Smokey vegan bolognese with grünkern and roasted veggies

Author: Julia


Grünkern is a traditional ingredient, that is normally being used for whole foods, vegan patties or soups. It is made out of spelt, that is being harvested half ripe (around June or July). After that the green spelt is being dried over a beechwood fire, that gives the grain its typical smokey taste.

vegan grünkern bologneseIt is rich in fibre, contains around ten percent of protein and a lot of iron as well. Usually I use a kind, that is already ground and resembles buckwheat. Outside of Germany it is not easy to find, but some organic stores offer it. In my case I was lucky, that my sister`s boyfriend brought a few kilos during his last trip to Portugal.

The preparation of grünkern resembles the preparation of dried soy: Simply put it in hot, slightly salted water and let it sit for ten until fifteen minutes. After that drain it and fry it!


  • half cup of
  • grünkern
  • one
  • onion
  • two cloves of
  • garlic
  • one
  • carrot
  • one
  • zucchini
  • half cup of
  • tomato pulp
  • pasta
  • salt, pepper, herbs
  • nutritional yeast


Take your favorite pasta and boil it according to the instructions. Drain the water and rinse the pasta with cold water (this prevents it from sticking together). Mix grünkern with hot water and a bit of salt or veggie stock and let it sit for ten minutes.

Cut onion, garlic and veggies in small cubes. Start with frying onion and garlic, after that add the veggies (carrot is very important, since it adds some sweetness to the bolognese). When the veggies start to look toasted, add grünkern and keep frying for another two minutes. Add tomato pulp and let the sauce simmer for two minutes. In the end season the bolognese with salt, pepper and herbs (I used thyme).

vegan grünkern bologneseServe the past immediately and decorate it with some nutritional yeast and fresh basil.

Guten Appetit!


About me

I am Julia, vegan by heart, traveler and minimalist based in beautiful Portugal. I love simple but delicious food, ashtanga, skating, surfing and having a nice conversation over snacks and a glass of wine. I am blogging about vegan food, my minimalist journey, life hacks and my experiences as a traveler.