Lentil Bolognese

lentil bolognese by the kosher foodies

Growing up, we always ate spaghetti and meatballs on Monday nights. It’s not like we had a weekly dinner rotation or anything, that was just Monday night dinner. And we loved it. That was before “Meatless Monday” was a thing, anyway. Being kosher, we had a lot of meatless dinners throughout the week, so I don’t even feel the least bit guilty that most of my life was spent eating meat on Monday nights. 

lentil bolognese by the kosher foodieslentil bolognese by the kosher foodies

That being said, I decided I wanted to vegetarian-ize our favorite Monday night dinner. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to make spaghetti and meatballs for my family on Monday nights in all different forms, whether it’s meat sauce instead of meatballs, meatballs made with ground turkey, or spaghetti squash instead of traditional spaghetti. This time, I decided to do something completely different and make the sauce vegetarian. I used lentils, which are very healthy and cheap, in place of the meat, and made a thick tomato sauce that’s full of veggies and super healthy.

I made it in the morning, so that once dinner time came around, all I had to do was boil my pasta and dinner was ready! Talk about an easy meal. This is also something that can be made in advance, like the day before, and refrigerated, or even frozen for a quick meal on a too-busy weeknight.

lentil bolognese by the kosher foodieslentil bolognese by the kosher foodies

As is, this is a vegan dish, but since we’re kosher and can never have meat and cheese together, you can always add some grated parmesan cheese to the top, just because you can.

Lentil Bolognese, adapted from here:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 big can chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 pound pasta of choice


1. In a large pot (I used my Le Creuset), heat the olive oil.

2. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook over medium-low heat, until they begin to soften and brown. Season with salt and pepper and the oregano.

3. Add the tomato paste and wine and turn the heat up to high.

4. Stir until the wine evaporates.

5. Add the tomatoes, parsley, basil, and spinach.

6. Bring to a boil.

7. Add the lentils and the water and let boil for one minute.

8. Cover, reduce heat to simmer, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

9. Now your sauce is done!

10. Cook pasta according to package directions.

11. Spoon sauce over pasta and add some fresh basil and parsley to the top. Grate some cheese if you want. Enjoy!

lentil bolognese by the kosher foodies

lentil bolognese by the kosher foodies

  • I love using lentils in place of ground beef in recipes. This pasta dish looks delicious!

  • Amy

    Do you drain the canned tomatoes, or do you pour in the liquid? It seems like the latter, but I just want to be sure. Thanks!

    • hi amy, use the whole can, juice and all!

  • This sounds great, I might make it next week. Are your lentils dry? I always soak mine before I use them — I assumed you had to.

  • mayihavethatrecipe

    Very clever to bake a bolognese with lentils instead of meat. Love it!

  • LilMissCakes

    This looks delicious, I wouldnt miss the meat!

  • Such a great idea. Always want to use lentils in more ways!

  • we have meatless meals often — and lentils often. Never had them Bolognese but it has to be great. I could eat just the sauce!

  • Whitney @ Jewhungry

    Oh! I’ve been meaning to makes this. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  • Shoshana Ohriner

    Sounds amazing, such a creative way to use lentils.

  • Sarah Klinkowitz

    This looks too good! I love pasta and lentils – never thought to put them together!