Spaghetti Lentil Bolognese for dinner! Classic Italian recipe made with wholesome vegetarian ingredients. You will love this recipe bursting with flavors, textures and taste.
Bolognese sauce is classic Italian sauce originated in Bologna region of Italy. Just like any traditional recipe, there are numerous personal preferences to make this rustic earthy sauce.
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I am including stove top as well as InstantPot ( electric pressure cooker) cooking instructions here. It’s quick easy dinner for busy weeknights.
Instant-potting is becoming my favorite way to cook lentils and beans. I simply love this time saving and hands free cooking method.
The flavors from Italian herbs and lentils match extremely well with crushed tomatoes. InstantPot helps in locking in these flavors further. End result tastes and feel like something you simmered for hours where in fact, dinner will be ready under 30 minutes.
This Spaghetti Lentil Bolognese is one of our favorite dinner recipe. It’s
- gluten free
- full of plant based protein and fiber and low calorie
- loaded with classic Italian flavors.
And it’s so superbly comforting and hearty that even non vegetarians and kids love devouring it.
Speaking of nourishing and comforting dinner ideas, do check out some our favorite and popular recipes.
There’s just something special about the intense combination of flavors from the sun ripened tomato sauce and fresh herbs that create marvelous dinner recipes. Add in meaty lentils and you will singing the tunes of HAPPY song.
This Vegan Instant Pot Spaghetti Bolognese is one of those dinner recipe my family loves. It makes routine appearance on our dinner table so rest assured, I have perfected it …
Every bite of this Instant Pot Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese is full of flavors and hearty ingredients. Perfect comfort food but lighter on calories .
Super flavorful Italian herbs like basil, oregano and thyme make a wonderful melody with sun ripened tomatoes. This classic Bolognese sauce jam-packed with simple yet delicious ingredients.
What are ingredients of Lentil Bolognese Sauce?
We start off with small lentils ( brown or green both work fine) .
Finely chopped vegetables like onions, celery and carrots and mushrooms.
Tomato sauce is the base of this delicious dish.
Aromatics and herbs include minced garlic, Italian Seasoning and fresh basil, oregano and thyme.
I prefer to use San Marzano tomatoes for all my Italian recipes. These tomatoes grown in Italy. They are juicy, bright red and sweet.
A touch of extra virgin olive oil adds a depth of flavor so does splash of wine. I love using red wine in this sauce but white wine works too. However, you can skip both wine and oil and use vegetable broth instead if you want to make it fully WFPB meal ( whole food plant based )
Any classic, traditional recipe is also a personal choice so naturally there are lots of opinions about how to make it “perfect” or “the best.” This lentil Bolognese recipe is our favorite version, but feel free to make substitutions based on your dietary and lifestyle preferences.
What can I serve with Lentil Bolognese?
Spaghetti!! Hands down perfect pairing. I use gluten free version. Regular works too. Btw, any other shape of pasta is good as well. So go ahead use that penne, pappardelle or rotini waiting in the pantry.
The bolognese sauce tastes AMAZING over bed of mashed potatoes as well. Zucchini noodles and cauliflower rice are game too if you are looking to make it low carb light version.
How long can I store Lentil bolognese sauce?
This sauce stays fresh and tastes well even after few days of making. Flavors intensify even better actually. So you can refrigerate it for 3-4 days and freeze it for couple weeks. You can easily double the recipe.
This makes a perfect meal prep for school and office lunches. On a lousy lazy days, I have enjoyed this hearty sauce just over a big green salad mix for quick perk me up.. numerous times…. true confession of a foodie here !!
Let’s make this delicious recipe together. Shall we?
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Spaghetti Lentil Bolognese
- 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup dry lentils rinsed
- 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup minced onion
- 1 cup celery finely chopped
- 1 cup carrots finely chopped
- 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/3 cup red wine
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tablespoon Dry Italian Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon each thyme, oregano and basil finely chopped optional but highly recommend.
- ⅛ teaspoon Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon Red chili pepper flakes- per taste
- 12 oz Gluten Free Spaghetti or pasta cooked.
- Press the SAUTE button on your Instant Pot and add the olive oil. Add the bay leaf, onion, celery, and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
- Add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, so the mushrooms start to release the water. Add the red wine and let it sizzle.
Add the crushed tomatoes and Italian Seasoning. Mix everything well.
- Add the lentils, water, red pepper flakes and herbs (if using) to the Instant Pot. Close the lid. Set the valve to SEALING. Choose MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK setting for 15 minutes.
Now is a good time to cook your pasta.
- When the InstantPot beeps after it's done cooking, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. Open the lid. Gently stir everything.
- Serve the Lentil Bolognese sauce over cooked spaghetti. Top with fresh chopped basil and red pepper flakes. Bon appetit!!
Stove Top Instructions
- Heat a large cooking pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Add the bay leaf, onion, celery, and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
- Add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, so the mushrooms start to release the water. Add the red wine and let it sizzle. Add the crushed tomatoes and Italian Seasoning. Mix everything well.
- Add the lentils, water, red chili flakes and herbs (if using) to the pot. Bring it boil on high heat. Then reduce the heat, cover the pot and let it simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated. Check the tenderness of lentils by pressing the spatula. When lentils are cooked , turn off the heat. Gently stir everything together.
- Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions side by side.
- Serve the Lentil Bolognese sauce over cooked spaghetti. Top with fresh chopped basil and red pepper flakes. Bon Appetit!!