Return to top
featured in… The Huffington Post CookingLight Reader's Digest Women's Health BuzzFeed Glamour Whole Foods Oprah Winfrey Network CNN Food Network Healthline Shape

Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Red Lentil Pasta With Superfood Tomato Sauce

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure.
Share This:

This healthy red lentil pasta recipe is the ultimate easy vegetarian meal that is filled with protein and ready in just 30 minutes! Rich marinara sauce is mixed with tender nutritious vegetables for a wholesome balanced meal that will tickle your taste buds and satisfy even the pickiest of eaters!

red lentil pasta served on a white plate with superfood marinara sauce

This vegetarian & hearty plant based red lentil pasta is served with a savory marinara sauce that is packed with both nutrients and delicious flavors! Perfect as a main course for anytime of the year, this easy recipe is great as lunch or dinner. Using lentil pasta makes this recipe into a gluten-free pasta dish (and a better option than brown rice pasta which isn’t as nutrient packed), making it allergen friendly too!

The best part is: the sauce is filled with veggies that no one will even notice! Red bell peppers are mixed with tender spinach and robust garlic that are blended with tomato sauce, which creates the most amazing nutritious sauce filled with tomatoes, Italian spices, and crushed red pepper. It’s a great way to sneak veggies in when you have picky eaters in your family.

Latest Recipe Video!

Ready in about 30 minutes, this is the ULTIMATE dinner recipe for someone who is short on time. Once you try this red lentil pasta recipe, this will become one of those pasta dishes you will make again and again. With minimal prep time, and family-friendly ingredients, I guarantee this bowl of pasta will be a new experience that you will enjoy!

🍝 What Is Lentil Pasta?

Lentil pasta is a super healthy traditional pasta alternative. It’s typically a dried pasta, made with red lentils (red lentil flour), green lentils, or other beans like chickpeas or even edamame!

The best lentils pastas have just one simple ingredient: lentils. That’s it! It typically has twice the protein and fiber of regular pasta (typically between 11 to 13g of protein per serving), with less carbs! It’s great option if you have a gluten intolerance too as it’s completely gluten free.

How long does it take to cook lentil pasta? About the same as normal pasta or whole-grain pasta – 10 minutes should be enough time for an al dente feel!

👩🏽‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • High protein (23 grams per portion)
  • Leftovers taste even better the next day!
  • Family favorite pasta recipe
  • A twist on a traditional pasta primavera
  • Super easy to make
  • Gluten free with a vegan option
  • A Tasty, Healthy Pasta Dish
  • Packs a lot of vegetables into the sauce
  • Best red lentil pasta recipe ever!

🥘 Ingredients

This recipe is made with simple whole foods, easily found at your local grocery store! Some you may already have on hand as they are pantry staples!

red lentil pasta ingredients

Olive Oil: For sauteeing the veggies, adding healthy fats, and giving the red sauce its great flavor.

Baby Spinach, bell peppers, onion, zucchini, and garlic: These are all of the hidden veggies in our superfood marinara sauce! But you can use all kinds of vegetables in this sauce – carrots, yellow squash, and any root veggies would all work. It’s a great way to clean out any remaining veggies in your fridge!

Lentil pasta: I recommend using your favorite red lentil pasta for this recipe. Any type of lentil pasta will work for this recipe – brown lentils or green lentil pasta, or even chickpea pasta or any legume / protein pasta would work.

Tomato basil marinara sauce: I like Cucina Antica’s sauces, but you can use any jarred marinara sauce you like! If you don’t have marinara sauce, you can use crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, or tomato paste mixed with vegetable broth.

Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes: Don’t skimp on the seasonings! It gives this dish great taste and that comforting Italian flavor. You can also add some black pepper if you like things a little more spicy. Feel free to add fresh herbs too — fresh basil or fresh oregano as a garnish would be a great addition to this recipe.

Parmesan cheese: optional, but highly recommended. To make this for a vegan diet: simply omit, or use a vegan parmesan or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor.

🔪 Instructions

Cook the pasta according to the package directions: Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add pasta, cook until slightly al dente, drain and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large pot or large skillet, add olive oil and sauté onion and garlic over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes until caramelized. Then add the rest of the chopped vegetables and spices, reduce to medium heat and cook for 5-10 minutes.

veggies for sauce cooking in a pan

Make the red lentil pasta sauce: Combine the cooked vegetable mixture with one jar of sauce in blender. Blend until smooth.

red sauce in a bowl

Next, combine the cooked pasta with the sauce mixture and simmer for just a couple minutes until all the flavors combine.

pasta tossed with sauce

Finally, top with parmesan cheese and serve.

red lentil pasta served on a white plate with superfood marinara sauce

❓Recipe FAQs

Is red lentil pasta healthy?

