Super healthy vegetarian Lentil and Mushroom Bolognese. Full of flavour and can be made vegan too! Easy to make and freezes well. The perfect mid-week dinner.
I’m not doing Veganuary this year. There are many reasons why but the main one is that I honestly don’t believe the whole world turning Vegan is the answer to our problems. At home, I’m making an effort to live more sustainably, including eating less meat and making sure the meat we do eat is ‘better’ – high welfare, as local as possible and non-processed.
We’re also working on being better with our recycling. And trying to avoid single-use plastics when we can. And being smarter about our meal plan and weekly shop to avoid unnecessary waste. We’re not perfect in any way, but we are trying.
This vegetarian Lentil and Mushroom Bolognese is a perfect mid-week meal It’s meat-free, can easily be made vegan, and full of veggies. The red lentils are a great healthy meat substitute. They are a good source of protein and iron, as well as being filled with B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and potassium.
Can I freeze this Bolognese?
Absolutely! I love to make a big batch and freeze some single portions so I always have a quick, easy and healthy dinner on hand for busy days.
I love my Lentil Bolognese served simply with pasta and a little sprinkle of parmesan, but it also works well with rice, mashed potato or as a stew with some crusty bread to dunk.
Tips and Substitues
- I know mushrooms can be polarising, so if you hate them then you can definitely just leave them out or replace them (see below).
- The beauty of this recipe is that you can easily customise it and add some extra veggies – diced peppers, quartered cherry tomatoes and diced courgette would all be a great addition.
- For Vegan – make sure to use a Vegan stock cube, soy sauce (or tamari), pasta and cheese (if serving). Same applies for Gluten Free.
- If you don’t eat (or have to hand) Soy Sauce then you can substitute with Coconut Aminos or Tamari. (Worcestershire sauce will also work in the recipe but note that this is not Vegetarian.)
If you are looking for another easy vegetarian dinner then check out my Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese or Gnocchi Bake with Tomato, Red Pepper and Mozzarella. Looking for comfort food? Try my Traditional Lentil Soup with Bacon.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Please leave a comment and let me know if you make it.
Vegetarian Lentil and Mushroom Bolognese
- Large Saucepan
- 250 grams red lentils
- 1 whole onion, diced
- 3 carrots, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, diced
- 300 grams mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 400 grams tin chopped tomatoes
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- ½ tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- olive oil and salt & pepper
- Heat a glug of olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat then add the onion and fry until soft, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the carrots, celery and garlic, stir and fry for another 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the lentils, then add the mushrooms, dried herbs and tomato paste.
- Pour over the stock, the full tin of tomatoes then fill the empty tomato tin with water and pour that in too.
- Add the soy sauce then stir everything together well, season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
- Simmer over a low heat for 40 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Serve over your favourite pasta with a sprinkle of grated cheese.
- Can be frozen for up to 2 months – allow to defrost and then reheat in a saucepan with a splash of hot water.