Dairy-Free Bolognese


Skip the milk and add umami-rich nutritional yeast to this quick Bolognese sauce.

Dairy-Free Bolognese

Victor Protasio

Prep Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
45 mins

This hearty and rich Bolognese omits the classic milk or cream and the occasionally-used Parmesan for a dairy-free meat sauce that comes together in just 45 minutes. You’ll start by browning ground beef before cooking down the mirepoix—that aromatic mixture of chopped onions, celery, and carrots—in the browned bits and rendered fat left in the pan. Then the mixture cooks in a glug of red wine and crushed tomatoes until the sauce has thickened slightly. The surprising final touch is a handful of nutritional yeast which enhances the umami of the dish lending a rich, cheesy-like flavor without the dairy.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 lb 85% lean ground beef

  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)

  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped (about 1 Tbsp.)

  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided, plus more for cooking pasta

  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup dry red wine or beef broth

  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 lb fettuccine

  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (such as Bob’s Red Mill), plus more for garnish

  • Chopped fresh basil, for garnish


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium. Add beef and break into 2 or 3 large pieces. Cook, undisturbed, until browned on bottom, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on other side, about 4 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, break beef into small pieces. Cook, stirring, until no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon. 

  2. Add carrots, celery, and onion to pot. Cook over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until softened, 7 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  3. Return beef and accumulated juices to pot. Add wine; cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot, until wine has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes.

  4. Bring to a simmer over high. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, cook fettuccine in salted water according to package directions. Reserve 3/4 cup pasta water and drain fettuccine.

  6. Stir nutritional yeast and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt into sauce. Stir fettuccine into sauce, adding 1/2 to 3/4 cup reserved pasta water until sauce is loose enough to coat fettuccine. Serve garnished with more nutritional yeast and basil.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

667 Calories
23g Fat
63g Carbs
49g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 667
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 23g 30%
Saturated Fat 7g 37%
Cholesterol 101mg 34%
Sodium 999mg 43%
Total Carbohydrate 63g 23%
Dietary Fiber 11g 40%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 49g
Vitamin C 22mg 112%
Calcium 152mg 12%
Iron 8mg 46%
Potassium 1535mg 33%

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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