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Vegan Ragu in a bowl

Easy Vegan Ragu

  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Satisfying and oh-so-delicious, this Easy Vegan Ragu is a plant protein-packed weeknight meal. It only 30 minutes recipe.


  • 1 medium yellow (or sweet) onion
  • 3 medium ribs celery
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 10-12 oz white or crimini mushrooms
  • 14 oz can petite diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 14 oz can no salt added tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
  • ½ tsp fennel
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 cup TVP, optional (see note 3)
  • 1 ¾ cup vegan beef broth or vegetable broth for TVP, optional (see note 4)
  • 1 ½ tsp balsamic vinegar or ¼ - ½ cup vegan dry red wine, optional (see note 5)
  • Cooked pasta (I used tagliatelle, use GF if needed) for serving


  1. Rehydrate TVP: If using, start the TVP soaking in a medium bowl. Pour hot broth or water (it doesn’t need to be boiling, just hot to the touch, and safe to touch, is fine) over the TVP and lightly press them down.
  2. Prep veggies: First, chop your onion, carrots, and celery into 1-inch-ish chunks and toss them and your peeled garlic cloves into your food processor fitted with the standard S-blade (looks like an S) OR you can use a box grater to shred them. Heat a large nonstick pot over medium high heat. If using a food processor, pulse until the veggies are very finely shredded and add everything in the bowl to your pot. I use a Breville Sous Chef Food Processor and I’m obsessed with it, but any standard food processor should do the trick.
  3. Saute veggies: Let the veggies saute for 3-4 minutes while you work on the mushrooms, stirring every so often. If you cook with oil, you’re welcome to use that, but I prefer to cook with water, so I just add a splash (about a tablespoon) every time the veggies start to stick (I just keep a cup of water by the stove whenever I’m cooking. 
  4. Add mushrooms and spices: Clean your mushrooms and quarter them (or halve the small ones), tossing them in the food processor (no need to clean out the bowl). Pulse until shredded finely and add them to the pot when the 3-4 minutes is up. Add your spices and cook for an additional 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Add tomato paste and TVP: Next add the tomato paste and rehydrated TVP. Stir well and cook for 4 minutes, still on medium high heat.
  6. Cover and cook: Now add the balsamic vinegar (or red wine) tomatoes and tomato puree. Turn down to a simmer (around 4 on my stove) andcover. Cook for 7-8 minutes, then remove the lid and cook for another 4 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened.
  7. Serve: Serve your delicious vegan ragu with cooked pasta, garnish with parsley and nutritional yeast flakes or vegan Parmesan topping, and enjoy!
  8. Store: Store leftover vegan ragu in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or the freezer for up to 3 months. Leftovers make great sloppy joes by the way!


  • Note 1: Recipe yields don’t include the cooked pasta. This makes a lot! It freezes well.
  • Note 2: Onion, garlic, celery, and carrots are delicious and flavorful, especially blended up (not pureed, but shredded) together. That sautes and gets all fragrant while we do the same thing to the mushrooms. Not a fan of mushrooms? You won’t taste them in this sauce. Don’t omit them unless there’s an allergy because they pack sooooo much flavor! It’s just an enhancer in the sauce. Not the star.
  • Note 3: To add a ton of protein and nice meaty texture, I used about a cup of TVP, which stands for textured vegetable protein. It is a soy product, and it is rich in complete protein and contains virtually no fat so it’s a great meat alternative. TVP is often just as cheap as ground beef, or close, and a whole lot healthier. If you cannot have soy or don’t want to use TVP, you could substitute lentils or a store bought ground beef alternative like Beyond Meat or Gardein. If you replace it, don't use any broth or just omit the TVP and broth altogether.
  • Note 4: IF YOU ARE USING THE TVP: I used vegan beef broth for this. Specifically, I used Better Than Bouillon No Beef Stock Concentrate, which is a concentrated stock paste you just mix with hot water. It’s delicious, economical, and lasts forever in the fridge. You could also just use vegetable broth or hot water.
  • Note 5: A little bit of balsamic vinegar -- or ¼ - ½ cup of dry red wine are also big flavor boosts here. If you use the wine, cook just a few minutes longer to accommodate the extra liquid. It can be challenging to find vegan wine (some of the filtering agents are not vegan). Barnivore is a great resource for finding vegan beer, wine, and liquor.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American, Italian

Keywords: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Nut-Free, Sugar-Free, Can Be Soy-Free, Vegan Ragu