This vegan lentil bolognese is the easiest and most made dinner recently. It is super easy to throw together, is extra cozy and full of amazing flavors. Using a few shortcuts, this dinner is made in under 25 minutes and is vegan, gluten free and grain free.
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This recipe for vegan lentil bolognese is the recipe that has been on the weekly dinner rotation for weeks on end. I honestly have no idea why this recipe has not entered my life until 2020 but I do know that it will not be going anywhere any time soon. It is incredibly easy to make using only a few ingredients, minimal time and a hearty mix of vegetables.
Whether you are going plant based, have been a long time vegan or eat anything and everything, I guarantee this recipe will be winner for you!
SO… what will you need to make this vegan lentil bolognese?
- Steamed Lentils
- Olive Oil
- Tomato Sauce
- Dried Basil
- Dried Oregano
Easy Cooking Hacks:
I first discovered pre-steamed lentils in the refrigerator section of Trader Joe’s. I have always wanted to incorporate lentils more often in my recipes, but it seemed like whenever I wanted to use lentils, I had limited time. However recently, I discovered Melissa’s steamed lentils at Wegman’s so between those two brands, I always have one of them on hand.
My second quick trick is using pre-made tomato sauce. Finding a quality brand, such as Rao’s Homemade, that does not have any added sugar is key for me. By using tomato sauce vs. canned tomatoes, you reduce the time needed for the tomatoes to cook down and decrease acidity.
Can I make any substitutions or add more ingredients?
- Lentils: Feel free to use either red, green or a mix of lentils. You can also steam your own lentils instead of using pre-cooked
- Meat: If you want to add ground chicken, beef, pork or turkey to this recipe, you can either replace the lentils or add in additional. If adding the ground meat, add 1 cup of broth or more tomato sauce for 1 pound of meat.
- Spinach: you can easily remove the spinach or replace/add kale for a different, hearty green!
- Mushrooms: You can remove these if you would prefer. If you want you can replace with chopped up bell peppers or zucchini using the same measurements.
- Cheese: This recipe does not include any cheese, but feel free to add!
Storing the bolognese:
Store in the fridge for up to 1 week. If you aren’t eating them immediately, you can store them in freezer in freezer safe container for up to 6 months.
What to pair with the bolognese:
There are many ways to enjoy the lentil bolognese. You can eat it alone or add on top of your favorite whole grain pasta, chickpea pasta, brown rice pasta or spaghetti squash. All of these are great options. If you try this with another base and enjoy it, leave it in the comments below!
Need more Italian recipes? Check these out!
- Pesto Chicken and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
- Chicken Parm Stuffed Meatballs
- One Pan Spinach Artichoke and Tomato Pasta
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Vegan Lentil Bolognese
- Saute Pan
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 255 g package steamed lentils 1 package
- 1 white onion
- 2 cups carrots diced
- 4 cups spinach
- 15 oz tomato sauce about 1 jar
- 3 cups mushrooms diced
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- Start by dicing your onions, carrots and mushrooms
- Add olive oil, onion and carrots into a pot and cook on medium heat for about 4-5 minutes.
- Add in mushrooms and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
- Then add the steamed lentils, tomato sauce, spinach, dried basil and oregano to the pot and bring to a simmer.
- Cover and cook on low/medium for about 15 minutes.
- Serve with pasta of choice or spaghetti squash