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Store Cupboard Lentil Bolognese (vegan, gluten-free)

Overhead image of several plates of lentil bolognese with spaghetti on a light pink surface. Two of the plates have forks stuck in the spaghetti.
Overhead image of several plates of lentil bolognese with spaghetti on a light pink surface. Two of the plates have forks stuck in the spaghetti.

It’s been a strange couple of weeks hasn’t it? Things getting shut down, stores running low on food, people panic buying. I hope, wherever you are, you’re staying safe and well and you have all the food you need.

Here in Canada, things aren’t too crazy so far. Public events and institutions have shut down and there are some food shortages (and don’t even ask me about toilet paper!), but we’re holding up well and people are coming together to support each other where they can (see the emerging caremongering trend out here).

Anyway, given the food issues I want to share a recipe on the blog this week that requires only store cupboard ingredients. This Store Cupboard Lentil Bolognese is easy to make, tasty, nutritious, and full of protein!

You can eat this bolognese immediately with pasta, or freeze and reheat it at a later date if you’re planning on doing some vegan batch cooking. See my tips below for making it and have fun. (And I’d love it if you could leave a rating at the bottom of the page if you try the recipe!)

Image of several plates of lentil bolognese with spaghetti on a light pink surface. A woman's hand is holding a fork and twizzling some spaghetti on one of the plates.

Tips for Making this Store Cupboard Lentil Bolognese


This recipe is really easy, but one of my favourite tips to make it even easier is to soak the lentils. I like to soak mine for 2-3 hours before using them, as it makes them easier to digest and faster to cook. I highly recommend trying it if you haven’t before!

Feel free to omit any of the fresh ingredients from this recipe if you don’t have them on-hand right now. You can replace the onion and garlic with onion and garlic powder if you have them, and the carrot is totally optional. Go with what you have!

In addition, feel free to use any dried herbs that work for you. You could try using basil, oregano or rosemary if you don’t have mixed. Enjoy making this sauce your own and get creative with what you have in your cupboards at the moment. 🙂

Overhead image of ingredients for Store Cupboard Lentil Bolognese on a light pink background. Image shows onions, garlic, red lentils, crushed tomatoes, dried herbs and stock cubes.
Overhead image of several plates of lentil bolognese with spaghetti on a light pink surface. Two of the plates have forks stuck in the spaghetti.
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Store Cupboard Lentil Bolognese (vegan & gluten-free)

A hearty, protein-rich pasta sauce that can be made completely from store cupboard essentials. This Lentil Bolognese is ideal for when you don't have fresh ingredients on hand.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: gluten-free, healthy, Italian, vegan
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, diced (can be omitted or subbed for onion powder if you don't have fresh)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed (can be omitted or subbed for garlic powder if you don't have fresh)
  • 1 796ml can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 cup red lentils (you can use green lentils if preferred, the sauce will just need to cook for longer)
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Optional

  • 1 large carrot, diced

Instructions

  • Pour 2 tbsp water into a large saucepan, and steam fry the onion in this water for 5 minutes on a medium-high heat (with the lid on), stirring, until it softens.
  • Add the garlic and cook for one more minute with the lid off, stirring frequently.
  • Add the tomatoes, herbs, lentils and carrot (if using) to the pan. Crumble the stock cube into it and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • If your lentils weren't soaked, you'll need to add ½ cup water to the pan at this point. As the bolognese cooks, add more water as needed if you find the lentils soak it all up and the sauce gets dry.
  • Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20-35 minutes stirring occasionally, until the lentils become soft and cooked (the time this takes will depend on whether they've been soaked or not).
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper, remove from the heat and serve the bolognese over your favourite spaghetti.

Looking for more easy recipes you can make with store cupboard ingredients? Why not try my Red Lentil Dhal, my Easiest Black Bean Burgers or my Butter Spice Tofu? You can make all of these with dry, tinned or shelf-stable goods!


Did you try this Store Cupboard Lentil Bolognese recipe? If so, please leave a comment or tip for others below. I love to know how you’ve made it your own!

Looking for easy vegan recipes? This Store Cupboard Lentil Bolognese sauce is for you. It comes together in under 50 minutes, is made with only store cupboard ingredients and is the perfect healthy weeknight meal. #lentils #vegan #storecupboardmeals #bolognese #easyveganrecipes

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