Sunday, October 17, 2021

Lentil Bolognese

At its simplest, bolognese is ground beef in a thick tomato sauce. It’s traditionally served over wide noodles like tagliatelle, but I think I’ve had it most often over spaghetti. In fact, the sauce mom used to make was a version of bolognese. I grew up on bolognese and never knew it! Ah, fond memories. But today I’m going to try a meatless version of that sauce I love with this vegetarian Lentil Bolognese recipe since I’m trying to make healthier choices these days. This vegetarian bolognese looks and sounds wonderful, but will I miss the meat? Let’s find out!

This lentil bolognese is incredible! Super hearty, loaded with vegetables, saucy, rich and decadent. You won’t even miss the meat!

Recipe Author: Jessica at How Sweet Eats
Get the recipe

The Ingredients

Not surprisingly, this recipe is packed with vegetables. The lentils were no surprise, nor were the tomatoes, onion, garlic, or mushroom. The zucchini was, but I’m game—I love zucchini!

By the way, the recipe calls for two 14-ounce cans of lentils. I was only able to find 15.5-ounce cans. But more lentils can’t be a bad thing.

I even splurged on a wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano instead of the pre-grated stuff I usually buy. This recipe didn’t use much of it, but this hard cheese keeps for a long time. I almost always use the entire wedges when I buy them. It’s a great excuse to make more Italian food!

Lentil Bolognese Ingredinets
Lentils, mushrooms, zucchini, onion, garlic, olive oil, red wine, diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, parmesan cheese, tomato paste, half and half, brown sugar, and crushed tomatoes

The Process

Since there was a good amount of chopping to do, I decided to prep everything before I started cooking. The prep time listed for this recipe was 15 minutes, and I had everything ready in 14 minutes. Right on time!

A 5-quart Dutch oven was the perfect size for this bolognese sauce, and I cooked everything but the pasta in it. A 4.5-quart pot on another burner while I prepped the sauce was perfect for a package of linguine I had in my pantry. It was finished long before the sauce, but draining it and drizzling some olive oil over it kept it at the ready.

Cooked fettuccine drizzled in olive oil
Cooked fettuccine drizzled in olive oil

But back to the bolognese sauce! The recipe is broken down into easy to follow steps, and I had no problems at all. In fact, everything went very smoothly since I did all of the prep work beforehand.

The total time for this recipe was a little under the 1 hour 15 minutes listed. I had it ready in 59 minutes, and I have to say it was beautiful. And needless to say, it smelled wonderful!

Chopping the vegetables
Chopping the vegetables

So how was it?

Clear & Accurate Directions
Accurate Time(s)
Okay, so the big question on my mind as I ate this Lentil Bolognese was would I miss the meat? And the answer is not really. There was a teeny, tiny part of me that missed the taste but not the sluggishness that can happen after a big meal with beef. Instead, I ate two plates of this and didn't feel guilty at all. The sauce was zesty and full of flavor! The acidic tomatoes were countered nicely by the earthy mushrooms and lentils, and the zucchini added lots of texture. I especially liked that I could taste the red wine in the background. This recipe was easy to make and ready in about an hour. Plus it made up a ton of sauce, so there were plenty of leftovers for quick weekday lunches. Definitely a Pinterest success, and definitely will be made again!
I'm Candice, and I'm The Hungry Pinner. I created this blog to share my love for cooking and my experiences with the MANY recipes I've found on Pinterest over the years. Join me as I blog my way through those recipes to find out if they are worth trying yourself.


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