Cauliflower Bolognese

“No this is not a joke and you don’t have to be a vegetarian to love what’s going on here” 


I mean. Hilarious. But also true. This Cauliflower Bolognese is vegan, gluten free, packed with veggies, vitamins and fiber… and nothing short of amazing.

I can’t take credit though, Bon Appetit said this and also gave me the initial recipe to tweak. You can find the original one here and my tweaked recipe below!

I LOVE a good, meaty bolognese. And so does my husband. While it wasn’t a perfect, 100% exact copy, I honestly thought it was delicious and my husband who hates mushrooms thought it was actually ok. The trick, I think, is to buy good quality, chewy mushrooms for some toothiness. The cauliflower does its thing and gives the sauce that hearty texture, but you need a good shitake or crimini mushroom for this. Those cheap white ones really won’t do. 

I mean look at this?! Doesn’t it just LOOK meaty?! You would never believe it was gluten free either. And plant based. And easily made Vegan if you use Minimalist Bakers vegan Parmesan cheese…

I used a mix of half noodles half zoodles as my base, but you could use all noodles or all zoodles or just eat it plain!

I’ve also made this, halving the tomato paste used, removing the Parmesan + zoodles and used the cauli/mushroom filling as a burger! You just shape it with your hands (like you do with ground beef) and throw it in a hot, lightly oiled skillet or pan. It doesn’t quiiiite work on the grill yet because it tends to get a bit “crumbly,” loses its shape a little and falls apart a bit on the grill, but it is 💯 in a pan or on the skillet. Just be sure to hold that bad boy with your whole hand when you eat it 🤣. I’m going to tweak it a bit so it holds its shape a little better for a grillable burger. I need to add a binder like egg or flax or beans or lentils, but it was pretty tasty as is!

I’ve also used the bolognese as burrito filling too! It’s a little tomato-ey, but I use that to my advantage and use less salsa…🤣🤣🤣


  • 12 oz. mushrooms, such as shiitake or crimini, stems removed

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, riced

  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped rosemary

  • ⅓ cup double-concentrated tomato paste

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 lb. noodles or zoodles (BA used Rigatoni, which I’m sure is delicious too)

  • 1 oz finely grated Parmesan (about 1/2 cup), plus more for serving

  • 3 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley

  • ½ lemon

  • 2 zucchinis spiralized, drained and salted


  1. Pulse mushrooms in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl. Wipe out food processor bowl.

  2. Heat 2tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp. butter in a large heavy pot over medium-high. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 4–6 minutes. Add onion and a little more oil to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is very soft and golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Add garlic, chile, and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is softened and mixture is very fragrant, about 3 minutes.

  3. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until paste is slightly darkened, about 2 minutes.

  4. Add cauliflower and cook, yes, still stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is cooked down slightly and begins to stick to bottom of pot, 6–8 minutes. Season with salt, then keep warm over low heat.

  5. (Here is where I digressed from BA) Take your zoodles that have been drained and resting with salt for at least 30 minutes and saute them to your liking. I only saute mine for about 1 minute! I like them kinda crunchy.

  6. I stirred my parmesan cheese right into the sauce, instead of combining the noodles with the sauce and then adding the parmesan. I figure you could add the sauce to your zoodles and add the parmesan that way as well, but I hadn’t tried that yet and don’t want to lead you astray. Stay tuned- I’ll update this post as soon as I’ve done so!

4 Comments Add yours

  1. This all looks delicious and I’m not a vegetarian.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha thank you so much!


    2. This makes me so happy! Thanks for your feed back!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Happy bring a smile 😀


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