Vegan red lentil bolognese

Vegan red lentil bolognese

It’s official, veganmania is in full swing, and it looks like she’s cool, young and beautiful. Whereas vegetarianism is still an old hippy, who doesn’t wash his hair. Why are we still so uncool? Plant-based burgers, vegan cheese and even vegan Happy Meals are popping up on menus across the land, and I still get risotto?! It’s so unfair! Don’t get me wrong, I’m appreciating the ever-expanding vegan menus with offerings that are more exciting and innovative – but where is vegetarian revolution? Stuffed peppers and goat cheese tarts are still thrust upon me at any given moment, as it seems our time in the sun has been eclipsed. Restaurants are killing two birds with one stone, and I don’t blame them, but it would be nice to have some sort of renaissance. Well, if you can’t beat them, join them. Here’s a vegan spaghetti Bolognese, because apparently I’m vegan now.

Vegan red lentil bolognese
Serves 4 / Hands on time 45 mins / Total time 1 hr 40 mins / V Vn Df Gf* 
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1/2 tsp seat salt flakes
1 large white onion, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and grated
2 celery sticks, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
1 can plum tomatoes
250g red lentils
1 tbs tomato purée
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried parsley
700ml vegetable stock, I use 1 Knorr stock pots
3 tbs vegan red wine (optional)
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
8 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 tsp Marmite (optional) 
300g wholewheat spaghetti or gluten free alternative (75g per person)
Extra virgin olive oil to serve
Fresh basil leaves to serve (optional)

TIP: This recipe makes A LOT! So unless you’re making it for six people, it’s a good idea to freeze what you don’t eat. To freeze, cool fully before spooning into bags or Tupperware. Freeze for up to 3 months. 

1. In a large cooking pot, sweat the grated carrot, onion, carrots, celery and salt together in the oil over a medium to low heat with the lid on for 15 mins, stirring occasionally.
2. Up the heat and stir in the tomato puree, garlic and nutmeg. Cook for 2 mins before adding the wine, balsamic vinegar and cooking until absorbed.
3. Add the tinned tomatoes and break them up a bit with a spoon. Add the stock, lentils, cherry tomatoes, oregano and parsley. Season with black pepper, add the Marmite (if using) and bring to the boil.
4. Once boiling, turn the heat down and simmer for 30-40 mins, stirring occasionally to dislodge any lentils stuck to the bottom.
5. Once the lentils have softened, take the bolognese off the heat and season to taste. Put to one side with the lid on. Fill a large saucepan with boiling water and add the spaghetti. Season the water with salt and boil the pasta for 10-12 mins (or according to the packet instructions).
6. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the pasta and divide into bowls. Top the spaghetti with the bolognese and serve drizzled with olive oil and topped with a good crack of black pepper and  fresh basil leaves.

Vegan red lentil bolognese

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.

V– Vegetarian    Vn– Vegan    Df– Dairy free
Gf– I use Knorr vegetable stock pots because they are gluten free but other stock pots/cubes may not be. Always check the label. Please substitute wholewheat pasta for a gluten free alternative.
 The bolognese sauce is suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.


10 thoughts on “Vegan red lentil bolognese

  1. I like lentils, in fact all the pulses, so this looks like a great idea for our ‘no meat’ days. But I’m not vegetarian, let alone vegan, so I’d probably sprinkle with a load of proper parmesan.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bravo Chris 🎉🎉🎉 I was just thinking about what to have for dinner tomorrow – lentil bolognese it is! Thank you for your comment and I’m glad you enjoyed your dinner 🙌🏼


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