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Easy Lentil Bolognese

This recipe for Lentil Bolognese is so rich and satisfying, you won't miss the meat! Serve over pasta or enjoy it on its own.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Vegetarian
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6
Calories: 250kcal
Author: Colleen Kennedy


  • 1 1/2 TBS grapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 3/4 chopped carrots
  • 4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 4 TBS tomato paste
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 1 TBS Italian seasoning
  • 1 TBS fresh minced Rosemary or Thyme either one or both is a lovely addition
  • Kosher Salt and black pepper don't be shy
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup red wine optional, see notes
  • 1 cup lentils
  • Parsley and Parmesan cheese for garnish


  • Add oil to a medium pot over medium-high heat and saute onions and carrots for 5-8, stirring often minutes just until they start to brown.
  • Add in garlic and saute one minute more.
  • Next add in tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, lentils Italian seasoning, herbs, salt, pepper, vegetable broth, wine if using and stir to combine.
  • Add lentils, cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring often.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • Cook until lentils are done to your liking adding additional vegetable broth or water if necessary.


Reduce the amount of sodium by using low sodium chicken broth.
This is a very forgiving recipe and its easily adaptable to your tastes.
We use regular dried lentils for this (Goya brand usually and they are greenish-brown in color).
If you enjoy spicy food, add in a chopped jalapeno, red pepper flakes or both.
If you want more vegetables, you can add in chopped red or green peppers or even small sweet potato cubes.
The fresh herbs are not necessary however I feel they help make the dish shine.
Sometimes I simply add just water as the liquid and sometimes vegetable broth. I've even used chicken broth. If I have an open bottle of red or white wine, I toss in a half a cup, if not, I replace that with broth or water (so, in the end, I add 1 1/2 cups liquid).
If you enjoy the texture of tomatoes, you can swap out the crushed tomatoes for diced tomatoes. If you can get your hands on fire-roasted tomatoes (crushed or diced...I say always choose those).
It's easy to make this dish your own.


Serving: 6g | Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 402mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 11g