Beans/ Dinner/ Vegetarian

Lentil Bolognese Recipe

Naturally gluten free and vegan, this Lentil Bolognese recipe is a hearty, healthy lentil recipe that’s perfect for topping pasta or just about anything else!

This post was created as part of a relationship in which I was sponsored by Weight Watchers and given a free three month subscription to try their new Personal Coaching product and write about my experience.

Lentil Bolognese

This post may also contain affiliate links.

Lentil Bolognese | https://www.ihearteating.com | #WeightWatchers

This is probably the hardest post that I’ve written. I’m not super comfortable talking about myself, so I tend to just talk about the food instead. Having people criticize my recipes can be hard enough, but sharing extremely personal things like my struggle to lose weight is way (way, way) out of my comfort zone.

I decided that I wanted to share some things about my life, though, because it will make the direction that I’m going in on here make more sense.

In September, I had my third little one. Since this was my third time, I figured I knew what to expect.

Except that this time hasn’t been like the last two time, and I have really been struggling to get my weight loss going this time. I definitely got off track while I was pregnant. I had hyperemesis during the beginning of my pregnancy. Once it was under control, I was hungry constantly, and so I ate.

After being so sick, I was beyond excited to be able to eat and to have food taste good again. It wasn’t just how much I was eating, though.

At first, I craved healthy foods, and I ate lots of veggies and salads and good stuff. Towards the end, I craved more junk food, and that’s when the weight jumped on.

 

Lentil Bolognese | https://www.ihearteating.com | #WeightWatchers

I gained about the same amount of weight during all three of my pregnancies. The last two times, it started to come off right away. I didn’t diet or do anything special to try to lose it, and it took me about a year both times to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight.

This time, though, the weight seems to be pretty happy hanging around. So, when I had the opportunity to try Weight Watchers, I jumped at it. I certainly want to lose this baby weight, but more than that, I want to work on getting healthy again.

I love sweets, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who checks out my site. I really didn’t realize how much sugar I was eating and how my eating habits were affecting my family until my little ones started asking for dessert after breakfast, after lunch, and after dinner. That was when I realized that it’s time to get back to a more balanced diet.

One of the reasons that I wanted to try Weight Watchers was because I wanted to be able to keep cooking and be the one making the choices about what I eat. I know myself well enough to know that if I tried to cut out sugar altogether or give up bread or something like that, that it wouldn’t work for me.

I want to still be able to indulge once in a while; I just have to work on that once in a while part. Since I’ll still be cooking, it also means that my whole family will be eating healthier food right along with me.

Lentil Bolognese | https://www.ihearteating.com | #WeightWatchers

So, why am I telling you all of this? Well, the recipes that I share on here reflect what we’re eating. Everything that shows up on here was first tried out on my family and friends.

So, starting around the beginning of the new year, you’ll be seeing more variety on here. There will still be recipes for rich, decadent desserts, but they will be fewer and farther between, Instead, there will be more recipes for healthier options.

Even though I don’t talk much about my life, I do want to be honest with what I do share. So, I don’t want to pretend like I can eat a lots of cake, cookies, and other no-so-healthy food and lose weight because I can’t. The struggle is real, my friends. And with that, on to the food!

Growing up, my mom made this great dish of lentils and rice, and I loved it. It was one of my favorite dinners, and I still love all lentil recipes. This Lentil Bolognese is my healthier take on pasta sauce. I’m not going to say that you’ll think you’re eating meat when you have this because you won’t.

Instead, this lentil bolognese is delicious in its own right. The sauce is packed with veggies and has lots of flavor.  This sauce is incredibly hearty and super satisfying.

Since it’s so hearty, it’s great served over a sturdy pasta like a rigatoni (whole wheat, extra fiber, or just regular pasta all work). FYI – The brand of red lentils that I used was a 4 point brand, so this sauce was 7 points per serving. There are lots of brands of lentils, so please choose according to your needs.

Want to see just how easy it is to make lentil bolognese? Check out my video!

Lentil Bolognese

Hearty lentil bolognese makes an easy pasta sauce that's full of good-for-you ingredients.

Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 195 kcal
Author i heart eating

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1 rib celery finely chopped
  • 3 large carrots peeled and chopped
  • 7 cloves garlic minced
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2-14.5 ounce cans diced Italian tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons dried sweet basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups red lentils rinsed and picked over
  • 2 cups water

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet.
  2. Add onion, celery, and carrot.
  3. Cook, stirring as needed, until softened, about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, for 30 seconds.
  5. Stir in tomato paste, and cook, stirring it in, for 1 minutes.
  6. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with juice, basil, oregano, baking soda, and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Stir in lentils and water.
  8. Simmer, stirring regularly, until lentils have softened, about 20-30 minutes.

Recipe Notes

*Disclaimer: I'm not a nutritionist. Recipe nutrition facts are estimates. 

Nutrition Facts
Lentil Bolognese
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 195 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 5%
Sodium 414mg 17%
Potassium 782mg 22%
Total Carbohydrates 31g 10%
Dietary Fiber 13g 52%
Sugars 6g
Protein 11g 22%
Vitamin A 70.9%
Vitamin C 13.9%
Calcium 7%
Iron 25.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

More Lentil Recipes!

Lentil Sausage Soup

Beef and Lentil Sloppy Joes

Lentil Sloppy Joes

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135 Comments

  • Reply
    Kristy
    January 26, 2018 at 10:28 am

    Just wanted to thank you for this post. I realize it’s from a few years ago but wanted you to know I appreciate it not looks amazing. I’ve been looking for a recipe like this that does not contain red wine as I can’t have red wine due to migraines. Can’t wait to try it. Sorry to hear others bash your recipes. Hate when people do this everyone is entitled to like different things but there’s no reason to post negative comment like that. I too have struggled with weight and appreciate those who are willing to help others find healthy food to enjoy.

    • Reply
      Kate
      January 27, 2018 at 10:19 am

      Thank you for your kind words!! I hope you enjoy the recipe, and, again, thank you for your kind comment!

  • Reply
    Julie
    November 22, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    Made this for dinner last night. Halved the lentils, added mushrooms and zucchini and it was delicious! Thanks for a great recipe

    • Reply
      Kate
      November 22, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      Great swaps! That sounds really yummy! Thanks for coming back to leave a comment!

      • Reply
        Mary
        November 27, 2017 at 4:05 am

        Silly question, but I’m not a cook so I don’t know the answer, but what does the baking soda do for this recipe, please?

        • Reply
          Kate
          November 27, 2017 at 12:51 pm

          It’s not a silly question! The baking soda just helps to neutralize some of the acidity in the tomato sauce. =)

  • Reply
    Aga
    September 27, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Turned out incredible. I’m just starting out with vegan recipes so this was a pleasant success. I added some mushrooms and fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones. At the end of cooking, I added some nutritional yeast and chopped kale and it was perfect. Thank you for such a tasty and hearty recipe.

    • Reply
      Kate
      September 28, 2017 at 8:39 am

      So glad that you liked it! Sounds like you made some tasty additions! Thank you for taking the time to come back and leave a comment. =)

    • Reply
      Cynthia
      November 3, 2017 at 12:33 am

      Can I make this in an instant pot?? It looks delicious!

      • Reply
        Kate
        November 6, 2017 at 1:07 pm

        I’ve never tried to make it in an Instant Pot. Maybe someone else will be able to jump in on this one.

  • Reply
    Victoria
    September 7, 2017 at 8:35 am

    How many (small-med portions) servings would you say that this recipe makes?

    • Reply
      Kate
      September 7, 2017 at 11:01 am

      It makes a lot! Maybe 16 small-med portions. Since it makes so much sauce, I usually freeze half for another couple meals for my family. Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    Emma
    August 14, 2017 at 11:57 am

    This is absolutely delicious! I’ve been vegetarian for a few months now and barely miss anything. One thing I was dying for was a good bolognese recipe and I came upon this. This recipe makes A TON so in the future I’ll probably cut in half. This time I froze half so hopefully it keeps quite well. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Kate
      August 15, 2017 at 9:31 am

      Thank you so much! It does make a ton. I’ve started freezing half the recipe for later, and then I just thaw and re-heat it. Thank you for taking the time to come back and leave a comment!

