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Why I love this lentil bolognese recipe
One of our goals this year is to make our food more budget-friendly. It’s not that we were spending huge dollar amounts on groceries every month, but we never really kept track of what we were eating and how much we were spending on food.
So this year, we decided it would be smart to start tracking it, and as a result, I decided to challenge myself to stay well under our budget.
And, guess what. Meat is expensive and beans are cheap. On top of that, beans are also much more environmentally-friendly choice, and that means we are trying to incorporate them into more meals.
My secret goal (ok, maybe not so secret now that I’m telling you about it) to have one bean-based meal a week, but it’s not something I’m going to drive myself nuts over.
Anyway, this slow cooker lentil bolognese is one of the first new recipes I’ve tried with that goal in mind, and I’m sure you’re going to love it as much as I do.
Here’s what you’ll need to make it
How to make lentil bolognese
Sauté the vegetables. Heat olive oil in large skillet to medium-high. Add the onion, carrots, celery. Let them cook, stirring as needed, until they have softened and the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and continue cooking for another minute.
Simmer the lentils. Add the rest of the ingredients and cover the pan. Reduce heat to medium-low and let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils have softened completely.
Serve over pasta. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve of your favorite pasta.
FAQs and tips for cooking lentils
This recipe should last for up to 5 days in the fridge. After that, you’ll want to freeze it or dispose of any remaining leftovers.
This recipe holds up really well in the freezer so it’s a great option for making ahead of time or meal prepping. Store in an airtight container and freeze for up to 6 months.
Yes! You can easily make this recipe gluten free by using gluten free broth when making the sauce. You’ll also want to serve your lentil bolognese over gluten free pasta.
Yes. You will want to reduce the liquid in the recipe to almost nothing. I would recommend adding the canned lentils and tomatoes with no more than 1/2 cup of water for simmering.
This recipe would be great with:
- Olive oil bread dip
- Almond cheese
- Mediterranean quinoa salad
- Brandy old fashioned
- Homemade chocolate pudding
More vegan pasta sauce recipes:Print
This simple, lentil bolognese is hearty, comforting and full of flavor – everything a pasta sauce should be. This easy recipe can be made in one pot on the stove or in a crockpot. Serve it over spaghetti – or even spaghetti squash for a healthy alternative.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Mains
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups sweet onion, diced
- 2 carrots, grated (about 1 cup)
- 3 celery stalks, diced (about 1 cup)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- 8 ounces dried lentils, rinsed and picked through
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high.
- Add onion, celery, carrots with a pinch of salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and the vegetables have softened – about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and continue to cook until fragrant, about 1 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients and cover the skillet. Bring to liquid to a strong simmer and allow the lentils to cook until softened, about 30 minutes.
- If needed, add additional water to thin sauce and adjust seasoning with salt & pepper before serving.
Slow cooker instructions:
- Add all the ingredients to a slow cooker, mix together until combined.
- Cook on low for 4 – 5 hours, or until lentils have softened and sauce is thick.
- Add water to thin out sauce if necessary, and adjust seasoning with salt & pepper to taste.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 250
- Sugar: 10.8 g
- Sodium: 758.9 mg
- Fat: 5.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 41.4 g
- Fiber: 8 g
- Protein: 12.3 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: dairy free, vegan, gluten free, vegetarain, easy, pasta sauce, pasta, lentils
Last Updated on October 28, 2021 by Melissa Belanger