This basic Lentil Bolognese recipe is an essential in the vegan kitchen. Lentils are not only delicious, they're cheap, filling and incredibly versatile and this recipe can form the backbone for all kinds of other meals.
‼How to pre-cook lentils.
This recipe calls for 500g of cooked puy or green lentils. To make this easier, I like to cook a whole 500g pack (dried weight) of lentils all at once, adding two bay leaves and a halved onion to them. To cook, cover the lentils generously with water & simmer for around 45 minutes. Be careful not to let the water run dry. The lentils are cooked when they are squishy and tender.
I then portion them out into containers & freeze what I don't use, ready to pop into whatever it is I'm cooking..such as this easy Bolognese recipe. You can also use pre-cooked tinned or packaged lentils for this recipe.
👩🍳Easy How to Instructions:
I've included a few variations within the ingredients. Add them all...or none. Switch it up according to your tastes. Or get creative and add other extras. Different herbs, a few extra tomatoes or some other veggies can all easily be added to create interest and new flavours.
Don't just use this easy Lentil Bolognese over spaghetti, it's also brilliant as a pie filling, under a layer of pillowy mashed potatoes for a shepherdess pie or even to make vegan sausage rolls with.
❓FAQ for Basic Vegan Lentil Bolognese.
We suggest Puy, Green or Beluga Lentils.
You can just leave it out. Or add a little bit of balsamic vinegar.
To cook a whole 500g pack (dried weight) of lentil add two bay leaves and a halved onion in a pan. To cook, cover the lentils generously with water & simmer for around 30-45 minutes. How long they take depends on their type and how old they are. Be careful not to let the water run dry. The lentils are cooked when they are squishy and tender.
Pasta is great.
Or mashed potatoes.
Use as a pie filling.
Or underneath mashed potatoes as a Shepherdess Pie.
They make a great burrito or taco filling too.
I like to serve my Bolognese with some vegan 'parmesan' (also known as Pangritata) - Find my easy to make recipe for it here: Vegan Parmesan: Cheezy, Spicy, Herby Crunchies for Pasta (Pangritata)
We're big fans of pasta here at The Vegan Larder.. why not try some of these recipes too:Garlicky White Beans & Greens Pasta
Or this delicious Vegan Smoked Garlic & Wild Mushroom Pasta
For a super quick recipe: Vegan Creamy Cannellini Bean & Tomato Pasta
How do you make your lentil bolognese? Leave a comment below with your additions or suggestions?!
Basic Lentil Bolognese
- 1 tin tomatoes
- 2 Tbs tomato paste
- 1 large onion very finely chopped
- 1 large carrot very finely chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 500 g cooked puy or green lentils Tinned or pre-packed is fine.
- ⅓ cup red wine
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp Marmite or Vegemite Or other yeast extract
Optional Extras- Add All or None of these. Create your Bolognese as you like it!
- Optional extras- add all or none of these!:
- 1 tsp Chilli powder
- Handful halved cherry tomatoes
- A few drops of liquid smoke
- Fresh herbs to sprinkle on at the end
- 50 g Dried Soya Mince (This creates a more "meaty" Texture. N.B. you will need to add a little extra water if using this)
- In a large pan sautee the onions, garlic (if using) & carrot in the olive oil until soft.
- Add the tomato paste and stir until combined.
- Add the lentils, herbs, wine, tin of tomatoes, Marmite or Vegemite plus any other optional extras and simmer for around 20 mins.
- Serve over spaghetti, or as a filling for a pie or with some mash.