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Plate of lentil bolognese sauce on bed of pasta garnished with fresh basil and tomatoes with a fork digging in

Lentil Bolognese

This lentil bolognese makes the perfect make-ahead meatless meal for busy weeknights! It can be prepped in less than 10 minutes and left to cook in the slow cooker for an easy and delicious dinner that is also freezer-friendly! {Gluten-free & vegan}
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Course: dinner
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegan
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 201kcal
Author: Elysia

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk full-fat
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup dry green or brown lentils
  • 6 frozen spinach cubes (or a couple of handfuls of fresh chopped baby spinach)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Optional garnishes

  • Fresh basil or parsley
  • Sprinkle of mozzarella or parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook on high for 3.5-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. Serve warm over pasta, rice or quinoa.

Notes

  • If you'd like to cook up the onions and garlic before adding them to the slow cooker to add more depth of flavour, you can certainly do so. Add some olive oil to a pan or the slow cooker if your crock pot has a "sautee" function and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant.
  • Use dry green lentils for best results. If you use red split lentils, they will turn out mushy. We want the lentils to retain their shape to resemble the texture of a meat sauce.
  • The lentils tend to absorb the liquid the longer that it sits which means that the sauce can get quite thick. If you want to thin out your sauce or make it more creamy, add a bit more broth or coconut milk. Add some additional spices to compensate if you do add more liquid.
  • If you want the lentil bolognese sauce to have more heat, increase the amount of red pepper flakes, adding a small amount at a time, until desired level of heat is achieved.

Nutrition

Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 453mg | Potassium: 920mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 826IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 5mg
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