Vegan Chickpea Tomato Ragu Sauce

Vegan Chickpea Tomato Ragu Sauce

Classic ragu gets a vegan twist with chickpeas and fire-roasted tomatoes! This Vegan Chickpea Tomato Ragu has the classic flavors we love but with the plant-based health benefits. Oil-free and so delicious!

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Comfort food is here today friends! I originally planned on posting this last week, but after you all flipped over the ramen soup pic on Facebook, I switched spots with this ragu. It's worth the wait, trust me. When I set out to make this ragu sauce, I knew I wanted to use many aspects of the classic dish as possible, sans the meat obviously. I think you all know my style enough by now that I love recreating classics and never, ever skimp on flavor. So, that meant the classic trio of celery, carrot and onion and of course, red wine, in this classic (flavor-wise) ragu. You can't make a ragu without these because otherwise, it's just a spaghetti sauce, lol. Those veggies are a must and although I didn't use meat, the flavor is reminiscent of the classic, which is the whole point when I want to recreate dishes I loved before going vegan. I also appropriately named this a tomato ragu because I used a good amount of tomatoes. Hello, flavor.

Instead of meat, I went with chickpeas. I considered lentils, but it seems everybody does lentils in their tomato sauces or bolognese sauces and I really just can't seem to get enough of chickpeas.

I'm here to tell you this is one bomb of amazing flavor. Like, so good, you'll moan throughout the meal. I used red wine, dried basil and fire-roasted tomatoes for some amazing flavor. You get the deep flavor and awesome texture from the veggies and the sweetness that comes through from the carrots and onion just compliments the tomatoes so perfectly. So, so good.

Many people get confused between ragu and bolognese. Well, did you know that bolognese is actually a variation of ragu? They are very similar except bolognese is less tomato-heavy and uses white wine. Small differences but very different in the end flavor. I'm much more of a red wine and tomato girl when it comes to sauces I want to put over my pasta.

I promise you won't miss the meat here because the flavor is so good, it simply does not matter. Plus, you get loads of protein from the chickpeas that are so good for you and get so perfectly tender as they simmer for 20 minutes. I can't stand hard chickpeas in sauces or soups.

Also, can we talk about how easy this meal is? Besides the chopping of the veggies, the meal comes together in just about 30 minutes, so save some time and chop the veggies the day before.

Now to make this Chickpea Tomato Ragu, you will need:

  • fire-roasted tomatoes
  • red onion
  • carrots
  • celery
  • garlic
  • red wine (like a cabernet sauvignon)
  • chickpeas
  • dried basil

I hope you all love this ragu! Please be sure to come back and review and star rate the recipe! It's a lot of work to keep this blog going, so that's all I really love to have in return is to hear how you enjoyed the recipes! Thank you!

Yields 4 servings

Vegan Tomato Ragu

Classic ragu gets a vegan twist with chickpeas and fire-roasted tomatoes! This Vegan Chickpea Tomato Ragu has the classic flavors we love but with the plant-based health benefits. Oil-free and so delicious!

20 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

50 minTotal Time

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5 based on 8 review(s)

Ingredients

  • 2 15oz cans fire-roasted crushed tomatoes, slightly pureed
  • 1/2 packed cup (80g) diced red onion
  • 4 medium carrots, diced 1/4 inch thick (you'll need 1 1/2 cups, 190g)
  • 1 cup (128g) diced celery
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3g) fine sea salt
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup (120g) dry red wine, like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot (SEE NOTE)
  • 1 15oz can low-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional for a delicious kick!)
  • Note: While I strongly recommend the red wine for the most amazing flavor and classic flavor, if you avoid wine, then replace it with low-sodium veggie broth and a 1/2 tablespoon dark balsamic vinegar. If at the end of cooking you want a stronger flavor, add a bit more vinegar, but the tomatoes do put out a lot of flavor as well.

Instructions

  1. Before beginning, go ahead and add the tomatoes to any blender or food processor. I do not like chunks of tomato in my sauces, so I like to just briefly blend them up into a thick sauce consistency, but not a liquid, just a few seconds. This makes for more ragu sauce and more flavors to combine as well. Set aside.
  2. Add 1/2 cup water to a large pan with the onion, carrots, celery and the 1/2 teaspoon of salt over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes until just tender.
  3. Add the garlic and stir constantly for another minute. A lot of the water should be gone now. Cook another minute or so if needed.
  4. Add the red wine and cook another 5 minutes until it mostly cooks down.
  5. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, dried basil, pepper and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir well and let it come back to a simmer. Then reduce to medium-low, closer to low, and cook for 20 minutes covered. The sauce should have greatly reduced to a nice thick texture and no longer soupy. Refer to photo in pan. If you would like a more minced version, you can mash up some of the chickpeas. I loved them whole, but it will be less chickpea obvious if you mash some, if you prefer. If you used the vinegar option (instead of wine) taste and add any more if desired, keeping in mind it is very strong.
  6. Serve over spaghetti or preferred pasta. Top with extra red pepper flakes.

Notes

Time-saving tip: The cooking part of this meal comes together in about 30 minutes. It's mainly the chopping of the veggies that takes a bit. To save time, chop all of the veggies the day before and seal in a ziplock bag, then meal time is ready quickly.

