Skip to Content

Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese

Soy granule is the perfect alternative for the traditional meaty Bolognese sauce! This vegan Spaghetti Bolognese is quick to make, tastes like the real deal and no one would think it’s vegan!

Spaghetti with vegan bolognese sauce, cashew parmesan and salad

I have been making this dish since the very early beginning of me going vegan – so for almost 6 years now! It’s one of my favorite dishes ever and real comfort food!

It looks super fancy pants (with the cashew parmesan and fresh basil on top) but it’s easy & quick to make. So perfect if you want to impress someone!

Bolognese sauce is traditionally a meaty sauce, so we want to use a ‘meaty’ substitute. That is why soy granule is the perfect alternative! Soy granule gives the sauce not only a meaty look but also texture.

This sauce looks like the real deal and with the added liquid smoke you can surprise even meat-eaters with this vegan sauce. Honestly, no one will ever guess it’s vegan!

And to make the ‘Spaghetti Bolognese look’ complete, I love to sprinkle homemade Cashew Parmesan on top.

The meaty vegan bolognese sauce is super versatile. You can use it also for lasagna or as a dip for tortilla chips.

What is soy granule?

Soy granule (or soy crumble, soy protein, TVP) is made out of defatted soy flour, which is extruded into granules (or small crumbs). The soy granule is dehydrated and needs to be cooked in water to be rehydrated.

I especially love cooking with soy granule because

  • it can be stored at room-temperature – like forever,
  • it’s inexpensive,
  • it expands when cooked, so it doesn’t need much space when storing it
  • and it can be used a wide variety of dishes.

fork in spaghetti bolognese

How to make Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese

You will need:

  • egg-free spaghetti noodles
  • soy granule
  • liquid smoke
  • tomato purée
  • oil
  • onion
  • garlic cloves
  • spices and herbs: paprika powder, salt, dried oregano, dried basil. This is my recommendation. You can leave out, substitute, experiment with spices, of course!

pasta in waterStep 1: Boil the pasta.

soy granule in a pot with waterStep 2: Cook the soy granule with water until soft.

soy granule and spices in a pot Step 3: Let’s add some flavor by adding paprika powder and liquid smoke.

soy granule, onions and garlic in a potStep 4: Make space in the middle of the pot, add oil, onion, and garlic and cook until soft.

soy granule, tomato puree, and spices in a pot Step 5: Let’s add the tomato purée, salt, dried oregano, and basil.

vegan bolognese sauce with soy granule in potStep 6: Let it simmer until hot!

Spaghetti with vegan bolognese sauce, cashew parmesan and fresh basilStep 7: Garnish the spaghetti with vegan bolognese sauce with homemade Cashew Parmesan and fresh basil. A leafy green salad is the perfect side dish!

More delicious vegan pasta recipes

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! Let me know if you give it a try!

If you don’t want to miss out on any new recipes, subscribe to my newsletter, follow me on Instagram and Facebook!

Cheers, Bianca

Spaghetti with vegan bolognese sauce, cashew parmesan and salad

Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese

Bianca Haun | Elephantastic Vegan
Soy granule is the perfect alternative for the traditional meaty Bolognese sauce! This vegan Spaghetti Bolognese is quick to make, tastes like the real deal and no one would think it's vegan!
4.41 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Vegan
Servings 2 people
Calories 347 kcal


  • 4 ounces spaghetti noodles (egg-free)

Vegan Bolognese Sauce

  • 1/2 cup soy granule
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil or any plant-based oil
  • 1/4 white onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato purée *
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil



  • Boil the pasta. Meanwhile, we're making the sauce. 
  • In a smaller pot, add the soy granule and water and let it cook on medium heat until the soy granule has soaked up all the water and is soft. Add the paprika powder and liquid smoke and give it a quick stir. 
  • Make some space in the middle of the pot and add in the oil, diced onion, and minced garlic. Let it cook until the onion is softened. 
  • Once the onion is soft, stir, lower the heat and add in the tomato purée, salt, dried oregano, and dried basil. Let it simmer on low heat until hot. You can add more salt to taste.
  • By now the pasta should be done, drain it, divide the spaghetti onto plates, top with the vegan bolognese sauce, garnish with fresh basil and sprinkle with Cashew Parmesan. Enjoy!


*I used store-bought tomato purée (with salt, no additional herbs) for this recipe - it's often canned or in cartons, not to confuse with tomato paste which is thicker in consistency.
Tips for making an amazing vegan bolognese sauce:
  • Don't skip the spices. Soy granule doesn't taste like much on its own. So you want to add some spices. I love liquid smoke for a smoky flavor and paprika powder.
  • Instead of soy granule, you could also use grated carrots.
  • Onions and garlic add more flavor to the sauce. But if you're short on time, you could also use onion and garlic powder instead.


Calories: 347kcalCarbohydrates: 94gProtein: 12gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 645mgPotassium: 1041mgFiber: 21gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 1125IUVitamin C: 22.8mgCalcium: 80mgIron: 6.6mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @elephantasticvegan or tag #elephantasticvegan!

This post was first published in March 2015. Updated in January 2019.

Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn referral fees if you make a purchase through my link. While clicking these links won't cost you any extra money, they will help me keep this site up and running!
Recipe Rating

Lina M Correa

Saturday 21st of November 2020

Really good! I followed the recipe exactly 😊


Tuesday 24th of November 2020

So glad you liked the spaghetti! :)

[email protected]

Wednesday 25th of March 2015

Is there anything more satisfying and filling than classic spaghetti bolognese? There is not. I love to simmer the tomato sauce for as long as I can handle to intensify the flavour. It only gets better. So far I haven't dared trying soy granule though as I'm afraid the soy flavour will be overpowering. Following above recipe, can you taste the soy at all or will it be overlayed by the tomatoes and spices? Anyways, looks great :)


Thursday 26th of March 2015

Hi Alice! Thank you so much for your input. I'd say that you can't taste the soy flavor. The liquid smoke has a very strong taste (so good) and I think the sauce tastes like a smoky tomato sauce. I've given the sauce to many meat-eaters and no one said that it would taste like soy and something was up with it. However I know when someone does not like a certain taste / ingredient, one is much more susceptible to it, but I'd say that you can't taste the soy at all :)

Natalie @ Feasting on Fruit

Tuesday 24th of March 2015

This looks like an absolute Italian feast!! I've never considered using bolognese sauce as a dip, but that's a great idea too :)


Wednesday 25th of March 2015

It's so good, Natalie! Sometimes when I use the Sauce as a dip, I'm adding even more Liquid Smoke and some Sriracha for spicyness. I've confused a lot of meat-eaters with this sauce :D

Linda @ Veganosity

Tuesday 24th of March 2015

This looks so light and fresh. I'm a huge pasta fan and I love a good marinara. I think I know what's for dinner tonight. :)


Wednesday 25th of March 2015

Linda, I love the smoky flavor of the Bolognese Sauce due to the Liquid Smoke. Yumm.