Lentil Bolognese

Although I am not a vegan or even a vegetarian, I do enjoy meatless recipes a lot – especially pasta sauces! This is one of my favourite sauces to have with pasta.

This vegan bolognese is packed with nutrients – phytochemicals, vitamin K, beta carotene (vitamin A), vitamin C, iron, and fibre – just to name a few. And if your little ones (or your spouse) are picky about eating their vegetables, you can blend the whole sauce completely for a smoother pasta sauce. You can also add any other kind of vegetable to this sauce and see how you like it!

When it comes to the mushrooms, feel free to use whichever kind you like best. I used button mushrooms, but would like to try portobello next time.

I used red lentils for this recipe. You can use any kind of cooked lentils.

If you prefer a more liquid sauce, simply add more broth/water as you let it simmer.

Personally, I don’t like parsley or Parmesan much, so I would omit these and just use cilantro. However, if you enjoy them, you can garnish the sauce at the end.

This sauce can be prepared in advance. If you do this, place the sauce into small containers so it cools quicker. Refrigerate as soon as it cools. When you are ready for dinner, reheat it in a sauce pan and serve immediately.

Lentil Bolognese

Pasta sauce suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian


  • olive oil
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp oregano, dried
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary, dried
  • 1 tsp basil, dried
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • cayenne pepper or Tabasco hot sauce to taste, optional
  • 2 cups lentils, cooked
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or water
  • parsley or cilantro for garnish, optional
  • Parmesan cheese, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Chop the onions.
  • Dice the garlic very fine.
  • Dice carrots, bell pepper, celery into small, even pieces (this will ensure they cook evenly and quickly).
  • Heal olive oil at medium-high heat.
  • Cook the onions until they are translucent and soft.
  • Add all of the other vegetables and let brown without burning them.
  • Add tomato paste, garlic, rosemary, basil, oregano, bay leaves, sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper/Tabasco hot sauce. Cook for a couple minutes.
  • Add lentils, crushed tomatoes, and broth. Bring the sauce to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and let simmer for at least 20 minutes.
  • Remove sauce pan from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Using an immersion blender, lightly blend the sauce so it still retains some texture and you can see some of the lentils and vegetables.
  • Garnish with parsley/cilantro and Parmesan cheese (optional).
  • Enjoy over your choice of pasta.