- 6 ounces Spaghetti
- 1 small Red Onion
- 1 small Zucchini
- 1 large Carrot
- 1 stalk of Celery
- 8 ounces (Baby Bella) Cremini Mushrooms
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 0.3 cup Red Lentils
- 8 ounces Tomato Sauce
- 8 ounces Filtered Water
- 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika Powder
- 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 2 teaspoons Sea Salt
- 1 teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
- 1-2 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
- handful Fresh Basil Leaves
Comforting vegetable spaghetti bolognese with protein packed lentils and 6 veggies.
Growing up, bolognese was always the answer when my mom asked me what I wanted for dinner.
Traditionally, ground beef is used but in this recipe, I’ve decided to take a plant-based approach.
Lentils, which are part of the legume family are incredibly nutritious.
Green and red lentils are the most common and also very affordable.
Lentils are packed with B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and potassium.
These small, yet powerful pearls are also 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!
The red lentils and mushrooms in this spaghetti bolognese provide the meaty texture and also make this meal very filling.
For flavor, color and added nutrition, onion, carrot, celery and zucchini are added.
Everything is chopped into small bite-sized pieces so that it is part of the sauce which coat the spaghetti.
Cremini or baby bella mushrooms are the most common in grocery stores but you can use other mushroom varieties as well.
Other mushroom vanities that can be substituted are portobello, button, and shiitake.
Mushrooms are high in antioxidants, B vitamins, and potassium.
Onion, carrot and celery are often used as the aromatic vegetables for any meat sauce.
Some call it the holy trinity or mirepoix.
Zucchini is a summer squash in the Cucurbitaceae plant family, alongside melons, spaghetti squash, and cucumbers.
Although zucchini is often considered a vegetable, it is botanically classified as a fruit!
This vibrant produce is rich vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial plant compounds.
Spaghetti is the most common pasta shape for bolognese but fettuccini or any other long pasta shape would work as well.
Please leave your review for the vegetable spaghetti bolognese in the comment section below.
Prep Your Vegetables
Chop all of your vegetables (onions, celery, carrot and zucchini) into small bite-sized pieces and finely mine or grate your garlic gloves.
Using a paper towel or a damp kitchen towel, carefully rub off the dirt from the mushrooms the cut into small pieces.
Get a large skillet and a large pot for the pasta.
Start the Sauce
Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to a large skillet and heat on medium heat.
Add your onion, and sauté for about 1 minute.
Next add the chopped carrot and celery.
Stir and cook for another minute or two.
Next, add 1 tsp paprika powder, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp black pepper and 1 tsp of salt (add more salt later on).
Stir to combine then add the chopped mushrooms and sauté for about 5 minutes then add the zucchini. Sauté for another 3-5 minutes.
After the zucchini has softened, add the lentils, tomato sauce, water and another tsp of salt.
Stir to combine, then cover and lower the heat to medium-low.
Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the lentils are cooked.
Cook the Spaghetti and Finish the Sauce
While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta.
Add water to a large pot and bring it up to a boil.
Once at a rolling boil, add 2 tsp of salt to the water and the spaghetti.
Cook the spaghetti uncovered until cooked al dente according to package instructions.
Once the lentil are cooked, add 1 or 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, stir and give it a taste.
Adjust seasoning if necessary then add the cooked pasta and 1/3 cup of the pasta water to loosen the sauce a bit.
Stir the spaghetti so that it is evenly coated.