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+ servings
a bowl of pasta with lentils and red sauce
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4.98 from 39 votes

Lentil Bolognese Recipe (vegan + gluten free)

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!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: bolognese, lentil bolognese, vegan bolognese
Servings: 4
Calories: 444kcal
Author: Erin


  • .75 lb. favorite gluten free pasta
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup white mushrooms diced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 14 oz. fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 24 oz. favorite pasta sauce*
  • 1 cup lentils (green or brown) rinsed
  • 2 cups water or more (see notes)


  • 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 tablespoon 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. Place a lid on the skillet, bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer it for 18-25 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!



*I love using a spicy tomato sauce--like an arrabbiata sauce--for this! It gives it even more flavor. 
*If the lentils still aren't cooked after 25 minutes and/or have absorbed all of the liquid, add an additional 1/2 cup water, stir everything together and cook for 5 more minutes. The amount of water you need largely depends on the size of the skillet you're using. I recommend a large skillet, as the lentils will cook faster and more easily. 
Lentil substitution: I've found that using red lentils instead of green or brown results in an entirely different texture. The red lentils fall apart when cooked, resulting in a mushier texture. If you can, try to use green or brown lentils. 
You CAN freeze this recipe! Simply make it, then wait for it to come to room temperature before scooping it into a plastic bag and storing it in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat: invert plastic bag and pour contents into a large pot or dutch oven. Add 3/4 cup water, then simmer mixture with a lid on for 25-30 minutes, or until it's thawed. 


Calories: 444kcal | Carbohydrates: 91g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1105mg | Potassium: 896mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1208IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 6mg