This lentil bolognese recipe is unlike any you’ve had before. Flavoured with loads of garlic, herbs and smoked paprika, this sauce is delicious served over crisp zucchini pasta. Easy to make with cheap ingredients (as always!), this dish comes together in just 15 minutes!
Of all the vegan meat substitutes lentils are my favourite because they’re just so cheap! Vegan lentil stew is one of my favourite recipes (and one of the most popular on the blog), and lentils are a great stand-in for chorizo in these vegan breakfast tacos.
It’s no wonder then that lentils are the most common (and best imho) way to make a vegan bolognese sauce. I’ve kept this bolognese recipe super simple and uncomplicated by using prepared tomato sauce and flavouring it with onion, garlic (lots!), oregano, smoked paprika and red wine vinegar. Stir the lentils in, heat for a few minutes and you’re done!
You can serve your vegan lentil bolognese over any type of pasta but if you’ve seen my 50 vegan zucchini pasta recipes you’ll know that I’m slightly obsessed with zucchini pasta. What I like to do with my zoodles, however, is combine them with regular spaghetti.
Mixing zoodles with spaghetti makes the dish heartier and also reduces the cost. At least where I live, zucchinis are more expensive than spaghetti (unless you’ve got zucchini in your garden, then you can eat as many zucchini pasta as you want!) And if you’ve got picky kids (or friends), it becomes like a hidden veggie recipe where they probably won’t even know that they’re eating zucchini!
You can add any other vegetables to the sauce that you want: peppers, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, whatever! If you like basil or thyme in your bolognese sauce, go for it! Want it a bit spicy? Add a pinch of chili powder. Just be sure that your smoked paprika is fresh to get a lot of that nice, smoky depth of flavour that makes this vegan lentil bolognese recipe out of this world!
Wanna see it in action? Watch the video!
Smoky Lentil Bolognese with Zucchini PastaPrint Recipe
- 200 grams (7 oz) spaghetti - $0.24
- 1 medium zucchini - $0.30
- 1 medium onion, diced - $0.15
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced - $0.32
- 2 cups (480 ml) tomato sauce - $0.90
- 2 cups (340 grams) cooked lentils - $0.68
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika - $0.15
- 2 teaspoons oregano - $0.10
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar $0.04
- ½ teaspoon salt - $0.02
- A few grinds of pepper - $0.03
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Spiralize the zucchini, cutting them into smaller pieces if necessary, then pat out some of the water between two paper towels.
Meanwhile, heat a pan over medium-high heat and add the onion, garlic, and a splash of water (you can use oil if you prefer). Sautee until soft then add the remaining ingredients and cook for a few more minutes to heat the lentils through.
When the pasta is cooked, drain it and toss it together with the zoodles. Serve onto plates with the lentil bolognese on top.
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