This simple vegetarian bolognese sauce is the perfect addition to your weekly meal plan. Forget hours stirring sauces over the stove, simply add all of the ingredients to the instant pot, set, forget, and be on your way. Great for meatless Monday, or an easy but filling vegetarian meal. Pair with some freshly cooked spaghetti for a classic bolognese-type set-up, or add a big dollop onto a baked potato for something a little bit different.
We love using the Instant Pot to make simple but delicious vegetarian meals during the week. Why not try this Instant Pot Taco Soup (Vegetarian) next?
Simple Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce
This simple yet delicious vegetarian bolognese comes together in a jiffy using the instant pot.
Using only a handful of pantry staples we end up with a great sauce that is actually pretty versatile (scroll down for lots of delicious ways to use this veggie bolognese sauce that doesn't involve pasta).
You are going to need:
- avocado oil or other cooking oil of choice: if you have access to it, I can also highly reccommend substituing the oil for some ghee due to the high smoke point;
- yellow onion;
- green bell pepper (capsicum): you can always sub in another colored bell pepper if that is what you have on hand;
- green or brown lentils: do not use red lentils as they will become too mushy;
- diced tomatoes;
- vegetable broth: why not try making your own using a recipe like this Homemade Vegetable Broth;
- dried basil: sub one tablespoon chopped fresh basil if you prefer;
- dried oregano: sub one tablespoon of fresh oregano if you prefer;
- bay leaf;
- salt and pepper.
How To Make Veggie Bolognese Sauce In The Instant Pot
I love making bolognese sauce in the instant pot as it comes together so easily.
Note: this method of cooking isn't necessarily going to be quicker than cooking a bolognese sauce on the stovetop. It simply removes the need to babysit the sauce and stir it whilst it cooks. It also allows the flavors to develop and intensify a lot quicker than if you were to cook on the stovetop.
You are going to:
- Select sauté on the instant pot, add the oil, onion, bell pepper, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes until the veggies have softened. Press cancel.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, stir to make sure everything is well combined and close the lid; make sure the knob is on sealing mode.
- Press manual high pressure and set the timer for 15 minutes (it will take about 20 minutes for the pressure to rise and start cooking.)
- Allow the cooker to release pressure naturally for 15 minutes and quickly release the rest of the pressure. Open the lid carefully.
- Serve with pasta of your choice.
Cooking your veggie bolognese sauce in the instant pot allows the flavors to develop a lot more quickly.
If you like your sauce to be less chunky, you can always use an immersion blender and blend it to the texture that you prefer.
How To Serve Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce
This sauce is the perfect base for so many meals.
You can go classic and serve it with some freshly cooked spaghetti for a vegetarian spaghetti bolognese (why not try making your own homemade spinach and sweet potato fettuccine), or you can try something a little bit different.
Why not try serving you bolognese sauce:
- on top of a cooked potato or sweet potato with a big sprinkle of freshly grated cheese on top;
- in a toastie/jaffle in place (or with) some cheese - trust me on this one!
- inside some fresh or roasted bell peppers (capsicums);
- in some mini homemade pies made using a pie maker or a muffin tin and some puff pastry;
- in a sloppy joe: basically spoon the bolognese into a burger bun or hotdog bun and top with some cheese;
- in a pasta bake in place of plain pasta sauce;
- or use it as 'meat sauce' base of a lasagne.
If you have another favorite way of using up homemade vegetarian bolognese sauce then please leave a comment below and I will add it to the list.
Tips, Tricks, and Substitutions
My biggest tip for having an easy cooking experience is to make sure you have all of your veggies chopped and ready to go before you start cooking.
Storing and Freezing Bolognese Sauce
Vegetarian bolognese sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
It can also be frozen.
However, be sure to freeze the sauce before adding it to pasta, as the pasta will not freeze well.
Tip: freeze the bolognese sauce in a Ziploc bag. Add the sauce to the Ziploc bag, press out any excess air, seal and lay flat in the freezer for optimal storage space.
This sauce can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Be sure to allow frozen bolognese sauce to completely thaw before attempting to reheat.
Need More Delicious Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes?
Using the instant pot for soups during a busy week can be an absolute lifesaver!
Why not try on of these recipes next:
- Moroccan Instant Pot Split Pea Soup
- Pressure Cooker Carrot Ginger Turmeric Soup
- Instant Pot Potato Soup with Cheddar and Leek
- Pressure Cooker Risotto: Asparagus and Pea Risotto in the Instant Pot
Hope you enjoy this vegetarian bolognese sauce as much as we did!
Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce (Instant Pot)
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or other cooking oil of choice
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- ½ cup celery chopped
- 1 cup green or brown lentils rinsed
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon dried basil (sub 1 tablespoon fresh basil if needed)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano (sub 1 tablespoon fresh oregano if needed)
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste
- Select sauté on the instant pot, add the avocado oil, onion, bell pepper, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes until the veggies have softened. Press cancel.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, stir well to combine, and pop on the lid. Turn the knob to seal.
- Using the manual setting at high pressure, set the timer for 15 minutes (it will take about 20 minutes for the pressure to rise and start cooking.)
- Once finished cooking, allow the pressure cooker to release the pressure naturally for about 15 minutes and then quickly release the rest of the pressure. Open the lid carefully.
- Serve with pasta of your choice.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.