Bean Bolognese

Bean Bolognese

30 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, December 2006

Fiber-rich beans stand in for the beef and pork in this surprisingly rich-tasting vegetarian take on pasta Bolognese. Without the meat, the dish has only a third of the fat and 80 percent less saturated fat. To make the perfect meal, serve with a peppery arugula salad and warm, crusty Italian bread.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 1 14-ounce can salad beans, (see Shopping Tip) or other beans, rinsed, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped carrot
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 8 ounces whole-wheat fettuccine
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil. Mash ½ cup beans in a small bowl with a fork.
  2. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and salt; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and bay leaf; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add wine; increase heat to high and boil until most of the liquid evaporates, 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juices, 2 tablespoons parsley and the mashed beans. Bring to a lively simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 6 minutes. Add the remaining whole beans; cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in the boiling water until just tender, about 9 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.
  4. Divide the pasta among 4 bowls. Discard the bay leaf and top the pasta with the sauce; sprinkle with Parmesan and the remaining parsley.
  • Shopping tip: A can of salad beans, a mixture of chickpeas, kidney and pinto beans, adds depth and variety to this recipe. Look for it in the natural-foods section of larger supermarkets or natural-foods stores. If you can't find it, substitute a can of your favorite beans.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 cup pasta & about ¾ cup sauce
  • Per serving: 442 calories; 11 g fat(3 g sat); 13 g fiber; 68 g carbohydrates; 18 g protein; 48 mcg folate; 9 mg cholesterol; 9 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 3,509 IU vitamin A; 16 mg vitamin C; 179 mg calcium; 5 mg iron; 766 mg sodium; 507 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (70% daily value), Iron (28% dv), Vitamin C (27% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 3½ starch, 1½ vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1½ fat

Reviews 30

June 25, 2015
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By: Granny48
This was definitely not worth the effort. Followed the recipe exactly, and it turned out very bland. Hardly any flavor. I had t doctor it up quite a bit in order for me and my husband to eat it. Won't bother it this again. Pros: Easy to make Cons: Very bland
November 06, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Just ok I can see where this could be quite versatile, but as is (if you fallow the directions as I did without changing anything) its rather bland. Texture is good, time to fix was quite quick....even with cooking my own dry beans. But the flavor was just bland. it defiantly needs ... something. Pros: it was quick and simple to make Cons: quite bland
June 04, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Easy and delicious This is a wonderful dish! I used whole wheat spaghetti because it's what I had, and used 1 pound of whole, fresh, campari tomatoes. I boiled them first, for 15 seconds so that I could peel the skin off, and then chopped them up and added them to the sauce, juices and all. This lets you control the salt, but also makes the whole thing taste really fresh and light. I added a about 2 tbsp. of tomato paste to make it a bit more rich, and probably used more like a cup of white wine in the sauce. Overall, super quick, surprisingly delicious, healthy, and good for vegans if you leave out the cheese. Love! Pros: simple, affordable, healthy
August 29, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Bean Bolgnese I made this this week, subbing in cannellini beans I'd cooked myself and homemade vegetable stock for the wine. It's was very good. I've linked it in my What We Ate blog this week so my readers can enjoy it too. Pros: Inexpensive, flavourful, easy to make
May 24, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Nutritious and delicious! Will make again! No overwhelming flavors here - just the right blend for a great weekday dish for your family! I felt good about making this for my family because its nutrient rich with veggies, beans and beans. I paired it with arugula salad and roma tomatoes as well as a sour dough roll. Will definitely make this again! Pros: vegetables, beans, whole grains - your mom would be proud! Cons: onions make me cry :/
May 24, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Great recipe! Great recipe! My husband doesn't tend to like recipes that have more than a handful of items mixed in but he liked this one! I paired it with arugula and roma tomatoes with great value's light buttermilk ranch and sourdough bread! I appreciate that this is a tasty healthy recipe - will be making this again! Pros: knowing this was nutrient rich I felt good making it for my family and they loved it! Cons: onions make me cry :/
May 06, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Very good! I made this today and it was perfect! Pros: Different and flavorful
January 31, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Full of flavor and Satisfying I am trying to incorporate a meatless meal one day a week. Pasta is a go to, especially with my kids on the swim team, but typical pasta was getting old. This is a great alternative, full of protein, flavor, and, dare I say, comfort without the guilt! If you like a little heat, a few shakes of red pepper flakes would be a great addition. I will make this again for sure!! Pros: colorful, flavorful, healthful
May 04, 2011
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By: lmasz
Yum! This took me about an hour to make - mostly because the large pot of water takes so long to boil and because of chopping the carrots, celery, garlic, etc. I used this new "garden" fettuccini, which has whole wheat, tomato, and spinach pasta all in one box, which I think gave it a little extra flavor. I also chopped a fresh tomato instead of using the canned version (i'm always weary of how much salt is in canned veggies). It still came out great, however, I think there would have been more juice in the sauce if I had gone with the can. But, once everything is chopped and boiled, this is very easy to make! And delicious! I shared with a friend and she agreed! Cons: lots of chopping
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