Gluten-free Low-fat Mains Recipes

Tempeh Bolognese


Tempeh – Who has never tried tempeh?

If you have not tried it yet, you may have heard about it and you may want to try it but don’t know exactly what is the best way to cook it. Am I right? Cool… So keep reading …

If, on the other hand, you have tried it and are not 100% convinced by the taste of this (strong-flavoured) vegetable protein, today you will find the perfect alternative ?

Tempeh is a prebiotic (a high fiber food) that can be considered a superfood. Originated in Indonesia, tempeh is an extremely nutritious, high protein, fiber-rich, digestible and naturally gluten-free fermented food.

On vegetarian or vegan diets it is one of the main sources of protein. In addition, it is an extremely versatile food that can be cooked and prepared in a variety of ways. The traditional way is, perhaps, being cooked as a substitute for meat, seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper and spices, and then being fried or grilled.

But for those who have never tasted this delicacy from the East, it may seem that its hearty and quite unique flavour, can be somewhat difficult to “swallow”. With this in mind, I thought of  “deconstructing” the idea that we have of Tempeh, by cooking in a much more appealing and in a much easier way to please vegan “newbies”.

minced tempeh with spices and tamari

Minced tempeh with seasonings

The idea is simple. Why not cooking it in a bolognesa way? Tempeh bolognese… sounds good, right?! (I know, you can thank me later 😉 ).

Instead of eating the whole “steak”, or cubes of tempeh, I propose that you crush them well with your hands until you get a kind of a”minced meat” texture (and forgive me the references to meat!).

Tempeh bolognese with Violife Parmesan “Cheese”


Ready for this?

If you do not feel like trying Tempeh today (or if you simply do not have it at home right now), take a look at this other version made with mushrooms and pineapple.

Tempeh Bolognese
Serves 4
Delicious and healthy meat-free bolognese alternative, made with high protein and high fibre Tempeh.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
  1. approximately 280g of tempeh
  2. 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  3. 1 red onion, finely chopped
  4. 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  5. 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  6. 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  7. 1 stalk celery, finely chopped (optional)
  8. 2 medium carrots, grated (optional)
  9. 1 bay leaf
  10. 4 tablespoons of Tamari sauce
  11. 1 teaspoon thyme and / or oregano
  12. 4 tablespoons tomato puree
  13. 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  14. 1 cup and a half of tomato sauce (or passata)
  15. 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  16. Salt and black pepper, to taste
  1. Basil leaves
  2. Vegan "parmesan" cheese (optional)
  1. Begin by crushing the tempeh with your hands until you get something similar to "minced meat"
  2. Season the tempeh with salt, pepper, paprika, tamari, thyme and garlic powder. Reserve for at least 30 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, heat a pan with a small amount of olive oil. When hot, add bay leaf, chopped onion, garlic and ginger. When translucent, add the celery and carrots and sauté until tender.
  4. Then add the marinated tempeh mince.
  5. Add the Tamari marinade, the tomato puree and mix everything well.
  6. Add the tomato sauce (or passata) and the spoon of apple cider vinegar and stir well.
  7. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
  8. Serve hot with basil leaves and / or black olives and sprinkled with vegan parmesan cheese.
  1. This bolognese can be served with pasta, with rice, or as part of a vegan "sheperds pie", always served with a good green salad.


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