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Vegan Pumpkin Bolognese

Chloe from Forkful of Plants
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
This vegan pumpkin bolognese is creamy, hearty, and so flavoursome, and perfect with a big bowl of pasta on a cool Autumn day. Something between a pumpkin pasta sauce and a lentil ragu, it’s a great way to mix things up for cozy Fall dinners. It’s ideal for Thanksgiving too!


  • 1 small pumpkin (approx 750g) peeled and cubed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium brown onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves sliced
  • 2 stalks celery thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • ½ tsp dried sage
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 200 g dried puy or green lentils ~1 cup
  • 500 ml vegetable stock ~2 cups
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 tbsp dairy free milk
  • 300 g pasta


  • Preheat the oven to 200°c/390°f.
  • Place the cubed pumpkin on a large baking tray and coat with ½ tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place in the preheated oven and roast for 15 minutes until golden and soft.
  • In a deep frying pan, heat the remaining oil over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and celery and fry for 5 minutes until softened.
  • Add the dried herbs and stir to combine, before adding the bay leaf, lentils, and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer, covered, for 25 minutes until the lentils are soft.
  • Once the pumpkin has cooled slightly, transfer half of it to a small food processor or blender (you could also use a jug with a hand blender to do this). Add the soy sauce, tomato paste and milk, and blend to a smooth paste.
  • Bring a saucepan of medium water to the boil, then add the pasta. Simmer for 8-10 minutes until cooked, then drain, retaining the pasta water.
  • Once the lentils are cooked, add the pumpkin puree and remaining cubed pumpkin to the pan. Stir to combine, and if needed, thin the sauce with some of the pasta water (I used around 125ml/½ cup).
  • Season to taste and serve with the cooked pasta.


STORAGE: You can make this vegan pumpkin bolognese recipe up to 4 days in advance and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge. The flavours will develop with time, but it will thicken up even more. You can reheat it in the microwave or on the hob, adding extra water to bring it back to the desired consistency. Reheat until piping hot through. You can also keep it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for a few hours, then reheat as above.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!