Is lentil pasta healthy? Absolutely! Lentil pasta is considered to have more health benefits than most refined pastas. While it has the same number of calories per serving as regular pasta, lentil pasta is much higher in in protein, high in fiber, and gluten free, so it is considered a healthier substitute than even regular wheat pasta.

Keep in mind, red lentil pasta is not low carb, but the carbs it does contain are complex, healthy carbs that are so good for you! If you’re looking for something super low-carb, then try shirataki, konjac noodles or zoodles.

This red lentil pasta recipe also packs a ton of vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants thanks to the veggies hidden in the sauce!

Do you rinse red lentil pasta?

To maintain optimal texture and flavor, I actually don’t recommend rinsing the pasta after boiling. Instead I recommend tossing it directly with the sauce to prevent it from sticking and to help it maintain its texture!

How many grams of protein does red lentil pasta have?

One serving can have up to 15 grams of protein!

Where can I find Lentil Pasta?

Legume pasta has become so popular these days that you can pretty much find it anywhere! Some of my favorites are the Trader Joe Red Lentil Pasta, Tolerant Pasta, Barilla Red Lentil Penne or Barilla Red Lentil Rotini!

🧊 How To Store

After the pasta has cooled, transfer leftovers to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to four days. You can also freeze this pasta for up to 3 months. If you freeze it, I recommend separating individual portions. into freezer safe sealed containers.

To defrost, thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat on the stove or in the microwave. This is a great make-ahead dish – you can make a double batch and store half for a day when you don’t feel like cooking!

💭 Expert Tips

  • Use plenty of water so there is enough room for the pasta to expand while it cooks.
  • Bring water to a rapid boil before adding the pasta.
  • As soon as you drop your pasta in the water, stir it. This prevents the pasta from sticking together or to the sides of the pot. 
  • For added texture and protein, try sprinkling some pine nuts on top!
  • Serve this pasta with a side salad packed with leafy greens for even more veggies!
red lentil pasta served on a white plate with superfood marinara sauce

🍲 More Pasta Recipe Ideas!

If you have tried this recipe, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below!

You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family-friendly food!

📋 Recipe Card

red lentil pasta served on a white plate with superfood marinara sauce
Print Recipe
5 from 12 votes

Red Lentil Pasta Recipe with Superfood Marinara Sauce!

This lentil pasta recipe is the ultimate easy vegetarian meal that is filled with protein and ready within minutes! Red marinara sauce is mixed with tender nutritious vegetables for a wholesome balanced meal that is bold in flavor.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 318kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces Lentil Penne Pasta
  • 25 ounces Jarred Marinara Sauce
  • 6 ounces Baby Spinach chopped
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers diced
  • ¼ Red Onion diced
  • 1 zucchini diced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 2-3 tsp Italian seasoning more or less to taste
  • ½ tsp salt more to taste
  • tsp crushed red pepper more to taste
  • 8 tbsp Parmesan cheese use 2 tbsp per serving

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  • In a medium sized pot, saute the peppers, onion, zucchini, spinach, garlic and spices (italian seasoning, salt, crushed red pepper) for about 5-10 minutes until soft.
  • Combine the cooked veggie mixture with 1 jar of Marinara Sauce in a blender. Blend until smooth. (Alternatively you can add the red sauce to the pot, and use an immersion blender to blend it together).
  • Combine the cooked pasta with the superfood sauce mixture. Top with parmesan cheese and serve.

Video

https://youtu.be/ZUEdgg9Z9r8

Notes

Tips for Making The Best Lentil Pasta
  • Use plenty of water so there is enough room for the pasta to expand while it cooks.
  • Bring water to a rapid boil before adding the pasta.
  • As soon as you drop your pasta in the water, stir it. This prevents the pasta from sticking together or to the sides of the pot. 
  • For added texture and protein, try sprinkling some pine nuts on top!
  • Serve this pasta with a side salad packed with leafy greens for even more veggies!

Nutrition

Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 1481mg | Potassium: 1125mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 9g

Posted In…

Italian Recipes ·

These recipes are sure to be a hit! Make a healthier pizza or a guilt-free pasta and enjoy the fresh flavors of Italy.

Many people think carbs and cheese when they think Italian, but there is so much more to appreciate: aromatic herbs, fresh ingredients, and bright flavors shine. Many of my Italian-inspired recipes are suitable for special diets, such as vegan ratatouille or gluten-free lasagna.

Subscribe to newsletter

Copyright 2022 The Picky Eater®, LLC. All rights reserved.