white ceramic bowl piled high with vegan mushroom & beet pasta bolognese


Doesn’t this bowl of hearty bolognese look insanely good?  Even though it’s summer, we couldn’t overlook this incredible crowd-pleasing vegan bolognese recipe from Laura over at The First Mess.  She says it’s one of her favorites and not to be missed so a huge thank you to her for sharing it with us.  Laura’s blog is packed with gorgeous plant based recipes that will have you coming back for more. We recently spoke with her on our podcast (listen here) and were enriched by the conversation.  She tells about growing up around agriculture and the value of hard work.  We were touched by the richness and simplicity of her story of becoming plant-based and hope you will listen in.



You may be thinking to yourself (or maybe not) ‘beets really’?  But trust us when we say they are perfectly combined with the mushrooms to deliver a not too ‘mushroomy’ or ‘beety’ final product.  For best results, you want to take your time with this recipe so the flavors have a chance to develop.  It’s a perfect opportunity to involve the kids, significant other, or dinner guests.  Keep the red wine flowing and the get those fresh herbs chopped up and you’ll never have a better smelling kitchen!  Laura adds french lentils and a homemade cashew milk for a beautifully rich and creamy vegan dinner for the gods.  For all the recipe details, head over to her site The First Mess and while you’re there, check out her other glorious vegan recipes.


Vegan Mushroom & Beet Bolognese
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Yield: 4

Vegan Mushroom & Beet Bolognese


  1. ⅓ Cup rinsed lentils, (French)
  2. ¾ Cup water
  3. ¼ Cup raw cashews, (soaked for at least 2 hrs)
  4. 1 lb cremini mushrooms, (stems removed)
  5. 2 Tbls olive oil (avocado works too)
  6. 1 small yellow onion, (diced)
  7. 2 cloves garlic, (minced)
  8. 1 bay leaf
  9. ½ tsp chili flakes
  10. 2 medium roasted beets, small dice
  11. sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  12. ½ Cup red wine
  13. 3 Tbls tomato paste
  14. 1 Tbls light miso
  15. 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
  16. ½ Cup flat leaf parsley, (chopped)
  17. 1 lb pasta noodles of choice (long and wide preferred)


  • Over med-high heat, cook lentils in a small saucepan, covered with water.
  • Bring to a boil and then simmer until just-tender, (~20 mins).
  • Drain the lentils and set aside.
  • Combine the cashews and water in a blender until they make a creamy milk and set aside.
  • Cut the mushroom caps into quarters and place half of them in a food processor.
  • Pulse the food processor about 8-10 times or until mushrooms are finely minced.
  • Transfer mushrooms to a large bowl and repeat with remaining mushrooms.
  • Heat a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat.
  • Once warmed, add the oil and onions to the pot and cook, stirring often, until softened and translucent on the edges, (~5 mins).
  • Add the chili flakes, garlic, bay leaf, and beets and cook for ~8 mins
  • Add all of the mushrooms to the pot and stir to combine.
  • After a couple of minutes, they should let off liquid.
  • Add the cooked lentils, miso, and tomato paste to the pot.
  • Season everything generously with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  • Continue cooking the vegetables until only a small amount of liquid remains (~10-12 mins).
  • Continue stirring the mixture throughout the cooking process.
  • Add red wine and let the mixture simmer and cook out for ~5 mins, stirring often.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Let simmer ~5mins
  • Add the cashew milk to the pot and stir.
  • Bring the bolognese to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  • Check the bolognese for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  • Keep it warm while you cook the pasta according to package directions minus the last few minutes (finish cooking it in the bolognese).
  • Add the chopped parsley and enjoy!


For more delicious earthy dinner ideas, take a look at these:

Roasted Grapefruit Chicken by No Crumbs Left

Swedish Meatballs by The Modern Proper

Sweet Potato Gnocchi by Bo’s Kitchen



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