Packed full of flavour and goodness, this Easy Lentil Bolognese is quick and simple to cook and perfect for batch cooking! It’s also pretty cheap to make, so ideal if you are trying to be frugal at the moment. Plus, it’s vegetarian, vegan, gluten and dairy free!
Perfect comfort food
When the weather outside is decidedly chilly, my stomach craves hearty comfort food… and there aren’t many meals more comforting or hearty than this delicious Easy Lentil Bolognese.
Better still, this hearty bolognese sauce is quick and simple to make and, since the main ingredient is lentils, it is also very easy on the wallet!
Ideal for batch cooking
Not only is this vegan lentil bolognese easy, hearty and frugal – it’s also the perfect candidate for batch cooking! It hardly takes any extra effort to make twice as much and then portion up the leftovers and pop them in the fridge or freezer for an even easier meal another day. (See below for freezing and reheating guidelines.)
I love to make a big vat of this and then save the leftovers in individual portions for quick and easy weekday lunches. Beats a sad-looking sandwich, in taste AND nutrition, any day!
Full of goodness
And best of all, this Easy Lentil Bolognese is packed full of goodness. For starters, it contains FIVE different vegetables (onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes, and garlic) as well as nutritious lentils. Thanks to those lentils, this bolognese sauce is low in fat and full of fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals. Lentils also count as one of your five-a-day!
What to serve with lentil bolognese?
This Easy Lentil Bolognese is delicious with all types of pasta – but especially spaghetti! If you want to make this dish super-healthy, why not serve it with healthy wholewheat pasta? My favourite way to serve this is mixed into wholewheat spaghetti or penne. I think it actually tastes nicer with wholewheat spaghetti than the standard white stuff. (And if you need this to be gluten-free, then obviously make sure you use gluten-free pasta!)
If you want to sprinkle some cheese on the top, why not try some vegan parmesan, which is widely available these days? Or, if you don’t need this to be vegan/vegetarian/dairy-free, you can serve this with regular parmesan! (Do bear in mind that parmesan is not suitable for vegetarians, so use vegetarian parmesan-style cheese if you want to make this vegetarian-friendly). Personally, though, I love this lentil bolognese sauce just as it is – without any kind of cheese!
What to drink with lentil bolognese?
Well, if you are wanting to be super healthy, then you might want to stick to water! But otherwise, this Easy Lentil Bolognese goes beautifully with a simple Chianti or Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.
If you prefer white, go for a crisp, dry, Italian white such as Pinot Grigio or Verdicchio.
Can you reheat lentil bolognese?
Absolutely! Place any leftover bolognese sauce in a plastic lidded container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To reheat, place the bolognese sauce in a saucepan and add a splash of water. Cook over a gentle heat for about 5 minutes until piping hot. Alternatively reheat in the microwave until piping hot all the way through.
Can you freeze lentil bolognese?
Definitely – this recipe was MADE for batch cooking and filling the freezer! Place any leftover bolognese sauce in a plastic lidded container and store in the freezer for up to 1 month.
When you want to use it, defrost the lentil bolognese sauce in the fridge overnight, then reheat as above.
A 2 in 1 recipe!
This lentil bolognese recipe can be very easily turned into soup! Simply add extra water or vegetable stock to the bolognese sauce to turn it into a delicious vegan lentil soup and serve with crusty bread!
If you like lentil bolognese…
… you might also like:
Easy Lentil Bolognese (Vegan)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion finely diced (see note)
- 1 stick of celery finely diced (see note)
- 1 large carrot finely diced (see note)
- 3 cloves garlic crushed or grated
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- ½ teaspoon chilli flakes (or more to taste!)
- 250 g red lentils
- 400 g tin chopped tomatoes (or passata)
- 800 ml water (fill the empty tomatoes tin up twice!)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Wholewheat spaghetti (or any other type of pasta)
- Vegan or regular parmesan (or similar hard cheese)
- Place the oil, onion, celery and carrot into a wide, deep saucepan and fry over a low heat, with the lid on, for 3-4 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not brown, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic, fennel seeds and chilli and cook for 1 more minute, stirring regularly.
- Add the lentils, tomatoes, water, oregano, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Turn up the heat and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat right down to a gentle simmer.
- Put the lid back on and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and the sauce is thick. (Stir the bolognese sauce occasionally and add an extra splash of water if it starts to stick.)
- While the sauce is simmering, cook your pasta according to packet instructions, or your own preferences.
- When the sauce is ready, stir the pasta into the sauce and serve just as it is, or with vegan (or regular) cheese, if you prefer.
- To make this lentil bolognese even quicker and easier, use 200g ready prepared soffritto mix instead of the finely diced onions, celery and carrot.
- Suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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