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5 from 11 votes

Lentil Bolognese

One-Pot Lentil Bolognese is hearty, flavorful, protein-packed and perfect served over spaghetti! Sure to become a staple recipe in your home.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 245kcal
Author: Nora Taylor


  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped small
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • 2 cups uncooked red lentils
  • 2 cups water, more as needed to thin sauce

For serving


  • In a large skillet or pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrots and celery and sauté for 5-6 minutes until softened.
  • Now add the minced garlic and cook for 1 more minute until fragrant.
  • Pour in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, oregano, sugar, salt and optional red pepper flakes. Stir well until smooth and combined.
  • Add the lentils and 2 cups of water to the pot and stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes. Stir every 5-10 minutes to make sure the lentils don't stick to the bottom and burn. Add another 1/2 cup water or so if needed to thin the sauce if it gets too thick.
  • The lentils should be tender and the sauce thick and flavorful. Serve over spaghetti or other pasta of choice and sprinkle with vegan parmesan if desired. Enjoy!


  1. Gluten-free: The lentil bolognese sauce is gluten free, simply serve over gluten free pasta.
  2. You can substitute green or brown lentils for the red lentils. They will be more obvious in the sauce, but still good.
  3. This recipe makes quite a bit of sauce, making it perfect for meal prep. It will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, and freezes very well.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 767mg | Potassium: 1074mg | Fiber: 18g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 3130IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 7mg