Hearty Lentil and Vegetable Pasta

Before I was vegan, a good traditional Spaghetti Bolognese was my favourite meal.

I would make an enormous, decadent sauce (involving zero vegetables), coat it in cheese, load up my plate (sometimes with friends, sometimes just alone), add a side of garlic bread and devour like there was no tomorrow.

What can I say? I love food…

Then, going vegan, I couldn’t wait to re-create all my favourite dishes. I think this is natural, whether it’s because of the memories attached, pleasing family and friends, or simply because it tasted so damn good!

Creating a meat-free, but hearty sauce is surprisingly easy and there are a million variations if you want to make a vegan version of a traditional Bolognese. For example: you can use fake meats, you can add as many vegetables as you like or you can use delicious beans. The sky is the limit. This recipe is my tried and tested favourite because it’s (mostly!) wholesome, plant-based and absolutely delicious!

Prepare for the greatness of a Bolognese sauce, but with 100% plant power! This yummy, hot, hearty recipe is full of all sorts of goodness – so you can load up and devour, guilt free!


1 onion

2 cloves garlic

2 tbsp olive oil/Grape seed oil

1 can organic lentils

2 tins organic chopped tomatoes

3 tbsp organic tomato paste

2 cups button mushrooms, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 tsp cumin

1 cup fresh basil, chopped

2 stalks rosemary

2 tbsp vegan butter (Earth Balance or Nutlex)

1/4 cup Pine Nuts

salt and pepper

1 stalk spring onion, chopped for garnish

Vegan cheese (optional)

Your choice of pasta (I use gluten free because I’m cool like that)


Begin by prepping all your vegetables. Dice the onion and garlic cloves first and then just roughly chop your mushrooms and carrots. 

In a large frying pan or even a wok, heat the oil and add your onion and garlic. Fry until slightly brown.

Add the mushrooms and carrots and saute in your pan so nothing burns and the heat spreads evenly.

When these are slightly cooked, add your tinned tomatoes, lentils, tomato paste, cumin and vegan butter. Stir together and leave to simmer gently.

Put some water on to boil for your pasta and add when ready. Cooking times will vary depending on what kind of pasta you are using. Usually check about fifteen minutes.

While your pasta is cooking, add most of the herbs to your happily simmering sauce, but leave some basil for a garnish.

Continue checking your sauce and add any more herbs, salt or pepper to adjust to your taste.

Present by placing your pasta in a lovely serving bowl and add a generous serving of sauce. Sprinkle your pine-nuts and a few leaves of basil on top and finish with the spring onion!

Enjoy and serve for your next dinner party!

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Hannah Ellis

Food Editor

Hannah is an actor and writer living in Manchester, UK. As well as all things theatre, Hannah's passionate about animal rights, travelling (home to Australia when possible!) and making incredible plant-friendly meals. In her spare time, she sneaks off to spread the vegan message on her website, oopsimavegan.com. Hannah has been a healthy, happy vegan for nearly three years.

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