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Comfort in a bowl – This hearty, vegetarian mushroom bolognese with sweet potato and spinach is the perfect make ahead meal that is sure to warm your heart and soul this cold winter season.

Mushroom Bolognese with Sweet Potatoes

On a frigid, ready-to-drop-from-exhaustion kinda day, I either eat a bowl of cereal and call it a night or gravitate towards a steaming bowl of healthy comfort food…and some cheese. While the latter is a much more satisfying and nourishing option, what’s more convenient than pouring cereal and milk into a bowl? Well..nothing really, but add an extra step of pressing a few buttons on a microwave, and you can have yourself a substantial meal. And that’s what I bring to you today. Now when I’m making a pasta dish, I like to make a huge pot of sauce (this time a vegetarian mushroom bolognese) over the weekend and keep the cooked pasta (drizzled in some olive oil and stored in a tupperware) so that it can be enjoyed as a quick, comforting weeknight meal. It just so happens that I prefer eating the sauce the next day as the flavors have more fully matured.

Mushroom Bolognese with Sweet Potatoes

In Korean cooking, we use a lot of dried mushrooms, especially “pyogo busut” or shiitake. For this dish, I used the European/American variety, porcini mushrooms. I must admit, the dried mushrooms are a bit on the pricier side, BUT they add an incredible amount of flavor. Simply reconstitute them with hot water and watch the magic happen! You’ll immediately catch a whiff of the concentrated aroma that screams umami. Add both the mushrooms and the soaking liquid into the pot, and their meaty/savory texture and flavor contributions more than make up for the not-so-appetizing brownish hue they add to the dish.

Mushroom Bolognese with Sweet Potatoes

Mushroom Bolognese with Sweet Potatoes

Have you tried quinoa pasta? I normally purchase mine from Trader Joe’s, and I’ve become absolutely obsessed. I mean, not only is the taste similar to regular pasta, but it’s a great way to add extra protein to a dish like this vegetarian one. I served the dish with some grated parmesan and basil for freshness. Earthy and rich, this really is perfect for when you’re needing something stick-to-your-ribs good. The mushrooms take center stage as the bold essence of the soaking liquid resonates throughout the sauce. Chock full of nutrients and flavor, what’s not to love?

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Mushroom Bolognese with Sweet Potato

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  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups diced sweet potatoes, 1/2 in. cubes
  • 1 large Portobello mushroom cap, gills scraped, cut into ¼ in. cubes
  • 1 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess water removed
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 1 28 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound pasta of choice, I used quinoa penne
  • Parmesan
  • Fresh basil


  • Place dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with 1 ½ cups boiling water. Allow the mushrooms to soften, about 30 minutes. Scoop out, strain, and chop mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid.
  • Place the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped vegetables, salt, pepper and oregano, and cook until tender, about 6-8 minutes. Add porcini mushrooms, fresh mushrooms and tomato paste, stirring, and cook until mushrooms are softened, about 5 minutes. Add porcini mushroom liquid and red wine. Cook until wine is reduced, about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta until al dente. Drain and toss with sauce. Top with cheese and basil, and serve!
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About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

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  1. Hi – I’m going to try this tonight. Is there anything I can substitute for the red wine? Alcohol really affects me even when cooked!!

  2. Ohmunahhhh unnie, this is amazing!!!!!! I love pyogo busuht so much that I unabashedly pick them all out sloowwwlly but surely from all the dishes that include the busuht! like japchae, hehe…Beautiful job 😀

  3. This looks like a delightful winter meal – hearty and warming but also full of nutrition 🙂

  4. That quinoa pasta is my FAVORITE boxed pasta to eat these days. I’m sitting over here starving and drooling over your mushroom-heavy bolognese. Lucas and I were just talking about making a big dish of something to eat for several days this week and I think we’re going to try this – I’ve never made a mushroom bolognese before. Thanks for the recipe, Min!

  5. This looks so hearty! I make my bolognese with lentils, but would love to try it with mushrooms. I’ve tried quinoa pasta and quite liked it! Would definitely buy it again 🙂