/body> >

Monday, 5 March 2018

Lentil Bolognese / Hearty Vegetarian Pasta Sauce Recipe

Lentil Bolognese is a hearty, vegan , gluten free recipe which is a healthy vegetarian alternative to the classic Bolognese and a delicious variation from the usual and traditional pasta dishes . This lentil Bolognese makes up for a flavorful protein and fiber rich , meatless dinner within half an hour. You can have this healthy and delicious sauce over dinner or lunch just as it is or serve it with pasta , pair it with Lasagne Rolls or use it as a crepe stuffing or serve as a side dish with steamed rice. Basically the word Bolognese denotes a sauce of minced beef , tomato, onion, and herbs and which is served typically with pasta. Here in this vegetarian version of the Bolognese, lentils make up for the protein source and the mushrooms lend an earthy flavor and texture to the sauce. I have used red lentils in the recipe, which are quick to cook , iare packed with protein and fiber and give the sauce a beautiful color as well. The sauce is cooked in wholesome vegetable stock making it all the more nutritious.

Italian cuisine is popular all over the world and India is no exception to it. Pasta and Pizza are among favourite food of many Indians, especially kids. Pasta a staple food of traditional Italian Cuisine is typically made from an unleavened dough of a darum wheat flour mixed with water or eggs and formed into sheets or various shapes, then cooked by boiling or baking. Pasta is one of the world's versatile and adaptable foods and goes well with meat , poultry , vegetables, fish , seafood, cheese, cream , herbs . Pasta sauces can be quick and simple or elaborate and rich depending upon ones choice. I have already shared a few pasta recipe earlier on my blog like  Penne pasta in creamy white sauce , Elbow Macaroni with Garlic Crumbs , Spaghetti With Grilled Bell Peppers , Pasta Spirals With Pasta Sauce   .                       

I have adapted the recipe of Lentil Bolognese from a cookbook , " Best Ever Pasta Sauces " by Linda Fraser. This cookbook was gifted to me by a dear friend Gulshan, during our stay in Penang. I have cooked many dishes from this book and all have turned out very well. I have made few changes in the recipe, like i added mushrooms to the sauce , which is not in the recipe. I had some button mushrooms lying in the refrigerator and as they are my little ones favourite, and also as they make up for good meat replacement in vegetarian dishes, lending an earthy taste and flavor to the sauce. The recipe also calls for fresh marjoram, which is a herb similar to mint, so i have replaced it with fresh homegrown mint :)
  Sending this hearty Lentil Bolognese recipe to the #134th #FoodieMondayBloghop where the theme for this week is #PastaSauces. The theme was chosen by Mayuri di who blogs at Mayurisjikoni.blogspot.in. Mayuri di had insisted , that we think out of the box and share the pasta sauces which are not very common. Do check out the post by my fellow bloggers for some wonderful and innovative ideas on this theme.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20- 25  minutes
Servings: 3-4

  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup carrot, grated
  • 1 1/2 cup tomato puree ( pulse 2-3 large tomatoes to get smooth paste )
  • 4-5 button mushrooms , sliced
  • 1/2 cup red lentil 
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • handful of fresh mint leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly crushed black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil 
  1. In a wok or large saucepan heat oil and add minced garlic followed by onions . Gently fry for 1-2 minutes . Next add in grated carrot and saute for about 2 minutes.

2. Add the tomato puree followed by the sliced mushrooms and cook on medium flame for 4-5 minutes. Next add in rinsed and drained red lentil and vegetable stock.

3. Season with salt , pepper and mint leaves . Bring the mixture to a boil , partially cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes until thick and soft. I have cooked the sauce until the lentil is cooked but retains it shape and is not mushy , the way my family prefers.

  4. Serve the hearty lentil Bolognese sauce with pasta or as required.

I hope you would love to try out this flavorful Lentil Bolognese as a healthy alternative to the traditional pasta sauces , if you do so, please feel free to share your feedback with us. Follow me on #Facebook , #Instagram , #Twitter and #Google+ for more recipes and new updates.

For more pasta recipes, do check my posts on






  1. What a lovely twist in pasta sauce !! Love the use of lentils Poonam 👌

  2. Sauce with red lentil. Amazing. What an idea Poonam. Beautiful click.

  3. What a beautiful recipe! Love the idea of using lentils in bolognese! :)

  4. One of ur best clicks Poonam!Awesome share for Pasta sauce!

  5. I usually make a veggie version of the bolognese sauce using finely chopped vegetables. I love your lentil version and will try it out. A great way to incorporate protein for vegetarians into a sauce.

    1. Absolutely di..the lentil bolognese turned out flavorful and it was filling too ..thank you :)

  6. Lentils in pasta sauce sounds wholesome and something new to try! Love the pictures too! <3

    1. Do try out Mallika..i am sure you will love it :)

  7. This sounds so innovative and healthy... Yum! :)

  8. This is a wholesome meal. I am sure my kids will love it too.

    1. Absolutely Seema..give it a try , looking forward to your feedback