Meatless Meat Sauce — Approved by Real Italians

I’ve decided to add some recipes that don’t include microgreens. Shock! Why? Because when I first started down the path of vegetarianism, I was never sure how a meatless recipe would taste and – frankly – I was always looking for foods that tasted very similar to the yummy things I grew up eating and still love, even if I don’t want the meat any more.

One of my favorite things to eat (especially on a cold dark night) was spaghetti with meat sauce. Oh how I missed the satisfying, hearty taste of a good meat sauce. Somehow, after becoming a vegetarian, the paltry little puddle of marinara sauce lying on top of my penne or spaghetti seemed like an insult after chomping on a sauce with texture, taste and bite. I tried using tofu crumbles but it didn’t taste right and I wasn’t crazy about the texture. So I started experimenting.

After watching an episode on a local food channel where the chef made a mushroom Bolognese sauce I thought – EUREKA! And thus this recipe was born. Hubbie loves it and I make it often and we eat waaaayyyy too much but oh boy, does it ever hit the spot!  And it comes with the official seal of approval of a real Italian girl from Brooklyn– my sister-in-law.  She loved it.

Meatless Mushroom Sauce


1 package portabella mushrooms, diced small (retain a few to put in the sauce as actual slices)
1 package white button mushrooms, diced small
½ medium white or yellow onion, diced small
1 four oz can ripe sliced black olives (you can eliminate if you don’t like olives)
1 clove garlic, chopped (add more if you like)
2 dried bay leaves
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried basil
1 jar organic marinara sauce – use the brand of your choice – we love the Harris Teeter Organics sauces


Using a non-stick skillet over high heat, put the onions in to soften. As they begin to become translucent, add the chopped mushrooms. Cook until tender. I don’t use any oil unless it’s a light brushing with a paper towel that I’ve put a teaspoon of oil on. The onions and mushrooms produce enough moisture as they cook to keep from needing oil.

When the onions and mushrooms have cooked (about 5 minutes) add the remaining ingredients. Turn the heat down, cover and simmer the sauce for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaves and serve over your favorite pasta. Add a side salad and a crusty loaf of bread and – YUM! – tastes just like the spaghetti and meat sauce that mom used to make but without the meat!

My hubbie was a ‘meat and potatoes’ kind of guy all his life until I informed him one fine day that we were switching to microgreens and vegetables. He’s actually been great about it all and is quite content with the change. Of course, serving meals that closely resemble the comfort foods we grew up without all the fats helps keep us both satisfied with our new vegetarian diets. This meatless mushroom sauce recipe will be satisfying for even the pickiest carnivore.