Instant Pot Vegan “Bolognese” (With Beyond Beef)

I’m trying to make the switch over to Beyond Beef (or similar products) whenever possible, because…you know…environment. I’ll be honest: I resisted for awhile, because something about the concept freaks me out (although why plant-based protein should freak me out more than actual ground beef is beyond me). But then I tried Burger King’s Impossible Whopper, and it tasted…like a Whopper. The taste was virtually indistinguishable from the OG (cheese and sauce, basically), and the texture may even have been an improvement.

Next experiment: Seeing whether I can swap in plant-based protein for the primary ingredient in one of my family’s all-time favorite dishes, pasta bolognese. We make one version of this dish or another virtually every week, so this is not a change I make lightly – and not one I especially accepted my children to get on board with.

So? I didn’t tell them. Sue me; sometimes children are on a need-to-know basis with these kinds of things.

The verdict: No one – myself and Kendrick included – could tell the difference. Literally identical taste and texture. #sold.

instant pot vegan bolognese beyond beef

What You Need:

  • 1 package pasta of choice (I like spaghetti or linguine for this; it needs a more robust type of pasta to hold the sauce properly)
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 16-oz package ground Beyond Beef
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14-oz can tomato sauce
  • Handful fresh basil

What You Do:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions, then drain (reserving a little bit of the pasta water in case you need it to loosen the sauce later).
  2. In a large saucepan with high sides, heat a little olive oil. Add the Beyond Beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook about five minutes, frequently pressing down on the beef with the back of a spoon to break it up, until just cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, remove the beef and set aside.
  3. In the same saucepan (adding a little more olive oil), cook the onion, carrots and celery, stirring frequently, about 5-6 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic for the last 30 seconds of cooking and stir constantly.
  4. Return the Beyond Beef to the pot, then add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about fifteen minutes. Less if you’re starving; more if you can wait – a little longer tends to be better.
  5. When you’re happy with the sauce, season to taste, then pour in the pasta and toss it all together. Add a little pasta water if you feel like it needs to be thinned out a touch.
  6. Serve by ripping up a bit of the fresh basil and sprinkling it over the top – oh, and with fresh shaved parmigiana if you’re feeling fancy (and non-vegan).
powered by chloédigital