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Meatless Spaghetti Sauce

Servings: 4-6


  1. 1 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  2. 1 cup boiling water
  3. 1 tbsp olive oil
  4. 1 large onion, finely chopped
  5. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 2 cups mushrooms, finely chopped
  7. 1 large carrot, finely diced
  8. 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  9. 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
  10. 2 tbsp tomato paste
  11. 1 tsp dried oregano
  12. 1 tsp dried basil
  13. 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  14. 1 bay leaf
  15. Salt and pepper to taste
  16. 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  17. 1/4 cup red wine (optional)
  18. 2 tsp sugar or a natural sweetener (optional)


  1. Hydrate the TVP: In a bowl, pour the boiling water over the TVP and let it sit for about 5-7 minutes or until fully hydrated. Once hydrated, drain off any excess water.
  2. Sauté the Base: In a large pot or saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onion, and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
  3. Add the Veggies: Incorporate the finely chopped mushrooms, diced carrot, and celery to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened and reduced in size, about 10 minutes.
  4. Seasoning and Tomatoes: Stir in the tomato paste, cooking it with the veggies for 2 minutes. Then, add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, basil, thyme, and bay leaf. If using, add the red wine for depth of flavor. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the TVP: Fold in the hydrated TVP into the sauce, ensuring it’s well distributed.
  6. Simmer: Reduce heat to low, cover, and let the sauce simmer for at least 20-30 minutes. This allows the flavors to meld and deepen. If the sauce becomes too thick, you can add a little water or vegetable broth to achieve your desired consistency.
  7. Finishing Touches: Check for seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if needed. If the sauce is too acidic, you can stir in sugar or a natural sweetener to balance it out. Finally, stir in the fresh parsley.
  8. Serve: Pour the meatless spaghetti sauce over cooked spaghetti or your favorite pasta. Sprinkle with vegan or regular grated Parmesan cheese and some more fresh parsley if desired.


  • This sauce can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • For added texture and nutrients, consider adding other vegetables such as bell peppers or zucchini.
  • If you don’t have TVP on hand, you can substitute with lentils or finely chopped tofu for a similar texture.

Enjoy your meal knowing that you’re getting a hearty, meaty texture without the meat! This sauce is perfect for those transitioning into a vegetarian diet or just wanting a delicious and healthier alternative.

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