The Best Lentil Bolognaise

This vegetarian delight is packed with Italian flavours, and will satisfy even the most hard-core meat lovers. Plus, lentils are super good for you, packed with protein, iron, and loads of fiber to feed those good gut bacteria. This meal also freezes very well, perfect for meal prepping.

The Best Lentil Bolognaise

Marna Oettle
Green or brown lentils with rich Italian flavours of rosemary, garlic, oregano, basil, tomato, olives
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 217 kcal


  • 1 cup uncooked brown or green lentils
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups boiled water
  • 1 tbsp olive / canola oil or non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 medium carrots grated
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and minced or finely chopped
  • 1 sprig of rosemary leaves removed from stem and roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste about 1 small sachet
  • 1 500g carton tomato passata or 1X 400g tin tomato + 100 ml water
  • 1 tbsp each dried oregano + basil
  • 10 olives pip removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp low sodium stock powder if you don't have this, use 1/2 of a regular stock cube or stock pot
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish nutritional yeast works well for a vegetarian alternative
  • cooked pasta or zoodles for serving


  • Cook the lentils in the microwave by adding 1/2 tsp salt and 3 cups boiled water, then microwaving on high in a large bowl (lid off) for 15 minutes. Stove-top works too, but it takes a bit longer. When they are cooked, drain and discard the cooking water.
  • Heat a medium-sized pot on the stove (medium – high heat) and brown the onions in the oil (or non-stick spray). Add small splashes of water if the onion starts to stick.
  • Add the grated carrots, garlic, and rosemary. Fry for another minute or so.
  • Add the cooked lentils, the tomato paste and passata (or can + water), oregano, basil, and olives.
  • Add the stock powder and a splash of water if needed. Mix well.
  • Taste, and season to perfection with salt and black pepper.
  • Simmer on low heat for another 5 minutes, or until ready to serve.
  • Serve on pasta or zoodles, garnished with grated Parmesan cheese.


Nutritional information per portion (1/4 of the recipe, not including pasta or Parmesan garnish): 217 kcal; 5.1 g fat; 45.2 g carbohydrate, 18.3 g fiber, 15.2 g protein, 6 mg iron.
Keyword basil, green lentils, olives, oregano, rosemary, tomato

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