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30-Minute Mushroom Bolognese Pasta Sauce

4.72 from 32 votes

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This recipe will show you how to make a rich-tasting mushroom Bolognese sauce for pasta, made without meat and full of savory mushrooms, red wine and canned tomatoes. This flavorful sauce comes together in about half an hour. Pour a glass of vino and dine in tonight!

Mushroom bolognese pasta sauce with rigatoni and a fork in a serving bowl.
Mushroom bolognese sauce is thick and hearty, and completely meatless!

Mushroom bolognese sauce is a fantastic “meaty” pasta sauce, only it’s prepared without meat. When you’re not in the mood for a hearty Italian-style pasta sauce that’s made with pork or beef, this mushroom Bolognese recipe made with canned tomatoes, chopped mushrooms and red wine pushes all the flavor buttons. And it cooks in less than 30 minutes!

What to love about this recipe:

  • QUICK: After slicing and prepping the vegetables, the sauce cooks in about 20 minutes.
  • VEGETARIAN/VEGAN: This is a meatless pasta sauce, not a classic Italian Bolognese sauce, which is a very rich sauce typically made with pork, veal, celery, carrots, white wine and milk or cream.

Pasta is the ultimate comfort food. That’s why weeknight pasta recipes are something we make regularly. But why not make it super-delicious?!

The best mushroom recipes have the magical ability to deliver a depth of flavor that makes your mouth water — it has everything to do with mushrooms’ natural umami. If you’ve tasted my Pappardelle with Mushroom Ragu recipe you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Ingredients to make mushroom bolognese sauce, showing a bowl of mushrooms, red wine, onion, garlic, celery stalk and a bowl of canned tomatoes.

About the ingredients

  • Mushrooms: You can use one single type or a combo of a variety of wild mushrooms for the sauce. The mushrooms that have the best firmness for sauce are white button mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, cremini or baby bellas. Big portobellos mushrooms (which are also perfect for baked stuffed mushrooms or roasted mushrooms) are also a good choice. Reconstituted dried porcini mushrooms add a layer of umami (use about 1/2 cup). I don’t recommend using delicate types of mushrooms (such as oyster or chanterelles) in Bolognese sauce because they tend to fall apart.
  • Pasta: Bolognese sauce matches up with any chunky, short pasta shape (such as rigatoni) or any type of long pasta noodles such as pappardelle or tagliatelle. Instead of pasta the sauce is amazing over gluten-free polenta.
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Tomato paste: Thick tomato paste helps concentrate the sauce.
  • Canned crushed tomatoes: Canned plum tomatoes are good too, just smush them with your hands for a rustic texture.
  • Vegetable broth: Use vegetable broth, or prepared of homemade chicken broth for a non-vegan sauce.
  • Red wine: I recommend a basic full-bodied red like malbec, zinfandel or similar wine you enjoy sipping.
  • Parmesan cheese: Freshly grated Parmesan is essential to sprinkle over the finished dish.

Cooking steps for mushroom Bolognese sauce

  • Start by chopping mushrooms into small pieces with a knife (or pulse briefly in a food processor), which gives the sauce its hearty consistency.
  • To make the sauce, start out with a large skillet, one that’s 12-inches in diameter. You want that larger surface area to ensure the sauce will quickly reduce to a thick consistency that clings to the pasta.
  • Without the pasta, the sauce will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator and 1 month in the freezer. Cook the pasta while reheating the sauce, adding a little of the pasta water if it’s too thick.

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Rigatoni pasta and mushroom sauce in a skillet, with a spatula..

30-Minute Mushroom Bolognese Pasta Sauce

Karen Tedesco
A tasty vegetarian mushroom Bolognese pasta sauce recipe, with savory mushrooms, red wine and tomato. This is a quick, flavor-packed dish!
Print Pin Text
4.72 from 32 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion, about 1 medium onion
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 pound (450 g) mushrooms (cremini, baby bellas, or buttons), finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • ¼ cup (55 g) tomato paste
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) full-bodied red wine, such as zinfandel or malbec
  • 1 14-ounce (242 g) crushed canned tomatoes
  • ½ cup (240 ml) vegetable broth, or chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ pound (225 g) dried pasta, such as rigatoni, penne or pappardelle
  • ¼ cup (25 g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • Pour the oil into a large (12-inch) skillet over and place over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery. Cook and stir until softened, about 2-3 minutes
  • Add the mushrooms to the pan along with 1 teaspoon salt (this helps bring out the moisture in the mushrooms). Cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Turn up the heat to high and cook the until most of the liquid has evaporated from the mushrooms, 1-2 more minutes. Keep your eye on it to make sure it doesn't become too dry!
  • Reduce the heat to medium-high. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook a few seconds, just until the garlic is fragrant. Pour in the wine and let it boil for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, broth, thyme and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to medium and cook 10-12 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
  • While the sauce cooks, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Drain.
  • Transfer the pasta to the skillet and add the cheese. Stir the pasta so that it's coated with the sauce, and serve hot.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

  • Use a mixture of mushrooms for an interesting texture. I like to use shiitake, cremini, and baby bellas. Plain button mushrooms are good too!
  • Without the pasta, the sauce will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator and 1 month in the freezer. Cook the pasta while reheating the sauce, adding a little of the pasta water if it’s too thick.


Calories: 370kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 250mg | Potassium: 775mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 393IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 2mg
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Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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  1. Loved the recipe. The family finished it in a snap. My two teens and meat loving hubby loved it. I added chopped carrots, doubled the garlic, and included cooked green lentils for extra protein. A definite keeper that will be included in my weekly meal rotation. Thanks!!

    1. I love that you added cooked lentils. That sounds fantastic! So glad your family enjoyed it.

    2. I was thinking about adding carrots and the lentils are a great idea! Thanks!

      1. You can certainly add a carrot! Saute it along with the onion and celery – make sure it’s finely chopped so it will soften quickly. If you’d like to add lentils for extra protein, I suggest stirring in about 1/2 cup cooked lentils to the finished sauce. Hope you enjoy!