Nutrition per serving: 200 calories | 1.1g fat | 4.1g protein | 35g carbs | 7.9g fiber | 13.3g sugar | 705mg sodium

7.8.1.2
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29 Comments

  1. This looks delightful and totally something I would eat WEEKLY!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Definitely! It's so good! Thank you!
    • This was totally awesome!! The blend of flavors was absolutely astonishing!! A keeper recipe for sure! We added fresh basil at serving time. My husband says it goes "very well" with cold beer!! Another winner recipe! Susan
      • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
        SO awesome to hear that Susan! Thank you so much for the glowing review! Would you mind to please give it a star rating below the comment box as well? Those star ratings really help my recipe to rank well so others can find it, thank you!
  2. I am not familiar with fire roasted tomatoes. Where can I buy them?
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      They are sold at all grocery stores in the same isle as any canned tomatoes :) They will say fire-roasted crushed tomatoes on the can.
  3. Lea
    This looks so good!! I can't wait to try it. I never tire of chickpeas.
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thank you Lea! I used to HATE chickpeas and now I am completely obsessed with it! The key is FLAVOR and cooking them the right way...I've had too many bland ones and now that I cook and flavor them to my liking, they are excellent!
  4. Thank you for addressing the non-wine users in this recipe. I look forward to trying it. If I can my own tomatoes, how do you suggest making them fire-roasted? Thanks again for your efforts to improve the quality of the food we fix for our families. I've shared your website with many friends and family. Keep up the helpful work.
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Marilyn! Oh gosh, I have no idea, I've only ever bought them because it's so easy and the flavor is phenomenal. They are very crucial to the recipe so I'm not sure how you would go about it. Maybe google has some steps on the process? It might be easier to buy them though in case it's a bunch of steps! Thank you so much for your kind words, I really appreciate it!
  5. This is really tasty with so much flavor and filling. I have to be honest I thought Ragu was just a pasta sauce brand. I didn't realize it was a thing. We love it and definitely will put this in our rotation.
  6. Okay call me a total idiot, but honestly all this time I thought ragu was just a brand name I didn't realize it was it's own actual kind of sauce with true distinctions from bolognese lol! Like tissues and kleenex but pasta sauce...omg this is why I don't cook savory things😂 But now that I am feeling more tomato sauce enlightened, this looks bomb. Leave it to you to make a perfect "meat sauce" without meat AND sneak in tons of veg too. Most vegan recipes I've seen use lentils or mushrooms, but I am loving the look of that chunkiness from the chickpeas. Even though I don't know a thing about tomato sauce semantics, this is so simple I know even I could pull it off and I definitely know I could eat it for DAYS! 😊
  7. Luc
    I prepared this today with fresh cooked chickpeas I usually make a ragu with mushrooms. Your recipe was much more filling. I ate half my usual amount and was full. I followed your recipe as written- you are always spot on. Thanks for another winner.
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Lucy! Oh yay! SO very glad to hear how much you loved this and thank you for such an amazing compliment!
  8. I just made this today and it is SOOO delicious and filling!! I put it on top of spaghetti squash. I don't think I will ever buy store bought again! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thank you so much Trisha, so very happy to hear how much you loved the recipe! Awesome! Thanks so much for letting me know. Would you mind giving it the star rating right below the box? Those are so helpful for me, thank you!
  9. This looks flavorful and filling! Always loved pasta and chickpeas so this is definitely a recipe I'd keep!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thank you so much Andre!
  10. What a yummy and hearty meal! I made something similar the other day and it hit the spot! I especially love that you added red wine to this - adds so much richness and just another excuse to have a glass of wine (or two) with dinner :)
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thank you so much Nisha! So much delicious flavor, I can't stop eating it!
  11. This was fantastic. It was full of flavor, very filling, and no oil. My new go to pasta sauce!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thank you so much Julie for leaving feedback, I'm so glad to hear that!
  12. It's always fun when I learn something unexpectedly while reading a recipe post! I had no idea that ragu was an actual type of sauce! This looks so hearty and delicious!!! I'm a huge chunky tomato sauce fan, but the addition of fresh chopped vegetables and a dose of plant-based protein, makes this look like the perfect pasta dish! Kind of like chili texture meets pasta...you've got me craving a big plate of this! I can almost taste the flavor through these photos. YUM!! Easy pasta meals are my jam! <3
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Haha, too funny that so many have said that! This really is my favorite ragu sauce ever, the flavor is just incredible, especially with that red wine! I think I could eat it weekly. Thank you so much my friend!
  13. SOOO Good! I made this last week and happily ate it every day for 8 days! It's so freaking delicious! Thank you so much for this recipe! I ended up using small shell pasta instead of spaghetti and it became this amazing, chunky, goulash style dish. Love love love!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Yay! That is wonderful to hear Rebekah! So happy you loved this and ate it 8 days straight, haha! You sound like me, I can't get enough of it! Thank you for the review!
  14. This looks delicious! Could I cook it in bulk, freeze it and reheat at a later date? Would it still be ok?
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      I haven't tried that but I certainly think it would be ok! I would just reheat it on very low heat over the stove to slowly bring it back :)
  15. I made this today and loved it! I’ve never had anything like it, so I’m glad I tried it. I used Tinkyada brown rice spaghetti. This is definitely something I will have again and again! It’s so much better on pasta than just regular sauce. I can’t wait to try it on my favorite pasta: Tolerant red lentil pasta. Yum!

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