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Close-up view of vegan lentil Bolognese sauce served over spaghetti noodles on a white plate with fresh herbs

Vegan Lentil Bolognese (Easy!)

This soul-warming vegan Bolognese sauce features nourishing red lentils & mushrooms instead of ground beef! Serve it over your favorite pasta for an elegant, satisfying, ultra-comforting meal.
AuthorKaitlin - The Garden Grazer
Prep Time:25 minutes
Cook Time:30 minutes
Total Time:55 minutes
CourseMain Dish
CuisineGluten-Free, Italian-Inspired, Oil-Free, Vegan
Servings6 large bowls


  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 5-6 cloves garlic
  • 8 oz. mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup split red lentils (uncooked)
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1-2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast (or more)
  • 1 Tbsp. tamari
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

For serving:


  • Finely dice onion and mushrooms.
  • In a large pan or Dutch oven, sauté onion for 7-8 minutes. (I use 3 Tbsp. water/broth for no-oil sauté method, adding more as needed.)
  • Meanwhile, mince garlic.
  • When onion is translucent, add mushrooms, garlic, Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, and salt. Stir and cook 3-4 minutes.
  • Add red wine vinegar. Stir and cook 1 minute.
  • Add broth, crushed tomatoes, red lentils (rinsed and drained), tomato paste, nutritional yeast, and tamari.
  • Bring to a light boil. Then reduce heat, cover, and lightly simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. (This is a great time to cook the pasta.)
  • Serve sauce over cooked pasta. Top with vegan parmesan and fresh basil or parsley.


Yield: Recipe makes about 6 cups sauce. I find this is a good match for about 8-12 oz. But it can vary depending on the ratio of sauce you use.
Nutrition: The estimated nutritional content is calculated for the Bolognese sauce only (no pasta included).
Recipe originally published January 2020. Updated & improved from reader feedback January 2024. (If you want the original recipe, please just email and ask!)

Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)

Calories: 131 kcal | Carbohydrates: 25 g | Protein: 9 g | Fat: 1 g | Saturated Fat: 0.1 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1 g | Potassium: 787 mg | Fiber: 9 g | Sugar: 9 g | Vitamin A: 591 IU | Vitamin C: 17 mg | Calcium: 77 mg | Iron: 4 mg