Easy Vegan Red Lentil Bolognese
Easy Vegan Red Lentil Bolognese- red lentils and walnuts make for a hearty sauce that’s packed full of protein, iron and heart healthy omega-3s. Comes together in just 30 minutes!
I’ve been meal planning for so long that it feels like my religion at this point. I do it once per week, every week so that we can avoid multiple trips to the store. Not just because of recent events. This is something I’ve done for over a decade. Call me crazy but I’m a food blogger that hates going grocery shopping.
One thing that I find makes meal planning so much easier is having designated nights for certain meals. For example:
- Spaghetti Monday
- Taco Tuesday
- Pizza Wednesday
- Salad Thursday
- Burger Friday, etc.
I realize that doesn’t sound like the healthiest lineup of meals but when you cook plant-based versions made with whole foods, all of those options can be really nutritious! Like this red lentil bolognese. It’s become my go-to for spaghetti night. A combination of red lentils and walnuts makes for a hearty sauce that’s packed full of protein, iron and heart healthy omega-3s. Plus you can easily serve it with zucchini noodles for a lighter option!
What I love about this vegan bolognese is that it’s made almost entirely from pantry ingredients!
- Onion and Garlic- These are the only two produce items you’ll need.
- Red Lentils- I prefer to use red lentils for this recipe because they cook quickly and lose their shape a bit easier than green lentils which makes for the perfect texture.
- Diced or Crushed Tomatoes- Depending on whether or not you prefer a chunky texture, either diced or crushed tomatoes will work. You’ll pour them in the pot along with their juices.
- Tomato Paste- This is a must for rich and robust tomato flavor.
- Dried Herbs- Dried basil and oregano are my go-to for spaghetti sauce but feel free to use whatever herbs you like!
- Walnuts- Finely chopped walnuts add texture and heartiness to the sauce while also providing a boost of protein and healthy fats.
Made In Just One Pot
Here’s how easy this red lentil bolognese is to make:
- Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil.
- Add the diced/crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, salt/pepper and dried herbs.
- Pour in the broth and red lentils. Bring to a simmer and cook until lentils are tender.
- Stir in finely chopped walnuts.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
- Make it Nut-free: Omit the walnuts or substitute finely chopped sunflower seeds. I recommend using a food processor for the best texture.
- Lighten it Up: Serve with spiralized zucchini noodles for a lower carb option.
- Add More Vegetables: Finely chopped bell pepper, carrots or mushrooms would all make great additions.
Looking for more vegan pasta recipes?
- Roasted Broccoli and Chickpea Lemon Pasta
- Lemon Cream Pasta with Spinach
- Creamy Tomato Spinach Pasta
- Tomato Corn Orzo with White Wine Butter Sauce
- Creamy Cauliflower Hemp Alfredo Sauce
- One-Pot Summer Vegetable Skillet Lasagna
Easy Vegan Red Lentil Bolognese
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 30 ounces diced or crushed tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon salt & pepper
- ½ cup dried red lentils, rinsed and picked over
- ½ cup vegetable broth , or water
- ½ cup walnuts , finely chopped
- In a large pot or skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, until translucent. Next add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- To the pot, pour in the tomatoes with their juices, tomato paste, herbs, salt & pepper. Stir to combine. Add the lentils and broth then bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, until lentils are tender and broth has absorbed.
- Lastly, stir in the walnuts and cook until heated through. Serve warm with cooked pasta and enjoy!