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Vegan Lentil Bolognese – Beef free bliss!

Vegan lentil bolognese served in a bowl with cheese, and a jar of basil at the top of the image. | Hurry The Food Up

We’ve got a delicious vegan lentil bolognese recipe for you today! Spaghetti bolognese (or spag bol as we Brits like to call it!) is an all time favourite, a nostalgic dish that reminds me of school night dinners as a kid.

This lentil spaghetti bolognese is a healthier, meat and dairy-free version of the classic pasta recipe, for those of you looking to transition to a more plant-based diet!

The ingredients for the lentil bolognese are laid out including tomato, spaghetti, carrots and walnut. | Hurry The Food Up

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Why is our lentil bolognese better than beef?

Our vegan lentil bolognese recipe might not be entirely true to the Italian classic, but it is certainly healthier (as are all our favorite vegan mediterranean recipes)!

Following in the footsteps of previous recipes like our bean and pasta casserole, we have designed a healthy pasta sauce recipe that swaps out ingredients like meat and butter for lighter alternatives like lentils and a little olive oil.

Let’s look more closely at some of the swaps in this vegan spaghetti bolognese!

Carrots, celery, garlic and onion chopped up and in a blender, ready to be blended for lentil bolognese. | Hurry The Food Up

Better than butter: olive oil!

Instead of butter, our vegan bolognese uses olive oil. Butter contains saturated fat, the unhealthy kind that raises cholesterol. However, olive oil contains mainly unsaturated fat, the healthy kind, which actively lowers cholesterol. Healthy swap number 1, TICK!

A birds eye view of a bowl of vegan lentil bolognese sprinkled with vegan cheese and basil leaves. | Hurry The Food Up
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Why meat gets the chop!

The biggest swap we have to make is meat, of course – we are a vegetarian blog after all! Traditional bolognese uses red meat, usually beef, but we have opted for lentils, in order to make sure this is a healthy vegetarian pasta recipe (btw, we’ve made sure all these vegetarian pasta bakes are healthier than their meat alternatives too!).

Here’s a table comparing 100g beef to 100g lentils, so you can see the benefits for yourself!

100g beef, source: Healthline100g cooked lentils, source:
Medical News Today
Calories217kcal116kcal
Fat11.8g0.38g
Fibre0g7.9g
Protein26g9.02g

Sure, beef does outstrip lentils on protein content, but in every other area, lentils outrun beef every time! 0.38g fat instead of 11.8g fat? I’ll take a lentil bolognese every time!

If you are looking for this healthy vegetarian recipe as part of an effort to lose weight as a vegetarian, you should also check out our vegetarian weight loss meal plans! There’s a lot more where this comes from!

A birds eye view of a bowl of vegan lentil bolognese and a jar with sprigs of basil in it. | Hurry The Food Up
Vegan Lentil Bolognese
4.89 from 9 votes
Love a good bolognese but trying to eat less meat? Try our healthy, plant-based lentil bolognese – you’ll never look back!
Cuisine:Italian
Diet: dairy-free, egg-free, vegan
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:20 minutes
Total Time:30 minutes
Servings:2 servings
Calories:530kcal
Author: Abril Macías

Ingredients

Optional

  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
    5 oz wholegrain pasta
  • Add the onion, garlic, and optional celery and carrot cut into rough chunks and to the food processor. Pulse until the veggies are minced very finely.
    ½ small white onion, 2 clove garlic, 1 celery, 1 carrot
    Carrots, celery, garlic and onion chopped up and in a blender, ready to be blended for lentil bolognese. | Hurry The Food Up
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat add the olive oil, the minced veggies. Cook, stirring often, until the veggies are translucent, have reduced, and browned lightly.
    1 tsp olive oil
  • Add the oregano and chopped basil leaves, cook until the fragrance of the herbs comes out (about 1 minute). Add the tomato paste , can of diced tomato, lentils, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaf and water. Mix and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring to avoid sticking at the bottom of the pan.
    ¼ cup basil, fresh, 1 tsp oregano, dried, 1 tbsp tomato paste, 1 can tomatoes, diced, 1 cup brown lentils, cooked, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 bay leaf, ¼ cup water
  • Season bolognese sauce with salt to taste and sugar. Mix and taste. Add more salt if necessary.
    Salt to taste, 1 tsp sugar
  • Put the saucepan over medium heat and add walnuts and pasta. Cook and mix everything together until fully incorporated (2-4 minutes). The bolognese sauce should stick to the pasta (shouldn’t be liquidy) and have a nice consistency.
    2 tbsp walnuts
  • Serve lentil bolognese spaghetti and top with some nutritional yeast or vegetarian parmesan and basil leaves.
    1 tbsp nutritional yeast
    A birds eye view of a bowl of vegan lentil bolognese sprinkled with vegan cheese and basil leaves. | Hurry The Food Up

NOTES

  • Make-ahead? Yes, works good.
  • Freezable? Yes, it’s freezer friendly.
 
After more healthy pasta recipes?
One pot wonder Bean and Pasta Veggie Casserole
Super Spicy Pasta Arrabbiata
We’re nutty for our Peanut Pasta Salad
Green n Creamy Avocado Spaghetti
Perfect Purple Beetroot and Feta Pasta

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Lentil Bolognese
Amount per Serving
Calories
530
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
10
g
15
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
6
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Sodium
 
871
mg
38
%
Potassium
 
1185
mg
34
%
Carbohydrates
 
92
g
31
%
Fiber
 
13
g
54
%
Sugar
 
11
g
12
%
Protein
 
26
g
52
%
Vitamin A
 
551
IU
11
%
Vitamin C
 
25
mg
30
%
Calcium
 
158
mg
16
%
Iron
 
9
mg
50
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Tag @HurryTheFoodUp on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece!

Comments
4.89 from 9 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




2 comments
  1. 5 stars
    This was delicious. I plan on making this again with frozen corn added.

    1. Hi Sarah, awesome!! Really glad you enjoyed it. Yes, frozen corn, nice idea! That will fit well 🙂