Healthy Recipe: Nutrient-Dense Cauliflower Bolognese Sauce

This recipe is packed with nonstarchy vegetables, which add vitamins, minerals, fiber, and bulk, for minimal calories and carbs.

By Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD

Pasta Bolognese is one of my all-time favorite foods. I wanted to give this classic recipe a modern, healthy twist.

This recipe is packed with nonstarchy vegetables, which add vitamins, minerals, fiber, and bulk, for minimal calories and carbs. I used mushrooms to give it a real meat-like feel; mushrooms are what give the sauce the heartiness and meatiness you expect of a Bolognese sauce, without using meat.

Mushrooms also provide fiber and a good amount of vegetarian protein.

I tell my clients, fiber and protein at every meal makes losing weight no big deal.

The sauce is bulked up by antioxidant-rich riced cauliflower too; which also adds fiber. Result is a completely vegetarian sauce with an actual meaty texture that’s high-fiber, high-protein and low sodium. Fiber is key to sustained weight management.

Ingredients (serves 8):

Nutritional content per serving: 149 calories, 6g protein, 18g carb, 6g fiber, 12g net carb, 8g sugar, 5g fat, 2g sat fat, 399mg sodium

12 oz shiitake or Cremini mushrooms (stems removed)

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

½ cup dry red wine

3 cups riced cauliflower

2 Tbsp Tomato paste

1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes

1 tsp dried oregano

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 oz reduced-fat grated Parmesan cheese


1. Pulse mushrooms in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl.

2. Place a large dutch oven over medium-high heat and add oil to heat.

3. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown. Add onion, celery, carrots and cook until onions are golden brown. Add garlic stirring occasionally until softened.

4. Add red wine and cook until all the alcohol has evaporated.

5. Add Cauliflower and cook until softened (approximately 5 min).

6. Add tomato paste and cook until slightly darkened.

7. Add crushed tomato, oregano, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

8. Uncover sauce, add almond milk and stir to combine. Stir in parmesan cheese.

9. Remove from heat and serve as desired.

Serve over whole wheat pasta for more fiber.

My family loves this recipe!

Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD, is an internationally-known registered Dietitian and the creator of the renowned F-Factor™ Diet, which provides a liberating approach to weight loss and optimal health that is based on scientifically proven fiber-rich nutrition.

This recipe was originally published in Radiant Life magazine (December 2021).


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