Vegan Lentil Bolognese

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Jump to Recipe
two plates of lentil bolognese

This Lentil Bolognese is comforting, hearty, easy to make, and flavorful. It’s vegan and has the same flavor and texture as traditional bolognese. While it’s not super meaty, it’s rich in flavor and made with wholesome ingredients that the whole family will love!

🔖 Best lentils for bolognese?

Lentils are legumes that are high in plant-based protein and filling. The taste of lentils depends on the color, too; red lentils have a sweeter note, while green or black lentils impart a peppery flavor to a dish. We prefer green lentils because of their mild flavor and texture for our bolognese dish.

lentil bolognese ingredients

🍅 Ingredients

This delicious lentil bolognese recipe requires simple pantry ingredients that can be found at your local grocery store, so let’s dive into what key ingredients you need to make this delicious dinner meal.

  • Green Lentils. These lentils remain relatively firm and retain their shape with cooking, so we prefer them over red lentils. A great substitute would be brown lentils too.
  • Shallot. We like the mild flavor that shallots have for this pasta dish. Since shallots are smaller than regular onions, you can substitute them with 1/2 sweet onion.
  • Garlic. We used 3-4 garlic cloves, depending on their size. Try to aim for 3 large or 4 medium garlic cloves.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil. We only need a little to saute the veggies.
  • Marinara Sauce. You can use your favorite tomato or marinara sauce or use homemade marinara. We love to make bolognese with our hearty tomato sauce.
  • Fire Roasted Tomatoes. I love the flavor of fire-roasted tomatoes, but regular diced or crushed tomatoes work too.
  • Vegetable Broth. If you are not strictly vegetarian, chicken broth works too.
  • Italian Seasoning. The dried herbs used in this recipe are oregano, thyme, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. We also like to serve the dish with fresh basil.
  • Tagliatelle Pasta. Traditional bolognese is often served with a wider type of pasta, like tagliatelle. But pappardelle works too. Or, if you prefer spaghetti bolognese, then these noodles work, too.

🍝 Instructions

This is an easy recipe; the longest part is waiting for the pasta sauce to cook with the lentils so they are tender. Once the liquid reduces in half, and the lentils are tender, dinner is ready. Don’t forget to cook the pasta separately.

  • Sauté the veggies and lentils. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, and add the shallot and garlic. Cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the seasoning and lentils and give it a quick stir in the pan.
  • Make the hearty sauce. Add broth, marinara sauce, and fire-roasted diced tomatoes to the same saucepan. Bring to a simmer and reduce to low heat. Continue simmering until the liquid has reduced in half and the lentils are tender about 25-30 minutes.
  • Cook the noodles. Cook the pasta noodles according to the package instructions. Just don’t forget to cook the noodles in a large pot of salted water.
  • Serve and enjoy. Add noodles to a plate and a few spoonfuls of vegan bolognese sauce on top. Top it with fresh basil and vegan parmesan cheese.
a plate of lentil bolognese and basil

FAQs

How do I store leftover bolognese? 


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. We prefer to store the lentils and bolognese together. We recommend keeping the leftover sauce separately if you have more sauce than noodles.

Can I freeze bolognese?

Yes, you can freeze the bolognese sauce without pasta nicely. We like to freeze it in Souper Cubes or a freezer-safe container for up to 1-2 months. When ready to use the sauce, thaw it completely in the fridge before reheating, or add it to a saucepan with 1/4 cup vegetable broth.

How do you reheat the bolognese sauce?


Leftover bolognese can be reheated in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat until hot. Or, heat in a microwave-safe bowl.

What are the other ways to serve bolognese?


Aside from pasta, you can also serve the bolognese over zucchini noodles for a lighter option. You can also use the leftover bolognese sauce to make bolognese pizza or add it to sweet potato wedges with cheese sauce on top for a yummy appetizer.

This easy vegan lentil bolognese has great flavor and is comforting, filling, and tasty. It’s a delicious healthy meal for the whole family, and we hope you all love it. Enjoy! ♡

Vegan Lentil Bolognese

5 from 1 vote
This vegan lentil bolognese is easy to make, has great flavor, and is comforting. It’s a delicious and healthy meal for the whole family.
a plate of bolognese
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Yields 6
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup green lentils rinsed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper plus more to taste
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes optional
  • 1, 25 oz jar of marinara
  • 1, 14 oz fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 cup vegetable broth or sub chicken broth if not vegan
  • 9 oz tagliatelle cooked
  • fresh basil to serve, optional
  • parmesan cheese to serve, optional
Instructions
  • Sauté the veggies and lentils. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, and add the shallot and garlic. Cook until softened, about 6 minutes.
    Add the seasoning and lentils and give it a quick stir in the pan.
    2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 shallot, 4 garlic cloves, 1 cup green lentils, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1 pinch salt and pepper, 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • Make the bolognese sauce. Add broth, marinara sauce, and fire-roasted diced tomatoes to the same saucepan. Bring to a simmer and reduce to low heat.
    Continue simmering until the liquid has reduced in half and the lentils are tender about 25-30 minutes.
    1, 25 oz jar of marinara, 1, 14 oz fire-roasted diced tomatoes, 2 cup vegetable broth
  • Cook the noodles. Cook the pasta in a large pot with salted water. Cook according to the package instructions.
    9 oz tagliatelle
  • Serve and enjoy. Add noodles to a plate and a few spoonfuls of lentil bolognese sauce on top. Top it with fresh basil and vegan parmesan cheese, and enjoy!
    fresh basil, parmesan cheese
Course: Entrees, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian-Inspired
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Nutrition Facts
Serving1gCalories367.91kcalCarbohydrates60.65gProtein16.38gFat7.27gSaturated Fat1.25gPolyunsaturated Fat1.37gMonounsaturated Fat4.05gTrans Fat0.03gCholesterol35.72mgSodium709.94mgPotassium780.96mgFiber13.56gSugar8.11gVitamin A863.51IUVitamin C12.18mgCalcium79.79mgIron4.9mg
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