  • Reply
    Becca
    June 19, 2017 at 11:51 am

    I cut this recipe in half and it still made quite a bit. I will further reduce the lentils next time. I only used one cup dry lentils and it made a lot–I only ended up using about half of the cooked lentils. I boiled my lentils for 10 min beforehand and then added them with the canned tomatoes and they came out perfect. I also added finely diced zuchinni and mushrooms. I loved the flavor, but my 3 year old was definitely on to the switch. He typically gobbles up his meat bolognese, but was slow to eat this one. I may try pureeing the lentils next time to see if it helps. Great Meatless Monday dish!

    • Reply
      Kate
      June 20, 2017 at 3:53 pm

      Glad you liked it! The zucchini and mushroom sound like tasty additions.

  • Reply
    Maureen Tan Andersen
    April 2, 2017 at 2:08 am

    I tried this recipe and decided to bake it with some cheddar cheese and it’s wonderful! The picky eaters at home woofed them all down in no time! Great recipe and thanks for sharing

    • Reply
      Kate
      April 2, 2017 at 9:52 am

      Yay!! Finding something that picky eaters will actually eat can be such a challenge! Glad this recipe was a winner for you. Thanks for taking the time to come back and leave a comment!

  • Reply
    Jackie
    March 24, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    Hi Kate

    Can I make this sauce without the beans. I just want to use it as a marinara sauce without the beans.

    • Reply
      Kate
      March 25, 2017 at 12:19 pm

      I’m not sure! I’ve never tried it without the lentils. You might be able to make it and skip step 7, but I’m not sure. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Lilia
    March 5, 2017 at 11:52 am

    This was really good and it made a whole lot! My girls loved it.

    • Reply
      Kate
      March 5, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      Thanks! I’m so glad that you and your family enjoyed it! =)

  • Reply
    The Crunchy Urbanite
    March 4, 2017 at 10:38 am

    This is fantastic. I’m technically not vegan, but constantly looking for hearty, nutritious options that really hit the spot — and I’m stirring this right now and tasting it and it’s AMAZING. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Kate
      March 5, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      Thanks so much! I always appreciate hearing from people who like my recipes!

  • Reply
    Susan Anderson
    January 29, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    This recipe is awesome! I did cook the lentils separately and added them halfway through cooking. I enjoyed it over zucchini noodles. Thanks for posting!

    • Reply
      Kate
      January 29, 2017 at 8:07 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for taking the time to come back and leave a comment!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    December 13, 2016 at 9:40 am

    So you can use brown lentils? Just cook longer? Have you tried this in the crock pot?

    • Reply
      Kate
      December 13, 2016 at 10:01 am

      I’ve never tried this recipe with brown lentils. I haven’t tried it in the crock pot either, so I can’t say for sure what changes, if any, would need to be made.

      • Reply
        Catherine Hardy
        December 28, 2016 at 9:05 am

        Hi when you say a can of tomatoe sauce what do you mean?

        • Reply
          Kate
          December 28, 2016 at 9:53 am

          Tomato sauce is a canned product that’s sold near other canned tomato products (i.e. diced tomatoes, whole tomatoes, crushed tomatoes). You can usually find a store brand as well as name brands like Hunt’s, and it’s sold in 8 and 15 ounce cans.

      • Reply
        Amanda
        January 2, 2017 at 2:33 pm

        I’m going to try it with brown lentils in the crock pot. I just made it as a freezer meal. I’ll let you know how it turns out when we make it!

        • Reply
          Kate
          January 3, 2017 at 9:52 am

          Oh! Thank you! I look forward to hearing how it works out!

  • Reply
    Jane
    November 24, 2016 at 7:11 am

    I don’t understand why, but I’m another one who fell victim to the undercooked red lentils! I’ve never had an issue before using them in Indian dishes – they’re usually cooked in about 20 minutes – but I’ve had this on the stove for an hour and a half now and I’ve added at least another 4 cups of water in total, and they’re still not done. Sadly I won’t be giving this recipe another go.

    • Reply
      Kate
      November 24, 2016 at 8:46 am

      I don’t understand why either. There was a discussion in the previous comments about whether issues like altitude could affect the cooking process. Without knowing more, though, it’s hard for me to make any guesses about why the recipe works for some people but not for other people.

    • Reply
      Midwestmiddleage
      February 9, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      Try cooking the lentils separately. The acidic properties of tomatoes will slow down or stop lentils or any beans from cooking.

