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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

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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 actually 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’s great if you have a gluten intolerance, and it typically has twice the protein and fiber of regular pasta, with less carbs!

How to Make This Red Lentil Pasta Recipe

Ingredients and Notes

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, 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 – 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, but you can even use 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!

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 taste great.

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. I like leaving it slightly al dente. Meanwhile, in a large pot, 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

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. 

pasta tossed with sauce

Finally, top with parmesan cheese and serve.

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

What Makes This A Healthy Pasta Dish?

Is lentil pasta healthy? Absolutely! Lentil pasta is considered to have more health benefits than most refined pastas. Super high in protein and gluten free, lentil pasta is considered a healthier substitute than regular wheat pasta. Even though lentil pasta has carbs, these are complex, healthy carbs that are so good for you!

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

Recipe FAQs

Is lentil pasta low carb?

Pasta made with lentils still contains some carbs, but not as much as wheat pasta. If you’re looking for something super low-carb, then try shirataki, konjac noodles or zoodles.

How long does it take to cook lentil pasta?

Most lentil pastas will cook in about 10 minutes.

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 and Keep

After the pasta has cooled, transfer 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! To defrost, thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat on the stove or in the microwave.

Top 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 Red Lentil Pasta recipe, or any other recipe on my blog, 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!

red lentil pasta served on a white plate with superfood marinara sauce
Print Recipe
5 from 4 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
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
  • 1/4 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.

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