This recipe for chunky, cauliflower walnut meat sauce is one of those weeknight recipes we threw together that came out amazing on the first try. Inspired by a recipe we once made for cauliflower walnut taco meat. This is the Italian version of that. It’s meaty texture is enough to fool any vegan skeptic. It reminds me of the same meat sauce my mom made growing up, except there’s no meat involved.
The recipe calls for only a few ingredients. Cauliflower, walnuts, and marinara sauce are the stars here. A few additional spices bring the depth of flavor you’re looking for in a bolognese. We think this recipe would go well on many different pasta types but if you want to be particular, farfalle are the perfect kind.
Farfalle means “butterflies” in Italian, although a common name people call them are “bowties.” Choosing the right pasta to complement your sauce can sometimes make (or break) a dish. Farfalle are a good shape to catch the “meaty” bits. Another good contender would be rigatoni. Also, this recipe would go extremely well in a vegetable lasagna.
Already we’ve made this recipe a few times more. I know it will be on the list of rotating sauces for pasta night. It’s packed with flavor and has that good chunkiness like a traditional bolognese. Topped with spicy red pepper flakes, fresh basil, and vegan parmesan cheese.
HOW TO MAKE CAULIFLOWER WALNUT BOLOGNESE IN LESS THAN ONE MINUTE:
This vegan/vegetarian bolognese sauce is made with cauliflower, walnuts, and marinara sauce. It's so easy to make, requires less than 10 ingredients and 30 minutes. Chunky, flavorful, "meaty," healthy, and perfect for pasta night.
- 2 cups cauliflower florets (about 1/2 a medium cauliflower)
- 3/4 cup raw walnuts
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups marinara sauce
Preheat your oven to 400°F/200°C
In a food processor, add cauliflower florets*, raw walnuts, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Pulse until all ingredients are evenly ground (see picture).
Pour the mixture onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through to prevent over-browning.
Heat marinara sauce over medium-low heat in a pot. Add cauliflower walnut mixture and stir to combine. Serve warm on pasta.
*Make sure your cauliflower florets are chopped into small enough chunks so they'll break up in the food processor.