Meatless Monday Challenge

Hearty Meatless Spaghetti Sauce

on July 13, 2022
last updated May 9, 2023
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This Meatless Spaghetti Sauce is hearty and packed with flavor, perfect to round out any Italian-inspired pasta meal!
serving meatless spaghetti sauce overtop plain spaghetti

Want something quick and easy, but a little more flavorful than the jarred stuff? This Hearty Meatless Spaghetti Sauce is made with love, elevating any pasta dish!

Packed with veggies and fresh herbs, this meatless pasta sauce will keep you full and satisfied, even without the meat. It has a thick and hearty texture and requires no sugar.

overhead shot of italian tablescape with spaghetti and meatless sauce

As an environmental scientist, I am always trying to make eco-conscious food choices. One great way to improve your ecological footprint is by finding ways to enjoy more meatless meals.

Green tip: Industrial meat production has a huge impact on the environment, especially because of the amount of land it takes to sustain and its high amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

Meatless Spaghetti Sauce Ingredients

Here’s everything you need:

  • Olive oil. To sautee your blended vegetables.
  • Mushrooms. Baby Bella or white button preferred.
  • Onion. Yellow, sweet, or Vidalia preferred.
  • Garlic. Fresh garlic goes a long way in this dish.
  • Vegetable broth. Buy it fresh or make your own veggie broth.
  • Tomato paste. One small can will do.
  • Crushed tomatoes. One large can.
  • Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme, & Basil. Use some or all fresh herbs if you can.
  • Garlic powder. For a little extra kick of garlic goodness.
garlic powder, onion, basil, crushed tomato, tomato paste, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, veggie broth, mushrooms, oregano, thyme

Meatless Spaghetti Sauce Tips and Tricks

Peel Your Onions and Mushrooms

The easiest way to integrate your veggies into this meatless pasta sauce without having it be full of chunks is to use the food processor to break them down.

First, peel and core your onion and peel your garlic. You can leave them in larger pieces, a high-powered food processor or blender should be able to break them down.

peeled onions and garlic ready for the food processor

Use a Food Processor or High Powered Blender

Add your mushrooms (you can keep them whole!), peeled and cored onion, peeled garlic, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and basil to the food processor.

Process them on high until it’s all completely broken down, too form almost a vegetable paste as pictured below.

Season and Sautee the Veggies

Add your olive oil to a large saucepan and get your pan hot over high heat. Add the vegetable mixture and garlic powder, and saute over high heat to release all the excess liquid (8-10 minutes).

Stir occasionally to avoid splatter and ensure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan.

adding broken down vegetables to saucepan

Add Your Tomatoes and Broth

Next, with your stovetop still set to high heat, add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and vegetable broth. Use a wooden spoon to stir until all of the elements are integrated.

Turn your heat all the way down to low.

adding tomato paste to saucepan to make meatless spaghetti sauce

Simmer on Low

Low and slow is the name of the game for this sauce. Heat for at least 15 minutes, but the longer the better. The more time your allow your sauce to stew, the more the flavors will develop.

Make sure to stir occasionally so the sauce doesn’t stick to the bottom, and consider a lid to avoid splatter.

Green tip: If you have an electric range, use a saucepan that matches the size of your burner, ensuring that it sits flat. This will help you to avoid wasting energy.

Serving Your Spaghetti Sauce

This spaghetti sauce is so versatile. It’s delicious on its own over spaghetti or any other pasta. It can also be used in place of marinara in any recipe.

Make it extra protein-packed by adding these Meatless Chickpea Meatballs on top!

I love to use it for this Meatless Lasagna, Meatless Baked Ziti, and Vegan One-Pot Pasta with Tomato Sauce. This Meatless Spaghetti Sauce also makes a dynamite dipping sauce for this Texas Toast Garlic Bread.

pouring meatless spaghetti sauce over top plated spaghetti

Storing and Reheating Leftover Meatless Pasta Sauce

This sauce will last in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-4 days. You can also opt to freeze this Meatless Spaghetti Sauce sealed for 3 months.

The best way to reheat this sauce is in a large saucepan fitted with a lid. Set your stovetop to high and occasionally stir until heated all the way through (10-15 minutes).

If your sauce is already mixed with pasta, add it to an oven-safe baking dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350°F. If it seems too stodgy, add 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable broth.

Of course, the microwave can be used in a pinch. Make sure to cover your serving and microwave on high in 90-second intervals, stirring in between, util thoroughly heated.

Italian table setting with dining chair out of focus

Meatless Spaghetti Sauce Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make good spaghetti sauce?

The trick to a good meatless spaghetti sauce is adding herbs, garlic, mushrooms, and onion. This will add to the depth of flavor.

Is marinara sauce the same as spaghetti sauce?

Marinara sauce is thinner than spaghetti sauce. Spaghetti sauce is a thicker, more robust sauce designed to serve over pasta, whereas marinara is often also used as a spread or dip.

What is the difference between pasta sauce and spaghetti sauce?

While all spaghetti sauce is pasta sauce, not all pasta sauce is spaghetti sauce. Spaghetti sauce is a type of pasta sauce that is tomato-based, rich in flavor, and thick and hearty in texture.

Pasta sauce can range from Marinara and Bolognese to pumpkin sauce, truffle cream sauce, and even pesto or alfredo.

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Why You Should Make This Meatless Spaghetti Sauce

  • It’s filling! With the added veggies, this Spaghetti Sauce is super hearty, even though it’s meatless!
  • It’s flavorful. Between the vegetable herbs, broth, and tomatoes, this sauce is super tasty!
  • It’s heart-healthy. By making this meatless, you’re reducing excess fat and cholesterol!

If you love this Meatless Spaghetti Sauce and want some Meatless Meatballs to accompany it, check out these Meatless Chickpea Meatballs. Plus, consider using this sauce to make this Vegan One-Pot Pasta!

serving meatless spaghetti sauce overtop plain spaghetti

30-Minute Meatless Spaghetti Sauce

5 from 3 votes
Marley Goldin
Print Save Rate
This Meatless Spaghetti Sauce is hearty and packed with flavor, perfect to round out any Italian-inspired pasta meal!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings



  • 1 large yellow or sweet onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 8 ounces baby bella or white button mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon oregano, fresh or dried
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, fresh or dried
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary, fresh or dried
  • 1 teaspoon basil, fresh or dried
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 6 ounces tomato paste (6 oz usually = 1 small can)
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes (28 oz usually = 1 large can)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
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  • Prep your onion by peeling it and disposing of the core. Peel your garlic, as well.
  • To a food processor or blender, add the prepped onion and garlic, mushrooms, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and basil. Process them on high until it is completely broken down, almost resembling a paste.
  • Add the olive oil and contents of the food processor to a large saucepan over high heat. Sautee for about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to release excess liquid.
  • With your heat still on high, add your crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and vegetable broth and stir to combine.
  • Turn your heat all the way down to low, cover, and simmer for at least 15 minutes (the longer the better) until the sauce thickens. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
  • Serve hot over pasta and enjoy!

Pro Tips

  • Reducing your meat consumption significantly reduces your carbon footprint. Be kind to the planet (as well as your tastebuds!) with more of these delicious meatless pasta meals.
  • Though this meatless spaghetti sauce is classically served with spaghetti (as the name implies!), it is equally delicious on any other pasta shape.

Share This Recipe

Course Sauces and Dressings
Cuisine Italian
Diet Vegan
Keyword 30 Minutes or Less, Easy, Healthy, Mushrooms, Onion, Tomato
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