The Best Lentil Bolognese (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Prep: 5 minutesCook: 30 minutesTotal: 35 minutes
Yield: serves 2Category: Dinners
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This delicious lentil bolognese recipe is my twist on the classic spaghetti bolognese made with beef mince. Spaghetti bolognese was one of the meals we would have on a weekly basis growing up so I really wanted to create my own gluten free and vegan version of it. The chances are you already have all of the ingredients needed for this tasty recipe in your pantry.

I wanted to create a really nutrient dense version of this that didn’t rely on meat substitutes so I have used a combination of lentils and walnuts as the filling. They give this a really ‘meaty’ texture, however, if you are unable to have nuts you can just increase the amount of lentils used to 125g and omit the walnuts. I have opted to keep the ingredients to a minimum but you could try adding in some finely chopped celery, carrot or mushroom if you have any that need eating up. You can use a red or white onion in this recipe.

This rich and satisfying lentil bolognese is the perfect midweek meal as it is easy to throw together and takes just over thirty minutes to make! The tomato sauce is simultaneously sweet but tangy and subtly flavoured with herbs and balsamic vinegar. I have not included this step in the method but, if desired, you could add 100ml of red wine into this dish. Just add to the pan with the lentils, walnuts and water etc, and remember to reduce the amount of water used to 300ml from 400ml.

This bolognese sauce can be made in advance and reheated on the hob but, as it is so thick, you will need to add a little splash of water. I personally prefer a really thick sauce that clings to the pasta, however, if you prefer a runnier consistency you may want to add another 50ml of liquid.

If you like this, you may also like my Mediterranean Vegetable Pasta Sauce recipe which can be found here, my Basic Tomato Pasta Sauce recipe or my Spicy Sausage Pasta here.

If you like this recipe and want to show some support please leave a comment below or visit my Ko-Fi account to donate! x


  • 100g 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 400ml 2 cups water
  • 50g 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp walnuts
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large beef tomato
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • pinch sea salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • splash olive oil


  1. Peel and finely dice the onion and add to a frying pan along with a splash of olive oil. Cook for five minutes over a moderate heat until they begin to soften
  2. Roughly chop the tomato into small pieces and mince the garlic. Add both to the pan and allow to cook for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally
  3. Reduce the heat and stir the tomato puree, oregano and thyme into the pan
  4. Chop the walnuts into small pieces and add to the pan along with the lentils, water, stock cube and balsamic vinegar
  5. Season liberally with salt and pepper and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally
  6. Once boiling, reduce the heat and allow to simmer until the lentils are cooked and the liquid is mostly reduced, stirring often. This should take approximately 25 minutes, use this time to prepare the spaghetti as per the packet instructions


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