Lentil Bolognese Sauce

You know I like to cook with lower fat  for a healthier diet. Today I’m offering a vegetarian Bolognese sauce when you sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on it. If you need a vegan version, drop the cheese. Bolognese sauce is traditionally a meat sauce with tomatoes, carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Today’s pantry recipe replaces the meat with lentils and mushrooms. It requires lentils, mushrooms, herbs, and crushed tomatoes to make a go-to-sauce for pasta, stuffed peppers, and even lasagna.  Add a little dry red wine (or white) to the simmering sauce; the alcohol will burn off. Wine adds another note of deeper, richer flavor. This is a great inexpensive week night meal that’s ready in less than 50 minutes.

Broader pastas have been used in Italy with Bolognese sauce, but you can use the pasta of your choice. Use whole wheat pasta, gluten-free pasta, or even zucchini spirals or spaghetti squash. Feel free to adapt the recipe to meet your family’s taste. 

Carol's kitchen veggies

Lentil Bolognese Sauce

Lentil Bolognese Sauce is vegetarian, full of flavor, and high in plant-based protein. This hearty sauce served over pasta makes the perfect weeknight dinner recipe
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword bolognese sauce, lentil bolognese sauce, lentils and mushrooms, vegan bolognese sauce, vegetarian, vegetarian bolognese sauce
Servings 4


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can (15 oz) green or brown lentils drained & rinsed
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 4 oz baby bella or button mushrooms diced
  • 1/2 cup dry red or white wine
  • 1 can (14 oz) can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat olive oil in large pan
  • Add onion and cook for 4 minutes
  • Add garlic, celery, carrot, and red bell pepper
  • Stir and cook for 4 minutes
  • Add mushrooms & stir for about 2 minutes
  • Pour wine in and simmer until slightly reduced about 1 minute
  • Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, & broth
  • Bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes
  • Add lentils, paprika, & herbs,
  • Cook until lentils are heated through about 5 or 6 minutes
  • Spoon over broad cooked pasta and stir
  • Sauce is also good over baked potatoes or polenta
  • Serve with grated parmesan, garlic bread and a salad
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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

19 thoughts to “Lentil Bolognese Sauce”

  1. My family loves lentil bolognese but I try and vary the recipe if I can. Yours sounds delicious with the mushrooms in it. I don’t usually add them to mine.


  2. Ohhhhh, I need to try this! I am always looking for new vegetarian recipes, and this looks absolutely delicious. Pinning! Thanks for sharing this post with us at the Will Blog for Comments #39 linkup. Hope to see you next time at #40 sharing more posts, old or new! Have a great weekend.

  3. Love this recipe and illustrations. Lentils are a favorite source of protein for me and I love the idea of combiningthem with pasta and sauce. Thanks for sharing this yummy looking recipe. Nancy Andres @ Colors 4 Health

    1. I’ve missed talking to you. I’ve tried to go to your blog several times but can’t seem to make a connection. I hope you’re well my friend. Take care.

  4. Oh yummy! We love bolognese and have tried lentil bolognese before. My kids loved it. Thanks for sharing Carol, hope you’ve had a lovely weekend.

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