Vegetable Bolognese recipe

(227 ratings)

This lovely, chunky vegetable Bolognese makes a perfect evening meal whether you're vegetarian or just trying to cut down on your meat consumption.

Vegetable Bolognese
  • healthy
  • Vegetarian
  • healthy
Preparation Time25 mins
Cooking Time25 mins
Total Time50 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories320 Kcal16%

Replace all the meat in your vegetable 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.


  • 1 tbsp 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




  1. Heat the oil in a large, deep pan and fry the leek, garlic and carrots for 5-6 mins, stirring all the time.
  2. 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.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling, salted water for 8-10 mins until just tender. Drain well.
  4. 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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Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodtoKnow and has over 12 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the must-buy seasonal food hampers and advent calendars for Christmas to the family-friendly air fryers that’ll make dinner time a breeze, Jessica loves trying and testing various food products to find the best of the best for the busy parents among us. Over the years of working with GoodtoKnow, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create exclusive videos - as well as writing, testing, and shooting her own recipes. When she’s not embracing the great outdoors with her family at the weekends, Jessica enjoys baking up a storm in the kitchen with her favourite bakes being chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and a tray of gooey chocolate brownies