Got a few minutes and want something delicious and totally nourishing for dinner? Try this quick vegan chickpea bolognese sauce over your favorite pasta! Chopping the chickpeas gives the sauce a finer texture that’s easier to eat with noodles. Feel free to leave this step out, however, if you'd rather eat them whole. This bolognese is completely plant-based and loaded with veggie goodness to make you feel awesome. Imagine that after eating a big bowl of pasta!

Recipe from Carolyn’s Pantry

By Carolyn Yachanin,


  • 1½ cups diced red onion
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed, drained, and chopped (1½ cups)
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1 cup mushrooms (any kind you like), cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes (1½ cups)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce (1½ cups)
  • ½ tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • Sea salt
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice penne or fusilli pasta (or any other whole-grain pasta)


  • Heat a large saucepan over medium heat, add the red onions, garlic, chickpeas, carrots, and a dash of salt. Sauté the vegetables for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are slightly translucent. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, as needed, to keep vegetables from sticking to the pan.
  • Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, and parsley. Sauté for 2 more minutes, taste and adjust seasoning.
  • Pour as much of the sauce as you like over the pasta and eat up—it's all fantastic for you and tastes even better.

Comments (13)

(5 from 10 votes)

Recipe Rating

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I made this tonight and it was very quick and easy! Very satisfying and eye appealing too! I added some fresh basil and it was delicious!


I’ve made this several times now (10+ times). I always add a whole bunch of carrots (about 8-10) and a whole small container of gourmet mushrooms (maybe 1.5 cups). Sometimes I use the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce and other times I just use a large jar of marinara. Both delicious and healthy. I always serve it over zoodles. And I like it with homemade garlic toast (using sprouted grain bread). This way I’m getting loads of veggies, beans, grains, & herbs. It’s very satisfying.


I was not expecting too much when I saw the other reviews, but have to say that my husband and I thought this was excellent, and a good substitute for bolognese!

Karen Veleta

I used the crockpot for this .....turned out great over spaghetti squash!


I made this tonight and loved it! I am used to chopping vegetables every night so it didn't take long although I wouldn't call it quick. I served it over Barilla plant based angel hair pasta. I Will definitely make this again!!


Using chickpeas doesn't make sense in this recipe; you can't really call this a bolognese. I made it with a can of black lentils. They are small and a good sub for ground beef for new plant-based eaters. I used dried oregano (2 tsp) and fresh parsley (2 tbsp). I also used 2 purple carrots, and 1/4 cup more mushrooms and onions. I didn't really need the salt. The extra oregano and fresh parsley added lots of flavor. To make it more like a traditional bolognese which has milk/cream, you could blend cashews and water in a high speed blender to make "cream." Mix it in at the end. I gave it three stars because even though I made several changes, it introduced me to bolognese and inspired me to make a plant-based version that is more like the traditional.


Bolognese as Made in Bologna, Italy has no milk or cream. I’ve not seen an American recipe for Bolognese that calls for milk or cream. Chick peas are a popular ingredient in Italian cooking - garbanzo beans.


This tasted ok, but I think back to the drawing board for it to be classified as "quick". Plus I'd make the protein lentils or mashed cannellini or borlotti*, or other white beans rather than chick peas (*you call borlotti beans pinto beans). If using canned chick peas, I find the canned ones to be a bit hard for there to be a chance of this being saucer ;) I have to agree this is not super quick. My knife skills were not up to the task in your "quick" time frame. I used bottled Italian passata - I'm in Australia and also often have issues figuring out what an ingredient is, as the English lady commented. There are many things available in the States which are not available here, eg: tinned roasted tomatoes, which frankly might have helped the flavour profile in this recipe. It being winter to your summer here in Oz, we don't have a lot of vegetables and fresh herbs available unless you get expensive non organic out of season stuff in a major chain supermarket. I grated the carrot so it would be "saucier" and I chopped the chick peas up a bit in a mini blender so they also would be less chunky. They pinged all over the place when I tried chopping them. I used a teaspoon of mixed Italian herbs since my fresh oregano is in winter retreat, and I thought dried oregano on its own wouldn't have time to cook into the flavour profile. I wouldn't try this again with chick peas but with lentils or a mashed bean. Also, I would cook it in the Instant Pot together with the vegetable pasta to make it faster with a more mature flavour profile without an extra saucepan to wash up. My adjustments made it ok but I think the chickpeas, wonderful as they are, are just not the right protein for a Bolognese-type sauce. I also added some steamed broccoli to my plate, which made it all taste a bit fresher. A good idea with adjustments, but that's what cooking is!

Sheryl Paulson

Thought the amount of oregano was overpowering and threw the flavor profile off. Will definitely try again with that adjustment. Keep in mind that this would only be a 15 min. recipe if you’re a master chopper. I took the class and have proper knife skills but cannot gather ingredients, achieve a nice 1/4” chop of everything, and get it all put together that quickly.

Christine Redgrave

I'm in the UK, what's tomato sauce? is it tomato puree or passata? Over here, tomato sauce is ketchup


I’d say Passats or pasta sauce… anything like that will do I don’t think you need that much tomato paste!


In my experience, anything that says “quick” is never very good. And this recipe holds true to that. It was very bland. I won’t be making this again.


Tomato sauce is a canned sauce made of cooked and strained tomatoes: it's unseasoned and has a thinner consistency than tomato puree.

About the Author

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About the Author

Carolyn Yachanin

Carolyn grew up a lover of nature and cooking in Northern California, but as an adult gravitated toward plant-based eating as a way to heal her food intolerances naturally. She couldn’t find recipes colorful enough to make her smile or easy enough to make in a snap, so she decided to create her own. Carolyn started the Carolyn’s Pantry blog in 2016 and has been a featured author with Forks Over Knives, Kris Carr, Whole Foods, Prevention magazine, and more. Her recipes now live on the blog at Copina Co, her plant-based beauty and wellness company. Find her on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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