Red Lentil Bolognese
This hearty and filling red lentil bolognese sauce is perfect over spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, or traditional pasta. This recipe is a great way to hide more vegetables in your meal!
Why I Love this Red Lentil Bolognese
This is one of my favorite dinner recipes because it’s filled with good-for-you ingredients and it’s the kind of vegan recipe that meat-eaters will enjoy! The ingredients are budget-friendly and this recipe can easily be made in advance and reheated. It’s perfect for meal prep! You can also serve it over any kind of pasta you like, so it’s easy to customize based on your family’s preferences!
Red Lentil Bolognese Ingredients
This ingredients list might look long, but it’s actually just a lot of pantry staples you probably already have in your pantry or fridge!
- Onion– I love the sweetness of a white onion, but yellow onion will work just fine!
- Celery– The celery adds a subtle flavor to the base of this sauce and it’s an easy way to sneak in more veggies.
- Carrots– The carrots add a little sweetness to the base of this sauce.
- Garlic– Let’s be honest, you can never have too much garlic. If you don’t have fresh garlic, you can used minced garlic or garlic powder.
- Olive oil- A little oil helps enhance the flavors of the vegetables.
- Red lentils– Be sure to use red lentils, as brown or green lentils are too firm for this recipe.
- Diced tomatoes– These add a chunky, hearty texture to the sauce.
- Marinara sauce– I like to use a marinara sauce to enhance the flavor, but tomato sauce is fine, too.
- Spices– I like using a combination of basil, parsley, oregano, and crushed red pepper.
- Spaghetti squash, zucchini, or pasta– You’ll need something to pair with this sauce! Whether you like zucchini
- noodles, spaghetti squash, chickpeas pasta, or regular pasta, this sauce is perfect!
How to Make Red Lentil Bolognese
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
There are a few ways to cook the spaghetti squash for this recipe. I recommend the microwave because it’s the fastest option, but you can also cook it in the oven.
Microwave method: Carefully slice your spaghetti squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and flip the halves cut side down on a large microwave-safe plate. Add a little water to the bottom of the plate (to create steam) and microwave on high for 10 minutes. Remove from the microwave, let cool slightly, then use a fork to scrape out the strands. For this recipe, you don’t want to overcook the squash since you’ll be putting it in the oven.
Oven method: Carefully slice your spaghetti squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and flip the halves cut side down on a large baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until softened. Let cool slightly, then use a fork to scrape out the strands. For this recipe, you don’t want to overcook the squash since you’ll be putting it back in the oven. I recommend only baking for 20 minutes, then scrape out the strands.
How to Store Leftovers
If you have leftover sauce or spaghetti squash, store them separately in airtight containers and keep them in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to eat the leftovers, top the spaghetti squash with sauce and microwave until heated through.
- If you don’t have fresh garlic, you can use garlic powder or minced garlic.
- No onion? No problem! Try substitution a shallot or two instead.
- If you don’t have vegetable broth, you can use water instead, but double the spices and be sure to use marinara sauce instead of plain tomato sauce, to add additional flavor.
More Red Lentil RecipesPrint
Red Lentil Bolognese
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Roasted
- Cuisine: Italian
This hearty and filling sauce is perfect over spaghetti squash, but you can also serve it over zucchini noodles or traditional pasta. You can even prepare it in advance and reheat just before serving. This recipe is a great way to hide more vegetables in the sauce.
- 2 medium spaghetti squash (3 to 4 pounds)
- 2 small stalks celery, chopped into 2-inch pieces
- 1 medium white onion, chopped into 2-inch pieces
- 2 carrots, chopped into 2-inch pieces
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2/3 cup uncooked red lentils
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth, plus more if needed
- 1 cup marinara sauce or tomato sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400° Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice the spaghetti squash in half, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Place the squash halves cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the squash has softened, and you can separate the strands with a fork.
- Meanwhile, place the celery, onion, carrots, and garlic into a food processor or blender and pulse until just slightly chunky.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the vegetable mixture and cook over medium heat for 6 minutes. Add the lentils, tomatoes, and broth and continue to cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, basil, parsley, oregano, and red pepper flakes, if using. Continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until the lentils are soft. If they begin to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a splash of vegetable stock.
- When the squash is roasted, let it cool slightly, then carefully scrape the insides with a fork to form “spaghetti-like”
- Divide the noodles among four bowls and top with the lentil Bolognese.
The nutritional information below is calculated based on serving this sauce with spaghetti squash.
Keywords: Spaghetti Squash Bolognese
This Red Lentil Bolognese is a deliciously filling comfort food but it’s low in calories and high in protein so it’s great when you’re craving a bowl of pasta but you want to eat something a little lighter!
Side Dish Ideas
What’s your favorite way to eat spaghetti squash?
Could you be specific? Does the recipe use whole or split red lentils? I’d guess split but it would be nice not to have to guess.
I used split red lentils
What a great way to add more veggies to your meals! I’ll be trying this recipe for sure.
Love the use of spaghetti squash. It is so good! Thanks for sharing!
This is such a great healthy and tasty version of bolognese! I served it with normal pasta but want to do it again with spaghetti squash!
Looks healthy and delicious. Great to know that there is a difference between lentils.
This sounds so delicious! We have been trying to eat more lentils lately so thanks for the inspiration 🙂