Lentil Bolognese

lentil bolognese and noodles in pan next to a bowl of fresh basil

My husband hates spaghetti.

Honestly, I don’t know what is wrong with him.

My kids though? It is in their top 3. So whenever he has to work late, we make spaghetti.

Usually, I just cook some noodles and warm up some red sauce. Because time and kids.

But sometimes I want something more. More bite. More texture. More flavor.

overhead of separate ingredients on gray background

On those nights, I make lentil bolognese. And boy they are happy nights!

Lentil bolognese has an almost meaty texture because of the lentils, walnuts, and sun-dried tomatoes. You don’t want to skip out on any of these ingredients.

I like to use black lentils because I love their taste and how well they hold their texture. But I have made this recipe with french green, brown, and red lentils and it tasted great with each type. Use whatever you have on hand!

holding a bowl of pasta with some on a fork

The best part of the sauce is the sun-dried tomatoes. You can buy them in oil or without oil. Either works great. I like to add them to the sauce when there are about 10 minutes left in the cooking time. If you don’t have any sun-dried tomatoes, don’t let that stop you from making this recipe! It will still turn out great.

Classic bolognese has celery, carrots, and onions in it. I don’t put celery in mine but if that is your jam you can easily add it. And the carrots? I usually grate them because it is faster and my kids like it better. You can also dice them without changing the flavor.

Now is the time for a very important question. Do you put your pasta into your sauce or do you put the sauce on top of your pasta? I like to add my sauce to my pasta. I know most people tell you to do it the other way. But I guess I’m just weird.

Now, go make some delicious sauce! Top it with vegan parmesan and olives and enjoy your night!

Lentil Bolognese

A vegan lentil bolognese that is perfect for a cozy night!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time50 mins
Servings: 4 people


  • 2 cups onions diced
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cans tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes sliced
  • 1 tbsp balsamic or red-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup plant based milk
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • fresh basil garnish


  • Saute the onion, garlic, and carrot until fragrant.
  • Add the tomato paste a saute for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients except for the milk to the pan and cover.
  • Cook until lentils are soft. Add more water if necessary.
  • Add sun-dried tomatoes about half-way through.
  • When lentils are soft, add the vinegar, milk, and black pepper. Adjust seasoning if needed.
  • Serve with noodles of choice.
  • Garnish with fresh basil and enjoy!


Cook your noodles during the last ten minutes of cooking time so that they are done roughly the same time as your sauce. 
*use a high-quality balsamic vinegar for optimal flavor



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