This is our latest family favourite recipe: Vegan Bolognese with lentils. And more specifically red lentil bolognese. I find the red lentils are best when making a vegan bolognese recipe with lentils.
This vegan bolognese with lentils is a big hit at our home! So if you are looking for a hearty, delicious and healthy family meal to make mid week this is the recipe for you. My 3 kids and omni husband love it! It is also super cheap to make and a great plant-based dinner staple.
Served with a side of vegan garlic bread, salad and a glass of local red wine it is my type of family meal. Simple, delicious and made with wholesome plant-based ingredients.
Why make vegan bolognese with lentils?
Make a vegan bolognese is my favourite way. You could also make it with some vegan mince but I prefer nutritionally adding lentils for their health benefits. High in plant-based protein, fibre and iron and really low in fat they are a must in a healthy plant-based diet.
How to make my red lentil bolognese recipe:
My red lentil bolognese recipe is not only very simple to make but you only need one pot and a few ingredients. You can serve it with penne, spaghetti or any pasta of your choice. I prefer using wholewheat or high fibre pasta or legume pasta for a boost of protein. Our family isn’t gluten-free but you can use brown rice pasta if you want.
This red lentil bolognese recipe serves 6. You can easily double the bolognese recipe to freeze half or to serve more people. Having a batch of this hearty vegan sauce in the middle of winter will be a huge bonus!
Vegan Red Lentil Bolognese
- 1 tsp Dried Italian herbs or oregano
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 brown onion
- 1 cup dried red lentils
- 3 cups water or vegetable stock
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 tsp red wine balsamic vinegar
- salt, pepper
- 500 gr pasta of your choice
- nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan to top
- In a pot over medium heat, add the diced onion, minced garlic, dried herbs and about 2 tbsp of water (or use olive oil). Cook until the onion and garlic softens.
- Rinse the dried lentils and add them to the pot along with the water or vegetable stock, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and red wine balsamic vinegar. Stir to mix well. Season with salt and pepper (add more salt if using only water). Bring the sauce to a gentle boil then lower the heat and leave to simmer covered for about 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Stirring often to avoid the lentils to stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
- To assemble, in each bowl of pasta top with the red lentil bolognese sauce as well as extra herbs and either vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast.
Substitutions when making my red lentil bolognese:
I made this vegan bolognese oil-free but you could cook the onion and garlic in olive oil. You could replace the diced tomatoes and tomato paste for your favourite jar of tomato sauce. If very short on time you can also swap the red lentils for brown canned lentils.
You can also add other vegetables to the sauce such as grated carrots, zucchini or diced mushrooms, celery and add baby spinach or kale finely chopped.
If you like this red lentil bolognese recipe of mine you might also enjoy these recipes:
If you make my red lentil bolognese recipe and want to show me please tag my Instagram account @claireplantbasednutritionist in your stories or posts. I love nothing more than to see you making my recipes in your homes for your families. I would love to know if your family or yourself love this red lentil bolognese recipe too!