A protein-rich Red Lentil Bolognese that can be made completely from pantry essentials. Ideal if you're short on fresh ingredients.
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 pantry ingredients (just like my Chickpea Spinach Curry). This Red Lentil Bolognese is nutritious, full of protein and easy to make - so it's perfect for those learning how to go vegan!
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!)
Tips for making this red lentil bolognese
Soak the lentils - 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!
Fresh Ingredients - 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!
Dried Herbs - In addition, feel free to use any dried herbs that you have. 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. 🙂
Looking for more easy recipes you can make with store cupboard ingredients?
More vegan weeknight dinners
Red Lentil Bolognese (vegan & gluten-free)
- 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 tablespoon 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
- 1 large carrot, diced
- Pour 2 tablespoon 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.
If you’ve tried this lentil bolognese recipe, please leave a comment or tip for others below. I'd love to know how you’ve made it your own!