In this article you will find out all there is to know about Vegan Ragu. from our top tips, equipment and recipes because of course traditional Italian ragu is not vegan. So, Is ragu vegan? Well, no but that does not mean that you cannot create a very meaty, tasty plant based ragu from scratch. First let’s find out a little more about Ragu…
What is Ragu?
Traditionally ragu is made from ground minced meat, veggies (carrots, celery) served with spaghetti. Luckily for us vegans there are many plant based mince meats options available to us. So If you are looking for a quick swap, then the easiest way to recreate an old favourite would be to follow your original meat recipe and substitute the meat mince for a plant based mince (whilst also remembering to opt out any dairy or egg options).
However, we have got a few other sneaky vegan tricks that you can use to recreate some extremely tasty ragu esuque sauce all made from whole plant based options. As sometimes the ‘ fake’ meats can be a little too processed for everyone.
Our top go to Vegan alternatives for a ‘meaty’ Vegan Ragu:
- Dried mushrooms
- Dried soya mince
- Vegan Red Wine
Our Favourite Vegan Ragu Recipes:
Ragu is such a comfort food and is so versatile so finding one that you love is really important when you are vegan. It can be bulk cooked and stored in the freezer in handy portions so as you can enjoy your ragu at a moment’s notice. I have many different recipes for a vegan ragu/bolognese, as sometimes I want a wholesome lentil ragu and either times I am happy to have a vegan meat alternative or a soy based one.
01 Lucy Watson’s Vegan Bolognese – made with dried soya mince.
Since being Vegan our absolute favourite Vegan Bolegnese recipe is by Lucy Watson found in her Feed me Vegan Recipe Book. The main ingredient in here that made it taste so authentic for me was the use of dried mushrooms, before being vegan I had never used these in my cooking. Now I use them all the time, they add such a deep depth of flavour. Pairing this with the dried soya mince allows the soya mince to really soak up this flavour.
02 BOSH! Spaghetti Bolognese – made with chestnut mushrooms
This is an easy and great week day staple. The meat alternative in this dish is the chestnut mushrooms and red wine combo. Absolutely perfect, taste sensation combination. The use of a few simple herbs and wine that absorbs beautifully into the mushrooms creates the authentic Ragu but vegan style.
03 Deliciously Ella’s Mushroom & Walnut Ragu – mushroom and dried mushroom combo.
This recipe is out of one of her Quick and Easy recipe book, this recipe for Ragu is just what you need on a cold night with a large glass of red wine. An all time favourite. It is also a great recipe to make in large batches and to take for leftovers the next day for lunch.
Easy Vegan Ragu
If you really love your traditional ragu and have a favourite meat recipe you could just substitute the meat with a vegan meat alternative. There are so many meat like plant based products now available to make substituting meat products very easy. However, as I have previously mentioned, you may prefer to stick to a less processed option and if this is the case, then minced mushrooms or lentils will also create a lovely plant based ragu.
Our top tips for making Vegan Ragu:
- Good quality stock
- Good quality red wine
- Use porcini dried mushrooms
- Ensure you have some fresh veggies for the base e.g celery, garlic, onions, carrots and tomatoes.
- Whatever the meat replacement is, make sure you have nice stock/wine that it will absorb beautifully into.
- Take your time cooking it and have a nice glass of red wine for you to enjoy whilst cooking your scrummy Vegan Ragu
Which lentils should I use in Vegan Ragu?
The type of lentils you use in your ragu will change predominantly just the textures. Buying canned lentils will make your ragu quicker to make, but you can buy dried lentils and soak them to speed up the process also. Red are the most common lentils to use, however we like to mix it up and use green and sometimes puy for a little more indulgence.
Which ragu sauce is vegan?
There are so many options for vegans when it comes to sauces, ketchup, BBQ and so many dips, marinades and spicy sauces to enjoy. PETA gives a long list of Vegan Sauce Brands that you can dip into. Just look carefully at the ingredients if you are unsure and look out for dairy items and eggs. These days your favourite non vegan sauces tend to have a vegan option.
What pasta sauce is vegan?
Lot’s of brands are making Vegan pasta sauces, Yey! Just check the labels, but popular brands like Newman’s Own, Prego, Sacla, Ragu and Dolmio have vegan options.
Does Ragu have dairy?
Ragu is a flavoursome sauce that tends to be free of dairy, egg and soy. But like any recipe they can be adapted. Many people add milk to their ragu to add a deeper flavour. However this can be done in other ways, with a vegan alternative.
Can Vegans eat spaghetti sauce?
Yes of course, there are plenty of vegan sauces out there that can be paired with spaghetti. Check out Spoon University for some great quick vegan spaghetti sauces. Look out for the dairy sauces or ones with egg in.