Homestyle “Meaty” Tomato Sauce with Lentils and Walnuts

BY : PUBLISHED : November 6th, 2013 UPDATED: August 18th, 2021

This sauce is a universal crowd pleaser, with few ingredients (and easy to find ones at that),  you simply set it on the stove and let it simmer away until serving. Earthy and hearty this is a go-to sauce for spaghetti, as a filling for vegan lasagna, or spooned over steamed veggies. The walnuts give a significant boost of healthy fats, oils and protein, while lending a “meatiness” and flavor that is unsurpassed. This recipe makes quite a large batch, so feel free to half it or freeze some for a later date.

lentil walnut tomato sauce 1 scaled

Homestyle 'Meaty' Tomato Sauce with Lentils and Walnuts

Renee Press
Earthy and hearty this is a go-to sauce for spaghetti, as a filling for vegan lasagna, or spooned over steamed veggies. 
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 8 servings
Calories 288 kcal
METHOD Stovetop
DIET Vegan


  • 1 cup of yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 28 ounces of diced tomatoes
  • 6 ounces of tomato paste
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of green lentils
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of brown sugar (optional)
  • 1 cup of crushed walnuts
  • 2 Tablespoons of oregano (fresh or dried)
  • 1 Tablespoon of medium-high heat oil (canola, avocado, grape seed, etc)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • black pepper to taste


  • Heat the oil in a very deep skillet, or medium pot on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, lentils, and brown sugar and stir well. Let simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes, until lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
  • Add crushed walnuts, salt, pepper, and oregano and stir well. Serve over pasta of choice, or use as a sauce filling in your next veggie lasagna.


Calories: 288kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 14gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 609mgPotassium: 861mgFiber: 15gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 479IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 103mgIron: 5mg
Keyword beans, budget, dairy free, delicious, easy, fast, garlic, gluten free, healthy, inexpensive, italian, lentil sauce, meat free, nutrition, pasta, plant-based, recipe, sauce, tasty, tomato sauce, vegan, veganism, vegetarian, vegetarianism, veggie, walnuts
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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.

View all posts by Renee Press