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Close up of a bowl of red lentil pasta.

Freeze Ahead Red Lentil Ragu

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8-10 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Batch Cooking


This easy, naturally vegan Red Lentil Ragu recipe is a great freeze-ahead alternative to meat sauce over your Saturday-night spaghetti!


  • 3 tbsp light oil
  • 2 onions
  • 3 carrots
  • sea salt
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 500g (1lb) red lentils
  • 2 x 400g (1 x 28 oz) tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried thyme 
  • 1 litre (4 cups) vegetable stock
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a very large lidded saucepan or casserole, and add the finely chopped carrots and onions. Gently fry over a medium heat with a pinch of salt until the onions are soft, but nothing is burnt.
  2. Peel and crush the garlic, adding it to the pan and continuing to cook for another minute or two until aromatic.
  3. Add the lentils, rinsed under the cold tap in a sieve until the water runs clear, chopped tomatoes, the tomato puree, dried herbs and the stock. Stir well and bring to the boil.
  4. Lower the heat until just simmering, and put the lid on the pan to cook for 40 to 50 minutes, stirring occasionally to stop the lentils sticking to the bottom.
  5. Season to taste, and serve stirred through freshly cooked pasta (I prefer to use wholewheat spaghetti here) and with grated parmesan or pecorino, if liked. 


If you wish to halve the recipe, use two medium carrots and two medium garlic cloves.