This delicious Quorn bolognese cooks up in just under half an hour and is ridiculously easy to make. A thick umami tomato sauce laced with wine, herbs, and a secret ingredient…
We’re straying fairly far from authentic here with this Quorn bolognese, but it’s a similar version to the spaghetti bolognese sauce that I used to devour all the time growing up as a kid in Ireland and at the very least, it is authentically good.
Serve this recipe over spaghetti or your preferred pasta, and to really make a lush meal of it, add a light Italian salad, vegetarian parmesan, and 15-minute vegan garlic bread. I also love it in jacket potatoes topped with lots of melted cheese.
Why you’ll love it:
- It’s easy and quick to make.
- It tastes like it’s been simmering for hours.
- It’s high in protein and low in calories.
- It’s thick and rich and satisfying.
- It’s vegetarian
Quorn contains a small amount of egg white, so it’s not suitable for vegans. Vegans could substitute cooked brown lentils or vegan meat crumbles to make this dish dairy and egg-free.
What’s the secret ingredient I use in my bolognese? Drumroll…(ducking in anticipation of Italians throwing things at me…)
Wait! Don’t run away! Hear me out.
Many bolognese recipes call for concentrated tomato puree and some sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes, and what is ketchup but basically tomato paste and sugar but even tastier?
It also has other seasonings which make it a great addition to any bolognese. Use high-quality ketchup (I’m a Heinz fan), or if you’re cutting down on sugar in your diet you can use a low sugar or sugar-free brand.
The ingredients are pretty simple so I don’t recommend making many substitutions. White wine can be substituted for red wine, or a mixture of more stock and vinegar (see recipe card notes) if avoiding alcohol. Yellow or white onion, either is fine.
While I love Quorn Meatless Grounds (Quorn Mince in the UK) because of it’s nutritional content and the way it soaks up flavors, feel free to substitute with your preferred meatless crumbles or cooked brown lentils.
I’ve kept it simple with onions and carrots, but if you want to up your veggie content, some celery and mushrooms would also be great in this recipe.
For celery, take one or two long stems, dice finely, and add in with the onions. For mushrooms, take two to three large handfuls of white or chestnut mushrooms, clean, slice, and add with the tomatoes and stock.
A few handfuls of the nutritional powerhouse that is spinach thrown in at the end to wilt wouldn’t go amiss either.
How to make it
I’ve been making this recipe for around fifteen years now and have simplified it as much as possible, so this section should be a breeze. Check the process photos if you’re unsure about any steps.
First, prepare your ingredients. Finely chop the onion; peel and cut the carrots in half lengthways and then slice, peel and mince the garlic.
Add the olive oil to a large saucepan on medium-high heat and add in the chopped onions. Cook for five minutes, stirring to prevent them from sticking and burning but allowing them to brown.
Next, add in the garlic, carrots, and dried herbs (image one below), mix in and fry for between one to one and a half minutes, stirring often, until the garlic no longer smells raw.
Now add in the frozen Quorn (don’t defrost it before using) – if it’s clumped up I usually just break up most of the clumps with my hands before adding to the saucepan and then get any remaining ones with a spoon as the it heats up.
Add the dry red wine, mix well (image two above), and cook until the wine has been absorbed or bubbled away (around three minutes). If the Quorn crumbles are stuck together in clumps
Add in the canned crushed tomatoes, the vegetable stock, and the ketchup and mix well (image three below).
Turn the heat up to high until the bolognese sauce is at a lively simmer, then reduce to medium to maintain at a simmer and cook for twenty minutes (image four above) or until the sauce has thickened to your liking, stirring to prevent sticking.
Taste and add salt as needed (this will depend on how salty your vegetable stock was).
Serve hot over spaghetti or whichever pasta you prefer (let’s be real here, spag bol is the best). Freshly ground black pepper, some optional chopped fresh basil, a good vegetarian parmesan and some garlic bread would make this an amazing meal.
How to store it
Simply let your bolognese cool completely and then either:
- Place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. To reheat, zap in the microwave for three minutes on high, stir, and heat an additional one or two minutes as needed, depending on the amount of bolognese.
- Place in a freezer bag or a suitable container for freezing and leave in the freezer for up to three months. To use, defrost overnight and then heat up as in the first case, use the microwave defrost option, or add (sealed!) to a pot of hot water.
If the sauce has thickened more than you’d like, simply thin it with a little water.
Did you make this Quorn bolognese recipe? Let me know how much you loved it with a star rating in the recipe box, review, or comment below.
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 2 medium carrots (optional)
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 Tablespoon dried basil
- 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 16oz Quorn Meatless Grounds (450g Quorn Mince)
- 1 cup dry red wine (240ml)
- 28oz canned crushed tomatoes (800)
- 2 cups vegetable stock (480mll)
- 3 Tablespoons ketchup
- Add the oil to a large pan and heat on medium-high. Peel and finely chop the onions. Peel, cut in half lengthways, and slice the carrots if using. Peel and mince the garlic.
- Add the onion to the pan and fry for 5 minutes until lightly browned, stirring to prevent burning.
- Add in the carrots (optional), garlic, and dried herbs (basil, oregano, thyme). Cook for 1-1.5 minutes stirring often until the garlic doesn't smell raw anymore.
- Add the frozen Quorn (no need to defrost) and red wine and let bubble away until most of the wine is gone (around 3 minutes). Frozen Quorn can clump up so I usually break up the larger clumps with my hands before adding and then any smaller ones with a wooden spoon when it has heated up.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock, and ketchup. Turn the heat up until the mixture is starting to boil, then turn to medium to maintain a lively simmer for 20 minutes or until thickened enough to your liking.
- Done! Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Serve hot over spaghetti or pasta, with freshly ground black pepper, vegetarian parmesan and optionally some chopped fresh basil and garlic bread.
Red wine can be substituted with dry white wine. If avoiding alcohol substitute with 1 cups vegetable stock and 3 tablespoons balsamic, sherry, or red wine vinegar.
Crushed tomatoes can be substituted with the same volume of chopped tomatoes if preferred, but cooking time may need to be increased five minutes more to break down the tomato chunks.
Use quality ketchup that you like the flavor of, Heinz for example, or a good sugar-free or low-sugar one if you're watching your sugar intake.
Amount Per Serving Calories 246Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 0.5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6.5gCholesterol 0mgSodium 65mgCarbohydrates 27gFiber 10gSugar 8gProtein 69g