Vegan Lentil Bolognese

Our Vegan Lentil Bolognese Sauce is a delightful twist on the classic Italian dish. Made with nutrient-rich lentils, aromatic herbs, and juicy tomatoes, it offers a burst of flavors that will tantalize your senses. The combination of earthy lentils and rich tomato-based sauce creates a hearty and satisfying meal that can be enjoyed on its own over a steaming bed of pasta, drizzled on top of a crispy slice of garlic bread, or used as a flavorful base for a hearty lasagna.

Lentils are not only a great source of protein, but they’re also packed with nutrients like iron, fiber, and folate, and contain zero saturated fat or cholesterol. Incorporating lentils into your diet can help boost your energy, improve digestion, and support heart health. Plus, this sauce is free from any animal products, making it a guilt-free indulgence that will please even the most discerning palates.

Recipe tips:

Adding cream at the end is optional, but adds richness to the finished Bolognese sauce. Vegan cream is not always easy to find, however. So, if you can’t find cream, you can use 1/4 cup plant milk plus a tablespoon of vegan butter to mimic the feel and texture of cream.

How to fix an overly acidic tomato sauce:

Tomato sauce can sometimes turn out overly acidic and a bit sour tasting. The common fix for this problem is usually to add some sugar to help sweeten the sauce. However, a better way to cut that acidic taste is to add a pinch of baking soda. It might sound a little strange, but baking soda is alkaline, so it will balance any extra acid from the tomatoes. Adding a little cream or butter at the end of cooking also helps to mellow the sauce.

The best pasta for bolognese sauce:

When we were kids we always had spaghetti Bolognese, but now I prefer to use a wider type of pasta for this dish. The general rule is: the thicker the sauce – the thicker the pasta should be. Wide, flat noodles stand up much better to a hearty, rich and “meaty” sauce, than thinner types of pasta. My favorite types of pasta for Bolognese sauce are pappardelle, tagliatelle, or fettucine.

If you want to – totally optional – you can top your Vegan Lentil Bolognese with a sprinkling of vegan parmesan. Violife parmesan is one of our favorites.


Lentil Bolognese

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: lentil, pasta, sauce, tomato
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 221kcal
Author: The Vegan Feast
Traditional Bolognese sauce is made with meat, but our hearty and much healthier vegan version is made with lentils instead.
Print Recipe


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup onion chopped
  • ¼ cup celery chopped
  • ¼ cup carrot chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp thyme
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup red wine optional
  • 28 oz chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup lentils cooked
  • cup nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup vegan cream optional
  • 1 pound pasta cooked


  • In a large skillet heat the olive oil and saute the onion, celery, and carrot over medium-high heat until the vegetables become very soft, about 5 minutes
  • Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, nutmeg and cinnamon and cook for a minute until the spices are fragrant.
  • If you are using the wine, add it to the pan and cook, deglazing the pan, until most of the liquid has evaporated. If you don't want to use wine in your sauce just skip to the next step.
  • Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
  • Add the cooked lentils and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the cream and/or nutritional yeast.
    Season with salt & pepper, if necessary.
  • Serve over your favorite pasta.


The nutritional information is calculated for the sauce only – the pasta is not included.


Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Sodium: 5359mg | Potassium: 349mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1117IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 4mg

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