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vegan bolognese with lentils, served over pasta in a white bowl
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5 from 5 votes

Vegan Bolognese with Lentils

This hearty and healthy vegan bolognese has great texture with the addition of walnuts, lentils, and celery. It's an easy family friendly weeknight meal that's done in 30 minutes!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 146.8kcal
Author: Anjali Shah


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 tbsp walnuts, crushed
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
  • 2 cups cooked lentils
  • 1.5 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian seasoning (more to taste)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt (more to taste)
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)


  • Cook your lentils according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the red onion and sauté until transparent, around 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, or 1 more minute.
  • Add the carrots, celery, mushrooms, and walnuts, and sauté for 5 more minutes until tender.
  • Add in the garlic, Italian seasoning, paprika, salt, and red pepper flakes and stir to combine.
  • Pour the crushed tomatoes and stir. Bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 5 more minutes and transfer to a food processor. Pulse until chunky.
  • Add the lentils back into the pan and warm through for 1-2 minutes. Pour the sauce and the seasonings and stir. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes until the sauce thickens a bit and the flavors combine.
  • Serve warm, with your favorite pasta.




Top Tips for Making Vegan Bolognese
  • Pre-cooking the lentils is key! That way you can control how soft your lentils become and it avoids the sauce from getting too mushy.
  • For some extra veggies, you can also add spinach to the sauce. If you choose to add spinach, I recommending adding it at the same time you add the carrots/celery/etc. so that it melts into the sauce and cooks down well.
  • Serve this bolognese with whole wheat, chickpea or legume based pastas to add some extra plant protein to your meal
  • Don't overprocess the sauce! When you add it to the food processor, make sure to keep it a little chunky so you still get that great meaty texture.
  • This recipe will keep in the fridge for up too 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Nutrition Information is based on 1/6 of the bolognese recipe, does not include pasta


Calories: 146.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 19.7g | Protein: 7.6g | Fat: 4.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Sodium: 711mg | Potassium: 333.6mg | Fiber: 7.5g | Sugar: 4.7g