Vegan lentil bolognese is the perfect filling sauce for a bowl of pasta. In this recipe, hearty lentil, walnut, and mushroom-filled tomato sauce blanket a bed of pasta. It's so tasty, satisfying, and filling, that you might just want to make a large batch and freeze it for future meals. Add broccoli, cauliflower, or kale to the pasta to get even more veggies in. Plus, the veggies pair wonderfully with the vegan lentil bolognese, but you can leave them out if you wish. Serve over any pasta of choice with a side salad and some toasty bread, perfection!
Hearty Lentil Broccoli Bolognese [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup carrot, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 1 cup Crimini or White Button mushrooms, chopped or sliced
- 1/2 cup red or white wine, optional
- 3 cups tomatoes, diced, fresh or canned
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 3/4 cup green or brown lentils
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon sweetener of choice (agave, sugar, chopped date)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped (optional)
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
- 3 cups broccoli florets, cauliflower, or kale
- Sauté onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and mushrooms in a bit of olive oil over medium heat, in a medium pot or wide, deep skillet, for 3-4 minutes.
- When softening and lightly browning, add wine if using, if not substitute water or vegetable broth, and stir well to combine. Add tomatoes and cook with lid on for 5-6 minutes over medium heat until tomatoes start to break down. Add remaining ingredients, tomato paste through lentils and bring to a gentle boil then cover and lower to a simmer.
- Let cook for 20 minutes or so until lentils are soft and sauce is thickening. Add remaining ingredients walnuts through nutritional yeast. Only add walnuts at the very end of cooking, if you add them earlier and continue to cook sauce, they will turn it black. After you add walnuts and herbs turn off heat and stir well to combine, serve over pasta of choice with steamed or sautéed veggies added in. We like to throw a few cups of broccoli, cauliflower or kale into the pasta water in the last minute of cooking and then drain all together, perfect every time! Toss pasta with sauce to coat thoroughly and serve hot.