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Tofu Spaghetti: The Ultimate Pasta Recipe Without Meat

Crumbled and spiced tofu meets vegan basil and tomato sauce in our take on this all-time favorite comfort food - a big ol' pile of spaghetti topped with rich bolognese. 

Pasta. It's so delicious that we think it deserves its own food group. It ranks as the most popular dish worldwide, leading meat, rice, and even pizza!

A bowl of pasta topped with tomato sauce is the perfect way to fill bellies after a long, chilly day. And since we love both tofu and spaghetti, we decided to combine them and created this hearty, tasty, vegan spaghetti bolognese. 

By putting firm, crumbled tofu in pasta, we've upped the mineral and protein levels, so you'll be full for hours after this healthy meal. 

Keep reading to learn how to make our tofu tomato recipe from scratch in about an hour.

How to Make Homemade Meatless Spaghetti Sauce

Ingredients for the tofu bolognese

  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 package firm or extra-firm tofu

Ingredients for the tomato sauce

  • ¼ c extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large can of tomatoes, diced or crushed
  • ½ tsp sea salt 
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch coconut sugar
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped

Directions for the tofu bolognese and spaghetti

  1. Start by pressing tofu in a press for 20 min. 
  2. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  3. Line a large-sized baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Mix the nutritional yeast, olive oil, soy sauce, garlic powder, chili powder, and liquid smoke in a large mixing bowl until it becomes a brown paste with no chunks. 
  5. Remove the tofu from the press and crumble the tofu block into the bowl with the seasoning paste. 
  6. Mix the tofu crumbles with the seasoning until the tofu is fully coated. Spread the seasoned tofu evenly over the pan.
  7. Place your baking sheet in the oven and bake for 35 to 45 min. Periodically stir the tofu on the baking sheet. 
  8. Keep a close eye on the pan towards the end so that it doesn't overcook. You want the tofu to be golden brown.*

* The smaller tofu crumbles will be darker than the larger crumbles, which provides some lovely textural variations.

Directions for the tofu pasta sauce

  1. While your tofu is baking, heat a splash of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 
  2. Sauté the onion and the garlic together until softened.
  3. Add in the tomatoes(do not drain) and season well with salt and pepper. Add a pinch of coconut sugar. 
  4. Allow the tomato sauce to simmer for 10 to 15 min.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil.

Directions for assembling your spaghetti with tofu tomato sauce

  1. Cook pasta according to the package instructions. 
  2. Stir the tofu crumbles into the sauce, and heat thoroughly.* 
  3. Serve over hot spaghetti and top with vegan parmesan or lightly sprinkle with nutritional yeast. 

*If you find the spaghetti sauce is too thick, you can stir in a bit of water until it reaches the desired consistency. 

Tofu Spaghetti Recipe FAQ

Gluten-free options

Make this homemade vegan spaghetti sauce gluten-free by replacing the spaghetti with rice pasta or another gluten-free version. 

This bolognese would be delicious atop a bowl of white rice or roasted veggies. 

What kind of tofu can I use?

The only tofu that will work in tofu spaghetti sauce recipes is firm or extra firm. Both of these varieties are solid enough to get a very similar texture to a typical bolognese sauce. 

Soft or silken tofu has far too much water to blend well into this pasta. More delicate versions will make the dish a soggy mess. 

For the best results, press your firm or extra-firm tofu in a press for 20 minutes to drain the excess liquid. 

How can I store my leftover tofu spaghetti?

This bolognese sauce has an even better texture after it sits and thickens, so keep your leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days, reheat and enjoy again!

You can keep your leftover sauce frozen in a sealed container for 2-3 months.

Our Final Thoughts on This Tofu Pasta Recipe

This vegan pasta is sure to quickly become a family favorite. It's a great dish for meal prep, as it keeps and reheats well all week. 

This spaghetti bolognese is already very healthy, but you can pack an even bigger nutritional punch into this dish by adding sweet peppers, grated carrots, or earthy cremini mushrooms. 

If you like spicy spaghetti, sprinkle in some dried chili flakes while your sauce simmers and really bring the heat!

We are sure you’re going to love this recipe! Why not bookmark this recipe for later?