This oil free lentil bolognese recipe is a great quick and easy weeknight meal that your kids will love. It only takes 20 minutes to cook, and you can have it ready in the time it takes your pasta to cook.
This recipe also makes a great transition meal if you’re new to a vegan diet, or even just experimenting with reducing meat in your diet. The use of beef flavoured stock and vegan worcestershire sauce gives this recipe a (vegan) meaty taste, reminiscent of beef mince sauce.
All of the ingredients for this recipe are cheap and easy to source a the supermarket, making it a great budget meal. I always keep some lentils and pasta sauce on hand so that I can quickly make this recipe for an easy weeknight meal. This recipe also freezes well, so you can always double the batch and freeze some for easy meals.
Lentil bolognese is such a kid friendly meal. Fussy kids often love bolognese sauce, and this recipe tastes so similar to the beef sauce they won’t know the difference.
Another great thing about this recipe is that it freezes well. You could easily make a double batch and freeze half for another night.
To Make Oil Free Lentil Bolognese
This is my weeknight meal version of spaghetti bolognese, so it has limited ingredients and steps to keep it quick and healthy. If you have more time, you can add some chopped onion and garlic. Brown these to start in a small amount of the stock. You can also add extra tomato paste if you like a richer tomato flavour, and some fresh oregano and basil at the end.
When I make this recipe, I normally grate the zucchini and carrot. If you have super fussy kids, you can always blend these in with the tomato sauce to hide them better. You may need to go easy on the zucchini skin though, otherwise it can colour the sauce brown, which I know my kids would complain about!
I normally use passata when making oil free lentil bolognese, because it is sugar free. This way, I can control how much sugar I add. You can, of course, just use a normal pasta sauce. Just make sure it’s vegan.
Feel free to play around with the amounts of stock, worcestershire sauce and herbs in the recipe. I normally start with the lower amount and then taste to see if it needs more. I tend to use a lot more of the worcestershire sauce with passata than a flavoured sauce, because I find it needs the extra flavour.
Make sure you get vegan worcestershire sauce, as it is traditionally made with anchovies. I’ve found vegan brands in the sauce section of both Coles and Woolworths. You can leave it out, but I find the sweetness of the sauce tends to counter the acidity of the tomato sauce. It also adds a richer flavour.
You can find vegan beef flavoured stock in the supermarket. I use the massel brand. Just make sure you get “beef style” stock, not actual beef stock. You can replace this with vegetable stock if you don’t have any of the beef style stock available.
- 1 tspn Vegan Beef Stock or vegetable stock
- 1 cup Water
- 2 tins Brown Lentils drained and rinsed
- 1 medium carrot grated
- 1 medium zucchini grated
- 700 ml Passatta or tomato pasta sauce
- 1-2 tbs Vegan Worcestershire Sauce to taste
- 1 tbs Italian Herbs optional
- 500g Pasta to serve
- 2 tbs Vegan Parmesan to serve
- Cook pasta according to packet instructions.
- While Pasta is cooking, place water and stock in a pan on medium heat. Stir until stock has dissolved.
- Add lentils to stock. Cook, stirring frequently, until stock has disappeared.
- Add grated veggies. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Add passatta and stir through. Allow to cook for approximately 10 minutes (or longer) stirring occasionally.
- Add Worcestershire sauce and Italian Herbs to taste. You may require more if using passata without added flavours.
- Serve over cooked pasta with vegan Parmesan sprinkled over.