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Lentil Bolognese (Veggie Loaded!)


This lentil bolognese recipe is loaded with flavour, you can hardly tell that it is completely plant based (I made this for dinner the other night & my husband had no idea there was no meat!)!

Using ingredients like mushrooms, carrot, zucchini and lentils, this vegan bolognese recipe is packed with protein and complex carbohydrates.

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bowl of veggie loaded lentil bolognese and spaghetti

The Perfect Meat Free Monday Dish

Do you do meat free Monday? Or maybe you do meat free everyday? Personally, I like to include at least one if not two or three (if the meat loving members of our family will let me) vegetarian meals per week. Dishes like my Chickpea Curry are on a regular rotation in our household.

I love making this veggie loaded Lentil Bolognese as it serves at least 6 adults. For us it serves 2 adults, 3 kids plus a couple of lunches the next day. It’s also a great dish for batch cooking as Lentil Bolognese freezes incredibly well. Simply double the recipe and freeze half.

vegetarian lentil bolognese in a white cast iron pan

Plant Based Protein

I know I bang on about this a lot BUT when you’re eating plant based, vegetarian or vegan dishes it is SO important to make sure there is a good plant based protein source.

Plant based protein sources include:

  • legumes (lentils, chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, soy etc)
  • nuts and seeds
  • wholegrains (brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa etc)

It’s really important when eating vegetarian meals to combine the protein sources. You can do this by combining:

  • nuts and seeds with legumes
  • legumes with grains
  • grains with nuts and seeds

In this dish, the Lentil Bolognese is served with pasta, which is a grain, making it a complete protein.

spaghetti in bowls and plant based bolognese in pot

Ingredients for Lentil Bolognese

This recipe uses very basic and easy to get ingredients. These include:

  • onions
  • garlic
  • organic tinned lentils
  • carrot
  • zucchini
  • mushrooms
  • capsicum
  • red wine
  • oregano
  • bay leaves
  • passata
  • salt & pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil

I like to blend together the onion, garlic, carrot, zucchini, mushrooms and capsicum to create a paste. This method is great for picky eaters as well as they won’t be able to pick the vegetables out of the Lentil Bolognese.

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vegan bolognese recipe using lentils

Looking for More Plant Based Dinner Recipes? Try these…

One Pot Vegan Chilli

Dairy Free Pesto with Crispy Chickpeas

Thai Red Curry Tofu Noodle Soup

spaghetti, lentil bolognese and basil in bowl

Lentil Bolognese (Veggie Loaded!)

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Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Dairy Free, egg free, Gluten Free, Plant Based, Vegan
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Lactose, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: bolognese, lentils, passata
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6


  • Food Processor
  • Casserole dish
  • Chopping Board
  • Knife
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Large saucepan


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 carrot
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 cup button mushrooms
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 1 400 g tin lentils strained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 700 g passata
  • Salt & pepper
  • To Serve
  • Pasta of choice
  • Fresh parsley or basil finely chopped
  • Parmesan cheese optional


  • Remove ends from onion, peel and then cut in half. Place into a food processor or high speed blender.
  • Remove ends from zucchini and carrot and cut into approximately 4 pieces each. Place into food processor.
  • Cut around the stalk of the capsicum and pull to remove. Cut capsicum into quarters and remove remaining pith and seeds. Place into food processor.
  • Peel garlic cloves and place into food processor along with button mushrooms. Blend all vegetables on high until it forms a paste.
  • Pour olive oil into casserole pan or frypan and bring to a medium heat on the stove. Place vegetable paste into frypan and sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Pour in the passata, red wine and lentils. Add the oregano, bay leaves, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on.
  • 15 minutes before serving, 2/3 fill a large pot with water, salt generously and bring to a boil. Once boiling add pasta of choice and cook until al dente.
  • Divide pasta among bowls and top with spoonfuls of bolognese. Top with fresh parsley or basil and parmesan if desired.


If a food processor is not available, carrot, zucchini, brown onion and garlic can be grated and capsicum and button mushrooms can be finely diced.
To make dairy free omit the parmesan cheese or use a vegan parmesan. 
Nutrition information is an estimate only. 


Calories: 426kcal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 51mg | Potassium: 1157mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 2980IU | Vitamin C: 47mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 6mg
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