This easy vegetarian lentil bolognese is a new favourite meal in our home. Not only was it easy to make, but it’s budget-friendly, vegetarian AND the kids loved it (and we all know how exciting that is!).
To make this meal easy and quick I chose to use a 400g can of organic lentils. If you want to take this recipe one step further you can absolutely soak your own lentils, boil for 30 minutes and then use as you would the canned lentils. If you choose to do this you’ll need about 1.5-2 cups of dry lentils.
Whether you choose to eat mostly plant based like me or you just want to cut down your grocery bill or eat a little less meat, this easy vegetarian lentil bolognese recipe is one you’ll want to add to your menu plan (learn how to create and make menu plans in my 30 day program).
My son loves zucchini noodles but my daughter isn’t so keen. I chose to serve my daughter’s with buckwheat spirals (these are the ones we love) and my son had a mixture of pasta and zucchini noodles.
I served my vegetarian lentil bolognese with zucchini noodles and topped it with vegan parmesan cheese. It’s the first time I’ve tried it and it was surprisingly impressive.
As above, if you don’t want to use canned lentils you can swap for dried lentils prepared as outlined above.
If you don’t have nutritional yeast you can swap it out for parmesan cheese (note that the recipe will no longer be dairy free or vegan-friendly with this swap) or leave it out completely. I personally think the nutritional yeast (also known as savoury yeast flakes) create the most amazing flavour.
If you can’t find passata (pureed tomatoes) you can swap it for a can of diced tomatoes, choosing to leave as is or pureeing the diced tomatoes at home.
I’ve used both sweet paprika and smoked paprika for this recipe with similar results.
- 1 400g can of lentils, drained and rinsed
- 250g passata (pureed tomatoes)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 tbsp sweet paprika
- 1/4 tsp vegetable stock or herbed salt (or to taste)
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (savoury yeast flakes)
- 1-2 medium sized zucchini, spiralised or julienne sliced.
- In a medium fry pan, add the oil, grated carrot, garlic and paprika and heat the pan to medium heat while stirring regularly.
- Once the carrot starts to soften, add the lentils, passata and stock/herbed salt and stir.
- Allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the lentils start to break and the carrot is soft.
- While the lentil bolognese is simmering prepare the zucchini noodles by placing in a double steamer with water at the bottom. Steam for 5 minutes or until tender (not soggy).
- Once the bolognese is ready, remove from the heat and stir through the nutritional yeast. Add any additional seasoning at this point if required.
- To serve, spoon lentil bolognese over zucchini noodles and sprinkle with vegan parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast.
- See substitution ideas above.
- Double quantities to serve a larger family or for left overs.
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Krissy Ropiha is a Certified Nutrition and Health Coach and Psychology graduate, passionate about supporting, inspiring and empowering busy mums to take back control of their health, get nourishing meals on the table in less than 30 minutes and feel confident in their own unique body.
Strive for nourishment, not perfection.