your bolognese sauce with healthy fresh vegetables for a lighter, more sustainable meal.

    Eating more vegetables and less meat is good for you and good for the planet. If you can also make it flavourful and delicious, so much the better. This vegetable spaghetti Bolognese uses leeks, carrots, courgettes and mushrooms instead of mince. The result is a chunky, sauce-tossed spaghetti that still feels like a decadent dinner – not bad for only 320 calories. This recipe serves 4. If you are serving fewer people, you can store the sauce separately to reuse the following night, or use it as a topping for couscous or a baked potato for lunch. For more light and lovely spaghetti ideas, check out our healthy pasta recipes.


    • 15ml (1tbsp) olive oil
    • 1 large leek, trimmed and sliced
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed
    • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
    • 350ml (12fl oz) carton fresh Napoletana sauce
    • 1 large courgette, thinly sliced
    • 100g (4oz) button mushrooms, wiped and halved
    • 225g (8oz) spaghetti
    • Basil sprigs and Parmesan cheese shavings, to serve


    • Heat the oil in a large, deep pan and fry the leek, garlic and carrots for 5-6 mins, stirring all the time.

    • Add the sauce and 200ml (7fl oz) water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 mins. Add the courgette and mushrooms and cook for a further 10 mins until all the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened.

    • Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling, salted water for 8-10 mins until just tender. Drain well.

    • Season the sauce to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and serve with the spaghetti garnished with sprigs of fresh basil and Parmesan cheese shavings.

    Top tips for making vegetable Bolognese

    You can bulk up this sauce with other vegetables you may have already, such as chopped celery, butternut squash or aubergine.

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