Red Lentil Bolognese

Prep Time

10-15 minutes

Prep Notes

We love sauces made wtih lentils at our house.  We have a couple of recipes like this but the red lentils cook more quickly than the French green or brown making this a quick recipe to prepare.  It makes a lot so you can freeze half for later.

Cooking Time

45-60 minutes


6-8 servings


1Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

1 medium onion, finely diced

1 rib celery, finely chopped

3 large carrots, scrubbed and chopped

1 medium zucchini, unpeeled, and diced

6 cloves garlic, minced

1-6oz can tomato paste

1-15oz can tomato sauce

2-14.5oz cans Italian tomatoes with juice, rough chopped

2 Tbsp. dried basil

1 tsp. dried oregano

2 cups, red lentils, rinsed and picked over

3-4 cups water

Salt and Fresh Ground pepper, to taste


  1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat for a minute, and then add 1 T. evoo.  Heat for about 30 seconds, then add onion and sauté for about 3-5 minutes or until tender. 
  2. Add garlic, celery and carrot and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add zucchini and sauté for 3 minutes more. 
  3. Stir in tomato paste and cook and stir for 1 minute. 
  4. Add tomato sauce, Italian tomatoes with juice, basil, oregano.  Season with salt and pepper. 
  5. Stir in lentils and water (start with 3 cups and add more as needed). 
  6. Simmer, stirring occasionally until lentils are tender ,about 35 -45 minutes


Serve over a sturdy pasta such as whole grain penne or rigatoni and pass the Parmesan cheese. 


Prairie Health Companion