The Best Vegetarian Spaghetti Sauce

  • Author: Christine
  • Prep Time: 15mins
  • Cook Time: 3-4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 mins
  • Yield: 10-12 portions
  • Category: Sauces
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian


My brother’s recipe for meatless spaghetti sauce is simply the best! Thick and chunky, packed with veggies and rich flavor, you will make this time and time again. Fill your freezer with a huge batch of this tomato sauce for many easy spaghetti dinners to come.¬†Vegetarian, vegan and super healthy!


  • 3 red romano peppers (normal red peppers are OK too)
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 9oz (250g) of crimini / chestnut mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (use a fish free blend to keep this vegetarian)
  • 1 Tbsp of dried Italian herb mix
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 cans (14oz / 400g size) of quality canned tomatoes (I use a mix of whole plum tomatoes + chopped tomatoes)
  • A dash or two of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup of tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup of sliced black olives
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar


  1. Roast the romano peppers. Place them on a baking tray whole and drizzle with olive oil. Place in the oven at 200C/390F for 20-30 minutes until they have softened and wrinkled.
  2. Meanwhile, start preparing the sauce. In a large heavy pan, sauté your onions until soft and slightly browned.
  3. Add garlic and chili flakes, saute for a few minutes until the garlic releases its fragrance.
  4. Add mushrooms and cook until they release their liquid and it begins to evaporate. Add the Worcestershire sauce, dried herbs, and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Now add the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, black olives, red wine, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar.
  6. Heat and then bring to a simmer.
  7. When the red peppers have roasted, remove from the oven and allow to cool before peeling, de-seeding and chopping them into small pieces. Add them to the sauce.
  8. Simmer for 3-4 hours, stirring regularly, until the sauce has reduced to a thick and chunky texture. If you need to serve it before it’s reduced to the texture you prefer, just add more tomato paste. Taste throughout and add any extra seasonings or flavorings that you fancy along the way.
  9. Serve over spaghetti with a sprinkling of cheese. Bon appetit!

Keywords: spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, marinara sauce