Lentil Bolognese recipe

45 mins

This lentil Bolognese recipe from Second Nature makes the perfect vegetarian alternative to a dinner-time classic.

Transform pre-cooked brown, green, or Puy lentils into a quick and rich sauce that goes perfectly with a little pasta. Serve it with crisp salad leaves and grated cheese for an easy midweek meal. You can make the recipe vegan by swapping the cheese for a plant-based alternative too.

Lentils are an excellent source of soluble fibre – ideal for optimal gut health and good digestion. Plus, they also contain essential minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with this lentil Bolognese recipe and adapt it to what you have in the kitchen. For instance, if you haven’t got any pasta, try this recipe with brown rice instead. Similarly, swap pepper for broccoli, celery or even tinned peas and carrots. Trading courgette for aubergine or asparagus is another easy way to adapt the recipe and avoid a visit to the shop. Lentils form the basis for the Bolognese here, but this recipe works just as well with beef mince or even tinned kidney beans.

Discover more vegetarian recipes

Wellbeing Wisdom

Lentils are an excellent source of fibre and also contain important minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 courgette, diced
  • 1 tsp dired oregano
  • 175g mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 1 x 400g tin cooked lentils
  • 2 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 80g vegetarian Italian hard cheese, grated
  • 40g uncooked wholewheat pasta


  1. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large saucepan or casserole dish, over medium heat. Fry the onion, until lightly coloured.
  2. Add the green pepper, courgette, and oregano, and fry until they soften.
  3. Add the mushrooms and garlic. Allow the mushrooms to cook a little, and add the lentils, tomatoes, and half of the basil. Bring it to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer gently for 10-15mins.
  5. Prepare the wholewheat pasta as per instructions.
  6. Serve the bolognese with the cooked wholewheat pasta. Garnish with the remaining chopped basil leaves and sprinkle with grated cheese.