This is my go-to vegan meat sauce substitute for loads of different recipes. You can vary it a bit, but it’s an amazingly good base for things like moussaka, pastitsio, lasagne, shepherd’s pie, stuffed aubergines, even spaghetti Neapolitan – anything where you need a substantial meaty sauce. Even carnivores will love it – and they’ll never guess it’s vegan unless you tell them!
I suggest you make a big batch of it, and freeze it in 250g or 500g portions – then you can just defrost what you need. The quantities are all pretty much whole pack portions – so there’s no waste! Obviously trim back on things you’re not so keen on. Overall this is pretty much the right balance of wholesome veggies and it has a great texture.
The large Pastitsio requires 2 by 500g portions so the last time I made it, I doubled the quantities and ended up with 12 portions of 500g – enough for quite a few moussakas or pastitsios…….
Of course you can add more mushrooms or lentils. You can use puy, brown or green lentils or a mixture of any of them. You can even add in some black beans to add even more body to this vegan meat sauce substitute, but that would depend on the dish.
vegan meat sauce
- 500 g pack of vegan mince – plant pioneers no bull or similar
- 600 g or 2 large onions Red or white is fine
- 100 g garlic
- 600 g or 2 packs of chestnut mushrooms
- 735 g or 2 cans of brown, red, or green whole lentils already cooked. A mixture of different lentils is good, puy, brown, green.
- 1 tube A tube of tomato puree
- 4 heaped tbsps yeast flakes
- 4 flat tbsps of stock powder
- 2 tbsps. of smoked paprika
- 2 heap tbsps of oregano
- 2 cans of chopped tomatoes.
- 2 tbsps of soya sauce – the naturally brewed sort.
- Finely chop the onions in a large pan
- Add some cold pressed rapeseed or olive oil and being sauteeing
- Add in the garlic chopped or crushed – blitzing it in a food processor is definitely easiest.
- Meanwhile wash and pulse blitz the mushrooms so they are in fairly small pieces.
- As the onions soften and begin to brown, add the mushrooms and oregano to the pan with a little extra oil if needed.
- Continue sautéing until the mushrooms are browning too.
- Cook the veggie mince according to the instructions – I generally use my Actifry for this – but you can do it in a wok or ordinary pan.
- Add to the other ingredients, and add in the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, paprika, stock powder, yeast flakes and soya sauce.
- Cook off for 15 minutes or so, until the veggies and mince are well incorporated.
- Finally add in the pre-cooked lentils and stir briefly – then take off the heat.
- Add any extra liquid to get the consistency so it can be easily spread as in the picture.
- Portion into 250g or 500g containers.
- portioning this up into some 250g and some 500g containers gives you the most flexibility when you come to use it in a lasagne, moussaka, pastitsio, wraps, or nachos.
- Of course as always, feel free to miss out ingredients, or adjust the contents.
- Make sure you end up with 3,000g of sauce – the best way to do this is by weighing the saucepan first, and making sure it ways’ a little over 3,000g more at the end. You can add tomatoes or water to achieve this. That then means you will have 12 250g or an equivalent quantity when you portion it up.
- Mashed potato pie or shepherdess pie uses 365 to 400g per small oblong dish, but any left over can just be refrozen.
using the meat sauce in a large moussaka….