I’ve made an easy, tasty lentil Bolognese which only takes 20 minutes. It’s perfect for indulgent lunch-times and quick mid-week dinners.
My lentil bolognese only calls for four fresh ingredients – the humble onion, garlic, carrot and mushroom. The rest can be found in your cupboard. Therefore, it’s perfect for those on a budget and in times when food stocks are low.
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How do you make vegan Bolognese sauce?
A vegan bolognese sauce isn’t that much different to traditional recipes. The veggies and seasoning all stay the same – you just need to swap out meat for a plant-based protein.
Lentils are a great cupboard staple to use for this recipe. As I explain in my IGTV tutorial of this recipe, they boast a lot of protein. One tin provides 16g! Lentils are also a safe option if you suffer from food intolerances.
If you’re fortunate to not have any food intolerances, then a high-protein choice would be soy mince. 100g provides you with 20g of protein which is pretty much the same as what minced beef would provide you. Plus, it’s got the bonus of being less fattening and it’s more ethical all-round.
You can find soy mince quite easily. Here’s a small handful of brands to try:
- Sainsbury’s Plant Pioneer
- Granose Soy
- Naked Glory
- The Meatless Farm
Why should I add red wine to my vegan bolognese?
Another traditional step to making Bolognese sauce is the addition of wine. Both red and white wine add a gorgeous depth of flavour. Where red creates a rich and robust sauce, white imparts a fruity flavour. For best results, add the wine just after the veggies have softened and before you allow it to simmer. That way you’ll leave enough time for all the flavours to develop.
Don’t forget to pour yourself a glass while you’re at it…
Bear in mind that not all wine is vegan. Isinglass is a form of gelatine derived from fish bladders, and it’s used in the filtering process of most wine production. However, there’s no real difference in taste and, rest assured many supermarkets stock vegan wines nowadays. It’s simply a case of checking the label. The following UK supermarkets are well-praised for their stocks of vegan wine:
- The Co-op
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How can I make this lentil bolognese healthier?
With any pasta recipes, I always advise choosing whole wheat pasta if possible as it’s more healthy than white. Whole wheat is packed with nutrients such as complex carbs, protein, fibre, iron, magnesium, and zinc. White pasta is made with refined carbs, meaning it has been stripped of many nutrients during its processing.
Alternatively, if you fancy something even lighter, you could choose to serve it with spiralised veggies e.g. courgetti.
If you love pasta recipes then you might also like these:
- 15 MINUTE Vegan Ragu
- Creamy Mushroom Pasta with Fresh Parsley and Spinach
- 20 MINUTE Spaghetti Arrabiatta with Tasty Vegan Meatballs
I hope you enjoy making this. Be sure to leave me a comment, rate this recipe and tag me on Instagram. I love seeing photos of you recreating my recipes – it makes me smile!
Don’t forget to follow along on Facebook and Instagram too – I’d love to see you there!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium white onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or 1 heaped tsp of garlic puree
- 200ml boiling water
- 1 low sodium vegetable stock cube
- 1/2 tsp Sea salt
- Black pepper
- 1/2 tsp mixed herbs
- 150g mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp of tomato puree
- 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp free-from green pesto
- 50ml of vegan red wine
- 1 can of green lentils or 200g soy mince
- 2 portions of whole wheat spaghetti
- 1 litre boiling water
- Sea salt
- Nutritional Yeast (optional)
- Vegan Parmesan (optional)
- Put a full kettle on babe!
- Meanwhile, place your pan onto a low-medium heat with the olive oil. Then prepare your onion and garlic. When ready, add them to the pan with a dash of water to help steam them through.
- Then in a jug, dissolve your veg stock in 200ml of boiling water from the kettle and leave to one side.
- Next, put enough spaghetti on to cook for how many are eating. Use the packet instructions for reference. For this, I put 2 portions on with 1 litre of boiling water from the kettle and a pinch of salt.
- Once the onion and garlic have softened, add your can of green lentils along with your salt, black pepper, half the stock and mixed herbs. Leave that to simmer while you quickly prepare the mushroom and carrot.
- Stir in the mushrooms, carrot, the remaining stock and tinned tomatoes along with another small dash of water. Here, you can fill (and swirl around) the empty tin of chopped tomatoes with a little water to use up any leftover tomato juice from the tin.
- Then stir in the tomato puree, free-from green pesto and vegan red wine. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, drain the spaghetti and leave to one side.
- Once the sauce has simmered, you can rinse the spaghetti with boiling water to warm it. Then serve with your lentil Bolognese. Sprinkle over some herbs, nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan. Enjoy!
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