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Rich Lentil Bolognese

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Diet: Vegan


An easy, hearty and rich lentil bolognese recipe that is happily vegan – perfect to serve over pasta, for Sunday meal prep, or to batch cook to fill the freezer!


  • 5g (1/4 oz) dried mushrooms
  • light oil
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 large carrot
  • sea salt
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp sundried tomato paste
  • 1/2 tbsp miso paste
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano 
  • 2 tbsp red wine
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 200g (7 oz) dried green lentils
  • 1 x 400g (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Pour 500ml (2 1/2 cups) boiling water over the dried mushrooms and set aside.
  2. Heat a generous splash of light oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Peel and finely chop the onion, celery and carrot before gently frying them with a pinch of sea salt for 10 minutes or so until soft and starting to brown lightly.
  3. Peel and grate or mince in the garlic, cooking for a further minute until aromatic.
  4. Stir in the sundried tomato paste, miso and dried herbs. Cook for another few minutes, again until aromatic.
  5. Stir in the red wine and balsamic vinegar, followed by the lentils. Stir until the lentils are well coated with the soffrito mix.
  6. Strain the mushrooms and set aside. Add the mushroom soaking water and the tinned tomatoes to the pan, using a little mushroom water to wash any remaining tomato juices from the inside of the tin. 
  7. Finely chop the mushrooms and stir them into the pan.
  8. Bring the pan to the boil and season generously with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to low and leave to gently blip away for 1 hour, stirring occasionally (see notes).
  9. Season to taste before serving stirred through pasta and topped with vegetarian or vegan parmesan, if liked. 


I like my lentils to still have a little bite to them, but if you’d prefer them to be a bit softer cook the bolognese for a further half an hour, adding water as needed.