      • Reply
        Theorose
        March 17, 2017 at 10:26 am

        That’s why there’s baking soda in the ingredients, to neutralise the acid, except it’s not used in the instructions.

        • Reply
          Kate
          March 17, 2017 at 11:22 am

          Yep! It’s in step 6 in case you missed it. =)

  • Reply
    Jen
    October 26, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    1. I had hyperemesis worth both of my pregnancies. It makes it really tough. I lost so much weight at the onset of my 2nd, and then my midwife gave me grief when I finally started gaining as it was too much. Ugh. It’s so hard!!

    2. I can’t wait to try this recipe. I’m surprised at the issues people have had with lentils, though. We make dal frequently (lentil stew, pretty much) and use lentils to stretch meat. (I’m not a vegetarian. Partly due to hyperemesis complications!) Anyway, lentils are the most quick cooking of legumes! I am a bit worried now!

    • Reply
      Kate
      October 26, 2016 at 11:00 pm

      1) It does. I’ve had it during every one of my pregnancies, and it makes pregnancy so difficult!

      2) Honestly, I’m surprised by the issues, too. Lentils are a staple in our house, and I’ve never had them fail to cook.

  • Reply
    Kathy
    October 14, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    This recipe has the potential to be delicious. Read comments first. I didn’t and my red lentils did not cook. I live at a high altitude so everything takes longer, but I will definitely precook the lentils next time. My family thought it could be good as well and will try it again. I hate to throw out leftovers so I put them in the fridge and hope that the lentils will soften in a day!

  • Reply
    Patricia
    September 17, 2016 at 7:14 am

    Delicious recipe Kate, thank you!!! All of us 4 loved it, including my 2.5 yrs and my picky 5 yrs :) Served it with spaghetti and was truly italian 😬

    • Reply
      Kate
      September 17, 2016 at 9:01 am

      I’m so glad that you and your family liked it!! My kids are about that age, and so I know how it can be trying to get anything into a picky kiddo. Thank you for taking the time to come back and leave a comment! =)

      • Reply
        Rita
        March 12, 2017 at 8:44 pm

        How much is one serving?

        • Reply
          Kate
          March 13, 2017 at 1:43 pm

          It’s been a while since I figured out the portions on this recipe. I believe it was 1 cup, but I do know that I had 8 servings in this recipe.

  • Reply
    Jamie
    July 7, 2016 at 6:31 am

    Sauce is really good but my lentils didnt cook completely either! I originally bought brown lentils, read the comments, and then went and found red lentils.. still they were crunchy. I kept adding water (probably 3 extra cups!) and extending cooking time but no avail. Next time I will make the lentils and simmer sauce separately and then put together at the end. It was still delicious though. I ate it over zucchini noodles. My 1 year old liked it as well.

    • Reply
      Kate
      July 7, 2016 at 9:38 pm

      I’m sorry to hear that your lentils didn’t cook! One of the reasons that I used red lentils is because of their shorter cooking time. Please see the note that I’ve added about lentils and cooking time. =)

      • Reply
        Audrey
        August 16, 2016 at 4:26 pm

        I noticed you did not states if you should cover and simmer, after adding the lentils. I was planning on doing that.

        • Reply
          Kate
          August 17, 2016 at 12:02 pm

          I don’t cover it as it simmers.

    • Reply
      dks64
      July 8, 2016 at 7:22 pm

      Chefs recommend that you precook lentils because the acidity in the tomatoes, citrus, and salt will prevent lentils from getting soft. I recommend precooking them and adding them to the recipe halfway through :)

      • Reply
        Kate
        July 8, 2016 at 7:56 pm

        From what I understand, there are food experts, including Mark Bittman, who claim that that’s a myth. =) I have also read that there are various reasons why lentils may not soften, including the age of the lentils and the altitude at which they’re cooked.

        I’ve never had an issue with the lentils softening as written, so I would hesitate to suggest precooking red lentils, adding them halfway, and then continuing to cook them for an addition 10-20 minutes as they are prone to turn to mush when overcooked.

    • Reply
      Smita
      August 2, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      The easiest way to cook lentils is in a pressure cooker. If you are starting to eat healthier and would like to cook lentils and beans it is a great investment to buy a stainless steel pressure cooker. They will take less time to cook as well in a pressure cooker.

