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Instant Pot Vegan Bolognese

Instant Pot Vegan Bolognese

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan


This hearty and delicious Instant Pot vegan bolognese recipe is made with lentils and mushrooms in a rich sauce. Perfect for a plant-based dinner, it can be served over pasta, rice, quinoa, polenta ot veggie noodles. Can be gluten-free with one small adjustment.


  • 1 cup dry red lentils, soaked for 1520 minutes
  • 200 g / 7 oz. button mushrooms, diced into mince
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 large carrot finely diced
  • 1 large celery rib, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 black or green olives, diced roughly
  • 2 dates, roughly diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon brown or white miso (optional)
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups tomato passata or crushed tinned tomatoes

After cooking: 1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional, makes it a bit more tomato-y)


  • Pre-soak the lentils for 15-20 minutes and rinse and set aside.
  • Dice the mushrooms very finely, ideally using a food processor. Set aside.
  • Turn the Instant Pot on and press the Sauté button. Add the olive oil, onions, carrot, celery and salt and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Make sure not to burn the mixture.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients, except for water and crushed tomatoes. Stir really well and then add the water. With the water in, stir the mixture really well making sure to scrape any bits that are stuck to the bottom to prevent the Burn notice. Press Cancel to stop the sauteeing.
  • Add tomato passata/crussehd tomatoes and stir through.
  • Pop and lock the lid and press Manual/Pressure Cook button, HIGH pressure, adjust to 12 minutes. Cook your preferred side (pasta, rice, polenta) in the meantime.
  • Once the timer finishes, follow with natural pressure release.
  • Open the lid, add the tomato paste if using, and stir through. Optional: if you like a slightly smoother sauce, you can use an emersion blender to puree SOME of the sauce.
  • Serving over pasta, rice, polenta or quinoa.


IMPORTANT NOTE on BURN ERROR: A few folk with newer Instant Pot models have reported the burn ERROR using our original recipe. This is because those models are very sensitive to ingredients like tomato sauce getting thickened and stuck to the bottom of the pot. We’ve revised the instructions to help you avoid the burn notice!

You can serve this sauce over pasta or any other side with a few chili flakes and parsley on top. We like to sprinkle some nutritional yeast flakes or you can also grate some vegan-friendly cheese.


  • Serving Size: 1 cup sauce
  • Calories: 288
  • Sugar: 14.2 g
  • Sodium: 807.8 mg
  • Fat: 7.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 46.4 g
  • Fiber: 8.3 g
  • Protein: 12.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Lentils, Mushrooms, Lentil Bolognese, Instant Pot Vegan Recipes, Mushroom Bolognese