Soya Mince Bolognese

This vegan take on a classic mince bolognese is not only super high in lean protein but also almost identical in taste and texture to the beef based version so it will most definitely be a hit amongst those who enjoy the taste of meat or who don't believe that plant foods can be just as tasty as meat.

This recipe makes use of TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) instead of beef mince. TVP is basically the protein component of the soy bean and although slightly more processed than whole legumes, it is packed with iron, folate, fibre and is virtually fat and saturated fat free. In addition, it is very high in lean protein and has a complete amino acid profile, comparative to that of animal foods. But without all of the usual saturated fat, sodium, pro-oxidants, and environmental contaminants found in meat! In fact, TVP has been around for years as a cheap "meat extender" in processed meat products.  So why not take advantage of this great source of healthy and cost-effective plant-based nutrition?

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Serves 8


  • 2 cups dried TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)
  • 4 tsp beef-flavoured stock powder (I use Ina Paarman) dissolved in 4 cups boiling water 
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 250g portobello mushrooms, diced
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 3 small stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 tins chopped peeled tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 tbsp beef-flavoured stock powder
  • 2 tsp xylitol or coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp mixed italian herbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1.    Place your boiling water and 4 tsp stock powder in a mixing bowl and add your TVP in order to rehydrate it. Give the mixture a stir and leave it to rehydrate for 20-40 minutes.

2.    In the meanwhile, chop up your vegetables and heat some olive oil or water in a large pot. Add the onions and garlic to the water or oil and saute until translucent. If using water to saute, make sure to add an extra splash of water every couple of minutes to prevent burning.

3.    Once the onions and garlic are translucent, add your remaining vegetables and saute for about 7 minutes or until the mushrooms have cooked down slightly.

4.    Now add your tinned tomatoes, tomato paste and wine along with your rehydrated TVP (and the soaking liquid). Stir through and turn down to a low simmer. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes. 

5.     Add your mixed herbs, xylitol and salt and pepper to taste and allow to simmer for another 20-30 minutes uncovered until the sauce thickens.

6.    Serve on top of your favourite whole-grain pasta, vegetable-based noodles or as a filling for a baked potato, whole-grain wrap or a roll.

For my patients on calorie-controlled meal plans:

1 x 317g serving of this recipes =

  • 1 legume/ protein serving
  • 1 veg serving
Jessica KotlowitzComment