Hearty Lentil Bolognese

BY : PUBLISHED : May 20th, 2015 UPDATED: November 16th, 2021

Hearty lentil, walnut, and mushroom-filled tomato sauce blankets a bed of pasta. This sauce is so tasty, satisfying, and filling, we often make a large batch and freeze it for future meals. We add broccoli, cauliflower or kale to our pasta to get even more veggies in, and it pairs wonderfully with the tomato sauce, but you can leave it out if you wish.  Serve over any pasta of choice with a side salad and some toasty bread, perfection!

Lentil bolognese on a large bowl of pasta.

Lentil bolognese on a large bowl of pasta.

Hearty Lentil Bolognese

Renee Press
Hearty lentil, walnut, and mushroom filled tomato sauce blankets a bed of pasta. This sauce is so tasty, satisfying, and filling, we often make a large batch and freeze it for future meals. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 364 kcal
METHOD Stovetop
DIET Vegan


  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup of celery, diced
  • 1 cup of crimini or white mushrooms, chopped or sliced
  • 1/2 cup of red or white wine, optional
  • 3 cups of tomatoes, diced, fresh or canned
  • 6 ounces of tomato paste
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 Tablespoon of oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • 3/4 cup of green or brown lentils
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1 Tablespoon of sweetener of choice (agave, sugar, chopped date)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup of fresh parsley, chopped, optional
  • 1/2 cup of fresh basil, chopped, optional
  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast, optional


  • Saute onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and mushrooms in a bit of olive oil over medium heat, in a medium pot or wide, deep skillet, for 3-4 minutes.
  • When softening and lightly browning add wine if using, if not substitute water or vegetable broth, and stir well to combine. Add tomatoes and cook with lid on for 5-6 minutes over medium heat until tomatoes start to break down. Add remaining ingredients, tomato paste through lentils and bring to a gentle boil then cover and lower to a simmer.
  • Let cook for 20 minutes or so until lentil are soft and sauce is thickening. Add remaining ingredients walnuts through nutritional yeast. Only add walnuts at the very end of cooking, if you add them earlier and continue to cook sauce, they will turn it black. After you add walnuts and herbs turn off heat and stir well to combine, serve over pasta of choice with steamed or sautéed veggies added in. We like to throw a few cups of broccoli, cauliflower or kale into the pasta water in the last minute of cooking and then drain all together, perfect every time! Toss pasta with sauce to coat thoroughly and serve hot. Enjoy!


Calories: 364kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 17gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 961mgPotassium: 1481mgFiber: 18gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 5162IUVitamin C: 42mgCalcium: 129mgIron: 6mg
Keyword bolognese, comfort food, crowd pleasers, family friendly, gluten free, glutenfree, italian, kid approved, lentil, plant power, plant-based, recipe, vegan, vegetarian, walnut
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedonaBudget! 🙂

About Renee Press

Renee Press is the founder of Fire and Earth Kitchen in Seattle WA. which offers cooking classes, food coaching, and chef services. She's on a mission to make vegan, gluten-free cooking easy, accessible, and delicious for everyone. fireandearthkitchen.com

View all posts by Renee Press
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