      • Reply
        Tonja Balden
        December 15, 2016 at 1:56 pm

        How would you do it in a pressure cooker? I have one, but I have only used it for canning. Would you just throw all the ingredients in together?

        • Reply
          Kate
          December 15, 2016 at 3:02 pm

          I’m not sure what changes would need to be made for this to be made in the pressure cooker. I’m sorry, but I’m afraid that I can’t be much help! Maybe someone else will have some suggestions.

  • Reply
    dks64 (Heather)
    June 18, 2016 at 11:25 am

    I didn’t read the comments and made the mistake of using brown lentils. They ended up cooking mostly, so not very crunchy luckily. I knew better, but threw them in without precooking because I was rushing to put dinner together. Oops! Overall, it’s a very good recipe! I added a lot of garlic salt (grinder from Trader Joe’s) and some extra spices. This is definitely a keeper recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Kate
      June 20, 2016 at 11:10 am

      I’m glad you were able to salvage the brown lentils! Hopefully you’ll like it even more when you try it with the red lentils. =)

  • Reply
    Sue
    June 14, 2016 at 7:38 am

    My husband and I are new to vegan eating. I’ve been trying to find recipes that everyone in the family will enjoy. Your lentil spaghetti sauce has been our favorite so far! We all loved it’s! Thanks for posting.

    • Reply
      Kate
      June 15, 2016 at 11:33 pm

      I’m so glad that you liked it! Thank you for taking the time to come back and leave a comment! =)

  • Reply
    Donna
    June 10, 2016 at 7:01 am

    I am going to make this…love lentils. Why the baking soda in the recipe?

    • Reply
      Kate
      June 10, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      The baking soda just helps cut some of the acidity in the sauce. Some people like to add a little sugar, but baking soda is just another way to do this!

      • Reply
        Annette
        March 8, 2017 at 12:33 am

        I always add a little bicarbonate of soda to tomato dishes to reduce the acidity. Love home grown tomatoes to make soup and need the bicarbonate to ensure the soup doesn’t curdle when adding milk or cream for serving. Also add a little sugar to sweeten. I plan on making this lentil bolognese as I love red lentils. Was very interested to hear the issues some people have had with cooking their lentils as have never had this happen in all the years I have been making lentil dishes – usually with tomatoes. I wonder if it is the amount of tomato that affects the lentils.?? Anyway, thanks for the recipe 😀😀😀

        • Reply
          Kate
          March 8, 2017 at 10:56 am

          I can’t remember where I first heard about that trick, but it works so well! Tomato soup with homegrown tomatoes sounds fantastic! I’m not sure! Lentils are a staple in our house, and I’ve never had any issues whether I’m using tomatoes or not. I did a little research on it, and I found that there were factors like altitude that can also affect how well the lentils cook. Maybe it’s a combination of factors?? Thank you for your comment! =)

  • Reply
    Lisa
    May 30, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    This was so good! Love the recipe. It made a lot though! Can I freeze it to preserve the sauce?

    • Reply
      Kate
      May 30, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      Thanks! I haven’t tried freezing it, but someone else commented and said that they froze part of the sauce to save it. Hope that helps! =)

  • Reply
    Trish
    May 16, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Thanks so much for such an easy, nutritious recipe. I followed the recipe exactly except that I added a few shakes of turmeric. it’s delicious. Just what I needed on a cool, rainy day.

    • Reply
      Kate
      May 17, 2016 at 10:47 am

      I’m so glad that you liked it!! The turmeric sounds like a tasty addition! Thank you for taking the time to come back and leave a comment! =)

  • Reply
    Demetra
    May 10, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Have you tried using veggie broth in place of the water or a little boullion? Just wondering.

    • Reply
      Kate
      May 11, 2016 at 9:14 am

      I haven’t. It sounds like a good idea for adding another layer of flavor, though! =)

  • Reply
    H
    May 10, 2016 at 3:16 am

    Yummy! Will definitely make again. This recipe makes loads so we froze half.

    • Reply
      Kate
      May 11, 2016 at 9:16 am

      Thank you! Yes, it certainly does. Great idea to freeze the other half! =)

  • Reply
    Wilkjn
    March 27, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Hi! I have yet to try this recipe, but I have a question– don’t red lentils basically turn to mush once cooked? So what is causing the sauce to look so chunky? It looks like there are dark red kidney beans in the photographs, what are those? Are those the tomatoes? Having a hard time reconciling the photos with the recipe. Thanks, and can’t wait to try it!

