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Photo of lentil bolognese on a white plate

Easy Lentil Bolognese: My New Cozy Comfort Food Recipe

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  • Author: Nichole Banducci
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Diet: Vegan


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or to taste
  • 1 cup uncooked lentils, thoroughly rinsed and picked through
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or water


  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Add onion and cook until translucent, making sure to not burn it.
  • Add garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes, cook until the garlic softens, stirring frequently.
  • Add lentils, tomatoes, and water. Stir to combine.
  • Increase heat and bring the sauce to a rapid boil. Then, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
  • Serve over pasta, or scoop onto crostini and eat like warm bruschetta


  • For my Vegan friends out there… I even used Vegan parm in my version. Yum)⁠
  • You can cook the sauce in just one pot. Comes together in about 35 minutes.⁠
  • If you have meat-lovers in your family, you can easily substitute ground beef in the recipe. I’d add it right after the onions and garlic are caramelized.⁠
  • If you have both plant-based and meat-eaters, make the sauce without the lentils. Cook the lentils and meat separately and then add to the sauce for each person. (I’d rather take an extra step to adjust to folks’ desires vs. make food a drama point in our day.)⁠