Plant-Based Spaghetti Bolognese

Plant-Based Spaghetti Bolognese

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Adjust Servings:
8 ounces Spaghetti
25 ounces (can or carton) Chopped Tomatoes
0.5 cup Fresh Basil Leaves
4 Garlic Cloves
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
0.5 cup, diced Onion
1 large, diced Carrot
1 stalk, diced Celery
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
1 cup Red Lentils
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
0.5 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 cup Filtered Water
for garnish Parsley

Plant-Based Spaghetti Bolognese

  • Serves 4
  • Medium




Savory, easy to make and so flavorful plant-based spaghetti bolognese!

I think it’s safe to say that spaghetti bolognese is an iconic comfort food.

Bolognese is traditionally a meat-based sauce but I prefer to use lentils instead.

Lentils are packed with protein, rich in iron and folate. They also cook fairly quick and are versatile.

Lentils are often overlooked, even though they’re an inexpensive way of getting a wide range of nutrients.

They’re packed with B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and potassium.

Lentils are high in fiber, which supports regular bowel movements and the growth of healthy gut bacteria.

Eating lentils can increase your stool weight and improve your overall gut function

Any lentil variety works great in this recipe. I am using red lentils for color and the quick cooking time as they are split.

Lentils are a great “meat” texture alternative as they are filling, savory, somewhat sweet and have a nutty flavor.

My easy, 3-ingredient tomato sauce gives this pasta dish it’s signature red color and flavor.

As with any bolognese, the aromatic vegetables are onion, carrot and celery.

These simple vegetables are essential when it comes to creating a flavor base.

Spaghetti is my preferred pasta shape for this recipe but you can use any pasta you have on hand.

This plant-based spaghetti bolognese comes together quickly, is kid friendly and also makes for great leftovers!





Quick Prep Work

Peel and dice the onion.

Wash, peel and dice the carrot.

Wash and dice the celery.

Wash the basil leaves and discard the stems.

Smash and peel the garlic cloves.

Get all of the other ingredients out as well as a food processor (or blender), 1 large skillet and 1 large pot.


Make the 3-Ingredient Tomato Sauce

Add the chopped tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, and peeled garlic cloves to a food processor.

Blend for 30 seconds to a minute.

Set aside.

Get a large pot of water going on high heat, this will be for the spaghetti.


Start The Lentil Bolognese

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.

Once the skillet is hot, add the diced onion, carrot and celery.

Sauté on medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes stirring often.


Finish The Lentil Bolognese

Next, add 1 heaping Tablespoon of tomato paste. Using a wooden spoon, stir to coat the vegetables with the tomato paste.

Cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.

Add 1 cup of dry lentils, 1 teaspoon of sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Stir to combine.

Add the 3-ingredient tomato sauce and 1 cup of water to the skillet and stir to combine.

Lower the heat to medium-low and cover with a lid.


Cook The Spaghetti

While the lentil bolognese cooks, drop your spaghetti.

First, season with boiling water with 2 Tablespoons of sea salt then add the pasta.

Cook the pasta uncovered for 8 minutes or until al-dente (not fully cooked and with a bite).

Reserve 1 cup of pasta water.


Add The Spaghetti To The Bolognese Sauce

Before adding the spaghetti, grab a spoon and taste the bolognese. Check to see if the lentils are cooked and taste for seasoning. Adjust salt and/or black pepper if needed.

Add the al-dente spaghetti to the lentil bolognese. Using tongs, combine the spaghetti with the sauce so that every spaghetti is well coated in the sauce.

Turn off the heat and taste once more. Adjust seasoning if needed.


Garnish & Serve

Garnish the spaghetti bolognese with fresh parsley or basil and serve!

You can store any leftovers in an air-tight container in your refrigerator for up tp 4 days.


Hi guys, so glad you are here! My food blog is about easy, colorful and mostly healthy recipes. I grew up in Germany and have been in the states since 2002. Currently, I am living in sunny Miami, FL! Please leave me a comment if you have questions or recipe requests and also follow me on social media via @foodbyjonister. Happy cooking and eating!

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3 Comments Hide Comments

I love this! The chopped carrots and lentils have a similar texture to ground meat and i might just be able to pass this off to my boys! thanks for the recipe and inspo

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