Are you ready to try my newest garden-to-table creation? The first comment out of my husband’s mouth as I was whipping up the sauce was; What no meat? 

My response… Trust me, you won’t miss it in my tasty garden bolognese! This sauce has all the delectable flavors you crave from a traditional sauce, and it’s jam-packed with veggies.

Honestly, I would almost say that I enjoy this vegetarian sauce more than traditional meaty bolognese. It fills you up without being too heavy, and I get to savor my garden veggies.   

This recipe has simple, fresh ingredients– that you can harvest right from your garden.  If you’re are wondering what to do with all your harvested or canned tomatoes and extra garden veggies and herbs, you’ve come to the right spot!  And it’s a family-friendly recipe to get everyone involved, from harvesting the fresh ingredients to assembling the sauce. 

The garden bolognese is perfect for topping pasta, zoodles, lasagna, chicken, or slow-cook some short ribs and drench them with this tasty sauce. SO many possibilities!


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1-2 leeks finely chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 head of celery finely chopped
  • 4 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 24 cups of freshly chopped tomatoes or canned (substitute 28 oz. can whole San Marzanos and 2 -28 oz. canned crushed tomatoes) You and mix and match these depending on what you have on hand)

  • 2 TB Fresh Thyme or 1 TB dried 
  • 2 TB Parsley or 1 TB dried
  • 2 TB Oregano or 1 TB dried 
  • 2 TB Basil or 1 TB dried 
  • Bay leaf

  • ¼ Balsamic Vinegar
  • ⅓ cup Red Wine
  • Salt & Pepper to taste 


Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, leeks, garlic, celery, and carrots along with a large pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, occasionally stirring for 10 minutes. 

If using fresh tomatoes, in a separate pot, chop the tomatoes and cook them down on high for 20 minutes.

Combine the tomatoes, sauteed veggies, and herbs. Simmer until desired “crunch” I like my veggies a little crunchy, but if you prefer your veggies softer, simmer a little longer.  

Add the red wine and balsamic vinegar, simmer for 5 minutes and enjoy!

This recipe makes a big batch. Cut the recipe in half. Or can the extras for a future dinner. I can mine like all my other tomatoes preserves.

Optional Ingredients or Substitutions

  • Parmesan rind (simmer rind in sauce and remove before serving)
  • Toasted, finely chopped walnuts
  • Uncooked quinoa
  • Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Lentils
  • Whole milk, Cream, or Cashew milk instead of wine
  • *freshly grated Parmesan cheese + more for garnish