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overhead of serving of pasta mixed with sauce topped with cheese and parsley

Red Lentil Bolognese

This red lentil Bolognese is a protein-packed, fiber-filled sauce that's also vegan, gluten-free, nut-free and oil-free. Serve this one-pot sauce over your favorite pasta or veggie noodles for a tasty and hearty vegetarian meal.
Course Main Course, Sauce
Cuisine American, Gluten-Free, Italian, Vegan
Keyword Bolognese, dairy-free, gluten free, nut free, oil free, vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 159kcal


  • 2 medium ribs of celery, cut into large pieces
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup vegan Pinot Grigio
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
  • 6 oz can of tomato paste (use no salt added if preferred)
  • 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with juice (use no salt added if preferred)
  • 15 oz can of tomato sauce (be sure to use an oil-free brand to keep this recipe oil free; use low sodium or no salt added if preferred)
  • 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (be sure to use an oil-free brand of broth to keep this recipe oil-free, use low sodium if preferred)
  • ¾ cup dry red lentils, rinsed and picked over


  • Add the celery, carrots, garlic and onion to a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped but not pureed.
  • Add the veggie mixture, wine and salt to a 4-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the veggies have softened up and the wine has just about evaporated.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes until it gets dark in color, stirring frequently.
  • Stir in the diced tomatoes (with juice), broth, tomato sauce, and Italian seasoning.
  • Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the lentils, cover and reduce the heat to a low simmer.
  • Cook covered for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils reach desired tenderness, stirring occasionally.
  • Before serving, season with additional salt to taste.


See the "Substitutions" heading in post above for using a different type of lentil.
Leftover sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It can also be frozen for up to 6 months, but should be fully thawed in the refrigerator before reheating on the stovetop in a covered pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. Accuracy is not guaranteed. Information shown should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Nutrition calculation is for the sauce alone. It does not include pasta.


Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fiber: 11g