Red Lentil Bolognese - Conscious Cooking

Red Lentil Bolognese

Have you tried making a lentil bolognese yet? If not, it’s time to try guys! It’s so hearty and delicious, and a very nice alternative to meat bolognese. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good bolognese once in a while, but I also love a meat-free alternative. I think it’s good to change and try new things, and not always making the same recipes. And in this one, I’m not even sure if you will miss the meat. It’s made with similar ingredients as bolognese but the only real difference is that it’s made with brown lentils. The texture will also be a bit different, meaning a little more on the liquid side. If you like real thick sauce, then maybe just cut down a bit on the liquid in the sauce. But the sauce is so tasty and full of veggies (chopped small) which is really great for children.

What to Serve the Sauce With?

Although I served it on spaghetti squash, you could easily use it over zucchini or sweet potato noodles, or gluten-free or regular spaghetti of course. It can also be used to make vegan Sloppy Joes or fill baked sweet potatoes. It’s pretty versatile. Use it the way you would use your traditional bolognese. You can totally keep it simple and use pasta, and go grain-free and go veggies with spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles.

What’s In the Sauce?

  • Onions & garlic
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Mushrooms (can omit if you don’t like!)
  • Herbs & spices
  • Red lentils
  • Whole tomatoes, preferably San Marzano for flavours
  • Chopped walnuts

I hope you enjoy this recipe! I find it extremely flavourful and satisfying, and is perfect on a Fall or Winter day.


More Lentil Recipes on the Blog

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Lentils

Lentil Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Spiced Red Lentil Coconut Stew

Black Lentil Salad with Cider Dressing

Hope you enjoy the recipes!:)


Red Lentil Bolognese

This hearty, healthy vegan "bolognese" sauce is made of red lentils, vegetables and walnuts. It's easy and quick to make. Serve on your favorite pasta, zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash, and serve with freshly grated parmegiano if you like.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 8 oz mushrooms finely chopped
  • 1 carrot peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stalk diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp unrefined salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 28oz can whole tomatoes preferably San Marzano
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth


  • Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 2 minutes. 
  • Add mushrooms, carrots, celery and garlic, as well as salt, bay leaf, thyme, nutmeg, black pepper and red pepper flakes, and cook until vegetables are soft and fragrant, about 10 minutes. 
  • Add red wine, stir and let cook, for about 8 minutes, to evaporate alcohol. 
  • Add canned tomatoes and break them up with a wooden spatula. 
  • Add walnuts and lentils, stir, cover with water or broth and stir again. 
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. 
  • Turn off heat, remove bay leaf and serve over pasta. Add cheese if you like.


If you prefer to omit alcohol, subtitle with broth, or water.

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