    • Reply
      Kate
      March 27, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      They soften, but the only time I’ve had them turn mushy was when I cooked them in a slow cooker for an extended period of time. I think it’s the tomatoes that may look like kidney beans. =) There are also pieces of carrot and celery that add texture to the sauce. Hope you enjoy!

  • Reply
    John.
    March 2, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    I cooked this for about 35 minutes and the lentils never softened. Was I supposed to soak them first? I’ve never cooked lentils before.

    • Reply
      Kate
      March 2, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      Nope! I’m sorry that your lentils didn’t soften. Did you happen to use brown lentils? The only time that I’ve heard about anyone having trouble with the cooking time was if they used a different type of lentil.

      • Reply
        John.
        March 3, 2016 at 1:01 am

        I used red lentils. I’ll see what happens next time I try. The sauce is really good though.

        • Reply
          Kate
          March 4, 2016 at 10:14 am

          I’m glad that it was good otherwise! I hope you have better luck next time!

  • Reply
    Angela
    January 24, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Finding healthy recipes that will go over with my son who is on the autism spectrum has always been a challenge. He struggles with food allergies and has food sensory issues; however, one certainly fit the bill! He loved it!! The only change I made was to purée it all in my food processer at the end so it looked and felt more like traditional spaghetti sauce. I served it with ancient grain pasta and a little parmesan. It’s a successful week when I get a healthy meal in him. Thanks!!

    • Reply
      Kate
      January 25, 2016 at 10:35 am

      I’m so glad that your son liked it! I have one child who has issues with food textures, but I can only imagine the challenge you face. What a great idea, though!! Thank you for taking the time to come back and leave a comment!

    • Reply
      Viviana
      January 27, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      Making this right now and will purée it too so my 1 year old can have some. I’ll be using it on top of spaghetti as well, thanks!

      • Reply
        Kate
        January 29, 2016 at 10:58 pm

        Awesome! Hope you enjoy it! =)

  • Reply
    Franny D
    January 20, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    Loved this dish. Great for the vegeatarian and the omnivor. Will definitely make this again! Thank you! Ps. My husband ate it for breakfast.

    • Reply
      Kate
      January 20, 2016 at 10:28 pm

      I’m so glad that you and your husband enjoyed it! Thank you for taking the time to come back and leave a comment!

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    January 10, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    I made this for my family tonight and they thoroughly enjoyed it. I made mine even more WW friendly by serving mine with spaghetti squash instead of pasta. The boys had it with pasta because quite frankly the need the carbsfor energy. I will definitely be adding this one to the tried and true recipes.

    • Reply
      Kate
      January 11, 2016 at 9:01 pm

      I’m really glad that your family enjoyed it! What a great idea! I think I’ll give the spaghetti squash a try next time. Thanks for the idea and for coming back to leave a comment! =)

  • Reply
    Alexis Krcelic
    January 8, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    I made this for my family last night and they loved it! They’re not vegan and really have no interest in transitioning but with recipes like this I think I can get them to start thinking about making steps forward :)

    • Reply
      Kate
      January 9, 2016 at 8:54 am

      I’m so glad that your family enjoyed it! Thank you for taking the time to come back and leave a comment! =)

  • Reply
    Ellie
    January 4, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    I really appreciate your honesty in this. Just came across your recipe on Pinterest and it looks delicious! We’re trying to eat healthier too so I’m going to try this this week.

    • Reply
      Kate
      January 5, 2016 at 2:11 pm

      Thank you! Eating healthier is definitely a journey, and I wish you lots of luck with it! Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do! =)

  • Reply
    Heather
    December 13, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    Has anybody made this in a pressure cooker? Just trying to figure out how to do that….looks delicious!

    • Reply
      Kate
      December 15, 2015 at 10:09 am

      I’m no help with this, but I hope someone else can offer advice! Good luck! =)

  • Reply
    Staci
    December 8, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Serious question: I used brown lentils and I never fully cooked down, it’s still good and delicious, however after lots of extra water and an hour of simmering it’s still crunchy. I love crockpot meals do you think I could make this in the crockpot and it will soften the lentils more, I have a WHOLE POT and I want to eat it.

