My Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese (Vegan)

Like most, I’ve been enjoying spaghetti bolognese from when I was a little girl. It was only recently that I started using lentils instead of either mince (before becoming vegan) or soy mince (TVP).

Lentils make this dish hearty, nutritious and packed with flavour. A cheap meal that will feed up to six people and uses ingredients that you’ll most likely already have in your pantry.

My Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese (Vegan)

Have fussy eaters?

If you have picky eaters that run at the sight of veggies, you can easily hide them in this dish. Instead of dicing them up, before adding to the pot, pulse them a few times in a food processor before adding to the pan.

They will be so subtle, and they won’t even notice they are there!

It will look like it’s just a delicious tomato sauce with lentils.

My Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese (Vegan)

Tomato sauces are best when cooked nice and slow.

You will get much more depth and flavour if you let it simmer between 45 minutes to 1 hour.

The great thing about this sauce is that you can simply leave it on medium-low and come back and stir it every 5-10 minutes. It will do its thing and create that magical, rich flavour with time.

My Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese (Vegan)

Alternatives for the lentils

If you’re wondering what you can use instead of canned brown lentils, there are plenty of options!

You can switch the canned brown lentils for:

  • Home-cooked brown (green) lentils
  • French lentils (aka puy lentils)
  • Black lentils (Beluga)
  • Adzuki beans

My Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese (Vegan)

The sauce also freezes well and can be kept in the fridge for a few days.

Some great additions to this lentil spaghetti bolognese are sriracha sauce for some added heat, grated vegan cheese, a fresh salad on the side, or some pickles like gherkins.

Other recipes you’ll love: 

  1. 3-Ingredient Cabbage Pasta
  2. Three Incredibly Simple Silverbeet Recipes
  3. Wholesome Vegan Lentil Lasagna
  4. Easy Vegan Baked Ziti
  5. Smokey Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese

If you try this recipe, let me know! I would love for you to leave a comment and rating below. Want to go that extra mile? Tag us on Instagram or share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest. Don’t want to make it now? Pin it for later!

My Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese

My Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese

Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

A delicious family favourite with a lentil twist. It's hearty, wholesome and filling. This lentil spaghetti bolognese is a great addition to your weekly meal rotation.


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes (400g each)*
  • 1 heaped tbsp tomato paste
  • ¼ cup vegan red wine (I used an organic shiraz)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian herbs (my mix had basil, thyme, rosemary, and oregano)
  • Chilli powder to taste (optional)
  • Pinch of nutmeg (freshly grated is best)
  • ½ tsp coconut sugar*
  • 500g packet of spaghetti
  • 1 can of brown lentils (425g)*, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a large pot on medium-high heat, add the olive oil, onion, and garlic cooking until they release an aroma and slightly start to brown.
  2. Add in the celery and carrots and stir to incorporate. Let this cook for around five minutes, with the lid on.
  3. Once the vegetables have softened, add in the cans of tomatoes and pouring half a cup of water in each can to get the rest of the tomato juices and pour that into the pot as well. (This will be 1 cup of water altogether).
  4. At this stage also add in the tomato paste, red wine, bay leaf, herbs, chili, nutmeg, and sugar. Stir well.
  5. Bring to a gentle simmer. Keep the lid slightly askew to maintain a slow simmer to retain the liquid without reducing it for 30 minutes. Make sure to stir every now and then.
  6. After the 30 minutes, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the spaghetti as per the packet instruction till al dente. I cooked mine for around 11 minutes.
  7. Once you put the pasta in to cook, add the lentils to the sauce. Stir to combine.
  8. Once the pasta is done, add nutritional yeast and salt to the sauce and adjust seasoning to taste.
  9. Drain the pasta once it's cooked and add to the sauce pot. Using tongs, combine well and serve.


* You can alternatively use passata.

* I used ½ a teaspoon of sugar, however, if you try the sauce at the end and it still tastes too acidic, add in another ½ a teaspoon of sugar.

* The brown lentils I used from the can were small and cooked well. I added them closer to the end cooking time as I didn't want them to turn mushy. If your lentils are bigger and are not too soft, add them in 10-15 minutes earlier.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 357Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 533mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 8gSugar: 6gProtein: 17g

Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically. The accuracy of this information is not guaranteed.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @theminimalistvegan on Instagram and follow us to see the latest!

My Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese (Vegan)

Interested in more?

Every couple of weeks we send a free newsletter to subscribers with our latest content. Enter your email below for recipes, articles, videos and podcasts delivered straight to your inbox.

Note: we believe that your email inbox is a sacred place and promise to never misuse your information or send you spam.

2 thoughts on “My Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese (Vegan)”

  1. David Hoeffner

    I’m not vegan but I’m a huge lentil fan and make lentil Bolognese all the time. So good. Will try this recipe.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.