Sneaky vegetarian pasta Bolognese

As you might know if you’ve been following my blog for a while, I am not completely vegetarian. However, I do often cook without meat. I learned cooking without meat from lots of my friends who are vegetarian or vegan. But, where I come from, this is far from the standard. Therefore, it is sometimes nice to have recipes that resemble easy to make, traditional meat dishes. As a meat-eater, I find a lot of the replacement meats far from similar to real meat. However, this Bolognese dish (that I made by accident) stole my heart and I thought to share it with you. It is very quick to make, also if you are cooking for a large group.

You need:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • About 7 falafel balls
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can of tomato puree
  • (Wholewheat) pasta, for instance spaghetti
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Pepper
  • Cayennepepper
  • And all the veggies you would like in the pasta like paprika or zucchini

First, you can put the water up and put the pasta in for the recommended cooking time. So now, we can start with the sauce. First you’ll have to slice the garlic, onion and veggies as you like. Then you’ll also have to cut the falafel balls into 4 parts. After that, you heat up your pan and put a little bit of olive oil in it. Make sure it’s warmed up to a pretty high heat before doing anything else. Then you can put in the onions and garlic, and after a minute you add the falafel.

Let this cook for a while, since you want to make the falafel as crunchy as possible without burning it (so stir often). Then you add the veggies, the tomato puree and the diced tomatoes, along with all the herbs and spices mentioned. Then you can stir this and really let it simmer on low to medium heat for about ten minutes with some stirring once in a while. When the pasta is ready, you can add that as well at this point. By letting it simmer, the flavors will really mix with the tomato sauce and the pasta and it will cook the other veggies as well.

When stirring, you’ll see the falafel falling apart. This is exactly what you want, since they function as the minced meat you’d normally use. That’s why you wanted them to already be crunchy and a little broken up before putting the sauce in the pan. Another way to serve this is to leave the falafel whole and stir very gently. In that way, they can function as the meatballs, in case you prefer the Lady and the Tramp style more!

After a little taste, you can either add some more spices or you can serve the dish! For people that do eat dairy, a little cheese is always a nice topper for this dish of course. For people with a vegan lifestyle, yeast flakes can be a great alternative.

I hope you’ll enjoy this dish, so let me know what you think in the comments below and if you have ways to tweak this recipe. For more recipes and other healthy lifestyle posts, you can follow me through my socials:  InstagramPinterest and Twitter. If you liked this post, feel free to like and share this post. You can also subscribe to my newsletter to get a free e-book about saving money.

Lots of love,


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Hi there! My name is Lisa and I am the author of Mind and Body Intertwined. I have a bachelor's and a master's degree in psychology. During my study, I found out how much the mind and the body are connected and it fascinated me, which is why I started my blog. Would you like to join me on this little corner of the world?

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Rhi // The Violet Journal
Rhi // The Violet Journal
4 years ago

This looks so good! Using falafel is such a good idea.

4 years ago

Oh wow, this looks so tasty! The pictures look amazing I will deffo have to try this out myself sometime.