This easy lentil bolognese recipe is a quick weeknight meal that just so happens to be vegan and gluten free. It’s filled with flavor and a great way to switch up pasta, plus it comes together in under 30 minutes!
Turns out, I’m a huge fan of lentil bolognese! Ok so I already knew I was, and I already knew it was incredibly easy to prepare, but I really like it. The texture of the lentils does a great job at mimicking meat–and include protein–so it really is a complete meal.
WHY THIS LENTIL BOLOGNESE IS SO GOOD
- It’s vegan AND gluten free, so anyone can enjoy it
- It comes together in under 30 minutes, making it a quick weeknight dinner
- The flavor is incredible and it’s a great way to sneak protein into a vegetarian dish
LENTIL BOLOGNESE INGREDIENTS
- Mushrooms: White or baby bella
- Diced tomatoes: I always prefer fire roasted diced tomatoes because they have more flavor.
- Tomato Sauce: Use your favorite kind! I used an arrabbiata sauce for a little extra heat, but any sauce will work.
HOW TO MAKE LENTIL BOLOGNESE
Cook the pasta: This part is easy–just cook pasta over the stovetop as you normally would.
Make the sauce: Don’t worry, this is easy too! Start by sautéing the onion, garlic, mushrooms, and spices until they’re soft. The mushrooms help to add a little more texture and nutrition to this dish, so don’t omit them! If you hate mushrooms, use shredded carrots instead.
Next, add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, lentils, and water and stir so that everything is mixed together. For the diced tomatoes, don’t drain out any of the liquid; instead, pour the entire can into the skillet. Bring the bolognese to a simmer and simmer for approximately 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the lentils are cooked. If it seems too thick, add an additional 1/4 cup of water.
Make sure to do a taste test before serving! I used arrabbiata sauce (spicy tomato sauce) and the 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, which I thought was the perfect amount of flavor. If you use a more traditional sauce and want to add more spice, add more red pepper flakes. Or, omit the spice altogether and add some chopped fresh basil.
HOW SHOULD I STORE LENTIL BOLOGNESE?
Be sure to store any leftover pasta in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
CHECK OUT THESE OTHER PASTA RECIPES
Lentil Bolognese Recipe (vegan + gluten free)
- 1 lb. favorite gluten free pasta
- 1/2 cup yellow onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup white mushrooms diced
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- 14 oz. fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 24 oz. favorite pasta sauce
- 1 cup lentils (red or tri-colored) rinsed
- 3/4 cup water
- Cook the pasta over the stove as you normally would.
- In a large skillet, add the onion, garlic, mushrooms, oregano, red pepper, salt and pepper, along with 1 tbsp olive oil, and sauté for 3-5 minutes until the onion and mushrooms are soft.
- Next, add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, lentils and water and stir to combine. Simmer mixture for 15-18 minutes, or until lentils are cooked, stirring occasionally.
- Serve lentil bolognese over pasta, sprinkle with additional red pepper flakes (+ parmesan cheese if not vegan) and enjoy!