lentil bolognese

Lentil Bolognese

This delicious lentil bolognese recipe is a plant based version of the famous Italian dish. This dish has loads of flavor with the tomato base being complemented with plenty of garlic and herbs. The lentils along with the ground walnuts provide a lovely satisfying texture similar to a traditional bolognese, with some crunchiness from the carrots and celery.

You need more lentils in your life. They are high in nutrients and high in protein, and contain very little fat. They are also high in fiber, which helps to promote a healthy digestive system. The type of soluble fiber in lentils may provide a good source of prebiotics (essentially food for our beneficial gut bacteria) Most people don’t eat the recommended amount of fiber per day. Lentils are eaten more commonly in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine, and can be a healthy addition to the diet.

lentils bolognaise ingredients

The addition of ground walnuts really helps to finish this dish nicely. You can buy the walnuts whole, and then blitz them in a food processor to grind them up. They can also be bashed up with a pestle and mortar. The texture doesn’t need to be completely smooth, and can contain some lumpy bits of walnuts too. If you don’t have all of the herbs, that is fine, however the more the merrier. A tablespoon of oregano will do the trick if you’re operating in a one herb (hopefully oregano) kitchen.

lentils bolognaise bowl

The ingredients to make this recipe are relatively inexpensive, for those on a tight budget and looking for something healthy to make. It makes approximately 6 portions and is a great recipe for batch cooking for next day lunches or for evenings when you don’t want to cook. Some nut based Parmesan type spread (pictured below) also tastes great sprinkled on top.

almond parmesan

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Lentil Bolognese

A delicious lentil bolognese recipe that is a healthy plant based version of the traditional Italian dish. 
Cook Time40 mins
Servings: 6 portions
Author: SimonDeaneHealth


  • 500 grams of wholewheat spaghetti
  • 300 grams of dry green lentils
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 2 onions
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 x 400 grams tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 100 ml of water
  • 60 ml of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • 1 tsp of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 50 grams of ground walnuts
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh parsley to serve


  • Start by cooking the green lentils in a pot of boiling water according to the package instructions. Add the stock cube to the boiling water and dissolve before placing the lentils.
  • If you are using whole walnuts, blitz the walnuts in a food processor or bash them with a pestle and mortar until they are ground up. 
  • Peel and finely slice the onions. Cook in a large pan for 5 minutes with 30 ml of water. Peel and chop the garlic and add to the pan along with the bay leaves. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Chop the carrots into small cubes and cut up the celery sticks and add to the pan .
  • Add the herbs. 
  • Add the tomatoes to the pan and the tomato puree along with 100 ml of water
  • Add the red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar and ground walnuts. 
  • Drain the cooked lentils but reserve the water to add to the bolognese sauce if needed.
  • Add the lentils to the pan and mix in the bolognese sauce. 
  • Add the salt and pepper to taste and bring it to simmer and cook for 15 minutes
  • While simmering, cook the pasta in boiling water following the instructions. 
  • When cooked, drain the spaghetti in a colander. 
  • Serve the bolognese sauce on a bed of pasta, along with a sprinkle of parsley to garnish. 

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