Lentil bolognese? Sounds gross, truly. As an Italian girl, I was on the fence about this one but we are trying to eat less meat in our home and I was determined to make this work.
I love a good bolognese (find my turkey version here if you’re more of a carnivore) and wanted to find a great vegetarian option for a delicious weeknight dinner. Last week I found a lentil bolognese recipe online for my meal plan but it needed a little tweaking (IMO) so I added a few ingredients and swapped a few things around to make a hearty, filling, and delicious lentil bolognese.
It turned out so great! I recommend not skipping the wine or vinegar steps, they make a world of difference. As does the pinch of nutmeg, an important ingredient in traditional bolognese.
Lentil Bolognese Recipe
- 3 tbsp butter (or olive oil for a dairy-free version)
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1-2 large carrots, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 1/4 cups, dry white wine
- 1 tube (5oz) tube or can (6oz) of tomato paste
- 2 cups, chicken broth (or veggie broth if you want to make it vegan)
- 1 cup red lentils, soaked
- 1/4 cup walnuts (or pecans), crushed finely
- 1 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes or diced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 box, cooked pasta of choice (I used Banza chickpea pasta for a high-protein gluten-free version)
- Italian parsley, chopped
- Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese for topping (optional)
- Soak lentils in cold water for at least 30 minutes
- I prep the other ingredients while they’re soaking
- Heat butter (or olive oil) in a large pot
- Add onions and a pinch of salt, cook onions for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Add a few spoonfuls of water to deglaze the pan, stir, and cook for another 5 minutes until they’re golden brown
- Add the carrot and celery and cook for about 2 more minutes
- Add garlic, thyme, oregano, 2 tsp salt, black pepper (to taste), and nutmeg, stir and cook for another minute or so
- Add tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently until it’s dark red
- Add wine and cook down for another 2-3 minutes
- Stir in soaked lentils and nuts and heat to a boil, then simmer on low for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Add crushed tomatoes and broth and simmer on low for another 15-20 minutes until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally
- Add salt and pepper to taste and finish off with a dash of vinegar
- Toss with cooked pasta and another tablespoon of butter, and garnish with parsley and grated cheese
Looks delicious! Quick question, do you removed the water that the lentils were soaking in before adding them?
Can you use green lentil
For sure! I just like the look of the red better 🙂
Looks SO delicious!
When do you add the broth? Looks delicious! I can’t wait to try!
Oops sorry about that! Just updated the post but you add it with the tomatoes.