    • Reply
      Kate
      December 8, 2015 at 7:20 pm

      I’ve never made brown lentils in the crock pot, but my guess would be that it would work. I’ve made red lentils in the crock pot, and I found that I had to watch the liquid level to keep them from drying out. Hope that helps! Good luck!!

  • Reply
    Jac | The Vegetarian Baker
    October 9, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    This recipe is so simple. I love it.

    • Reply
      Kate
      October 10, 2015 at 12:15 am

      Thanks! =)

  • Reply
    Monique
    September 23, 2015 at 12:14 am

    Hi Kate, thanks for this recipe. Can’t wait to make it today. Do you think this sauce goes with brown rice too? Or only pasta?

    • Reply
      Kate
      September 23, 2015 at 10:54 pm

      Hi! No, I think it could go well with brown rice, quinoa, or even polenta. =)

  • Reply
    Diana
    September 8, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    I am very much looking forward to making this tonight. In Australia we call tomato sauce what you guys call Ketchup, so I’m alittle confused what to add in place of the sauce. What’s the difference between diced tomatoes and the tomato sauce?

    • Reply
      Kate
      September 8, 2015 at 3:07 pm

      Good question! The tomato sauce in this recipe is a thin sauce made from well-pureed tomatoes. If tomato puree is available, that would be your best bet. Depending on how thick the puree is, you may need to thin it a bit with some veggie stock. The diced tomatoes are a canned chopped tomato with their accompanying juices.

      If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask!

  • Reply
    Stacy
    May 20, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Hi! I was wondering what the baking soda is needed for?

    • Reply
      Kate
      May 20, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      Good question! Tomato heavy sauces can be overly acidic, so a little bit of baking soda can help tone that down.

      • Reply
        Krystal
        October 4, 2015 at 8:33 pm

        That’s way better than using sugar! Its what a lot of people do and its gross!! Mental noted.
        Im attempting to find vegan alternatives to the food we like..we do like spaghetti and i want my husband to be able to eat it without missing the meat. I think the lentils here will help with that texture. Thanks for the recipe!

        • Reply
          Kate
          October 5, 2015 at 3:04 pm

          Finding vegan alternatives can be so difficult! My sister is vegan, and it definitely takes some work! I hope you and your family enjoy this recipe as much as we do! =)

      • Reply
        lynn
        May 1, 2016 at 1:34 am

        i use the tiniest bit of cinnamon to cut the acidity when i make tomato sauce

        • Reply
          Kate
          May 1, 2016 at 12:46 pm

          Great tip! I’ve heard of using baking soda or sugar but hadn’t heard of using cinnamon. Thank you for sharing! =)

  • Reply
    Sylvia Marvelli
    April 3, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    I’m not seeing any information about preparing the lentils. You say 2 cups lentils + 2 cups water. After cooking, the lentils and remaining water are to be added to the other ingredients. It is my understanding that the are are always 2 parts water to 1 part lentils. If that is accurate the lentils will not even be cooked if using 1 part water to 1 part lentils let alone expecting leftover water. Please advise.

    • Reply
      Kate
      April 3, 2015 at 11:00 pm

      I’m sorry if this isn’t clear, but you add the lentils and water in step 7, and you cook them until soft in step 8. You don’t precook them before adding them to the sauce.

      As far as the proportions of liquid to lentils, the sauce already contains additional liquid. That liquid, in addition to the 2 cups of water, is enough to cook the lentils.

  • Reply
    Rachel
    February 28, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    This has a delicious flavor! Unfortunately, I didn’t have red lentils so I tried using the brownish-green ones I had on hand. That was a bad idea because they never fully cooked and remained quite crunchy. But the flavor of the sauce was so yummy, we ate it anyway! After buying some red lentils, I realized they are much thinner, which I am assuming is why they work better in this recipe and cook up faster.

    I am making it again tomorrow with the red lentils! Can’t wait to enjoy it again with some friends who are vegan!

    • Reply
      Kate
      February 28, 2015 at 10:15 pm

      Thank you for sharing that! I’m sure that will save someone else from finding that out the hard way.

      I hope you all enjoy it! =)

      • Reply
        Jamie Atkinson
        January 23, 2016 at 4:47 pm

        Having experienced beans not fully cooked I went looking, many years ago pre-internet. I found that adding tomato products to beans prior to them being fully cooked stops the beans from cooking. Thus they remain crunchy no matter how long you cook them. So now I make sure that the beans are fully cooked prior to adding tomato products. Heading off to make this now….

        • Reply
          Kate
          January 25, 2016 at 10:26 am

          If you pre-cook the lentils, you may need to adjust the cooking time so as not to end up with mushy lentils. Good luck! =)

  • Reply
    Gail
    February 28, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Oh my gosh. . .this was fabulous. I added a little extra garlic and an additional teaspoon of italian seasoning and served it over spaghetti squash. A new staple in my house! Thank you for sharing the deliciousness!

    • Reply
      Kate
      February 28, 2015 at 10:14 pm

      I’m so glad that you liked it! I’ll have to try it with spaghetti squash next time. =)

  • Reply
    Brittany
    February 20, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    This is just what I’ve been looking for! Planning on making it and serving it over spaghetti squash tomorrow. Thank you so much for sharing. ♡

    • Reply
      Kate
      February 20, 2015 at 11:11 pm

      I’m so glad that you found it then! I hope that you enjoy it!! =)

  • Reply
    Steve Lassoff
    February 18, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Looks very filling! I am building a community of vegans and would love for you to head over to http://www.wedigfood.com and leave a recipe

    • Reply
      Kate
      February 18, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      Thanks!

  • Reply
    Cameron
    February 7, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Made this today. It’s absolutely delicious (and beautiful)

    • Reply
      Kate
      February 7, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      I’m so glad that you liked it! Thank you for taking the time to come back and leave a comment!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    January 22, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    How many servings does this make?

    • Reply
      Kate
      January 25, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      I got 8 servings out of this recipe.

  • Reply
    Beckie
    January 5, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! It’s simmering as I type and I am so looking forward to it!

    • Reply
      Kate
      January 6, 2015 at 12:39 pm

      Yay! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! =)

  • Reply
    Laura
    January 5, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Do you think this would freeze well? I am planning to make it tonight but it seems like it is going to make a LOT. :) Looks delish btw!

    • Reply
      Kate
      January 6, 2015 at 12:40 pm

      Thanks! I think so. I haven’t tried it, but I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t. If you try freezing it, I’d be interested to hear how it turns out!

  • Reply
    melissa
    January 1, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    Thanks so much for posting this. With a high schooler who’s the only vegetarian in the house, I’m always looking for recipes that we’ll all enjoy, especially ones with protein. Thanks for this; we’re all looking forward to a healthier 2015!

    • Reply
      Kate
      January 2, 2015 at 9:41 am

      That can be hard! For a while, my sister and I were vegetarian and another sister was vegan. So, I know how difficult it can be trying to cook with different diets in mind. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment!

  • Reply
    Marisa
    December 29, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    This looks awesome. Do you know the points value?

    • Reply
      Kate
      December 30, 2014 at 9:40 am

      Thank you! The brand of lentils that I used was a 4 pt brand, so it was 7 points per serving.

  • Reply
    Patricia
    December 29, 2014 at 7:50 am

    Kate, this looks so good I would want to just eat it from a spoon!! I love the combination of lentils and tomatoes. And I love eating good tasting food that is also good for you! Thanks for posting this recipe!

    • Reply
      Kate
      December 30, 2014 at 9:11 am

      Thank you so much!!

  • Reply
    Azu
    December 28, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Love the idea of a veggie bolognese! I don’t eat a lot of meat so this is a perfect substitution. Making healthy recipes is a good habit and I’m sure you can make it. Good luck!

    • Reply
      Kate
      December 28, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      Thank you so much! That’s very nice of you to say!

  • Reply
    Zoey
    December 27, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    That looks so delicious and healthy! I am saving this recipe for our next pasta night :)

    • Reply
      Kate
      December 28, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      Thanks!! I hope you enjoy it!

  • Reply
    Thalia @ butter and brioche
    December 27, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    I definitely am going be make this lentil bolognese tonight for dinner – so perfect for myself and my vegetarian family!

    • Reply
      Kate
      December 28, 2014 at 4:20 pm

      I hope you enjoy it! =)

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