Vegan Lentil Bolognese with Zucchini Pasta

vegan lentil bolognese


There’s nothing more comforting than a nice plate of pasta with a hearty sauce like this vegan lentil bolognese. Now that the weather has begun to cool I haven’t been depriving myself, and I’ve made this recipe several times in the space of just a couple of weeks.

This recipe is pretty easy and comes together in 30 minutes so you can make it on nights when you want something healthy but still hearty and you don’t have a ton of time ahead.

The marinara includes carrots and walnuts for texture and lentils for a rich and plant based protein meal. I use zucchini noodles with this sauce – since it’s already so tasty and moreish in itself, I use the excuse to add vegetable-based noodles to be sure of having a complete and healthy meal.

If you make my vegan bolognese please tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #berlinandcoconuts. I’d love to see your re-creations!

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 30 min


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 medium carrots, shredded
  • 2 cans marinara sauce
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • a good pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, crushed
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1/3 cup water, plus more of needed

For serving

  • 2 medium zucchinis, spiralized
  • red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
  • nutritional yeast, to taste (optional)


  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, shallot, and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened.

  2. Add carrots and a pinch of salt and stir. Cook for a few minutes more and add marinara sauce. Stir.

  3. Add basil, oregano, water, and lentils. Increase heat slightly and bring mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking until lentils are tender - stirring occasionally - about 20 minutes. Add a bit more water if mixture gets too thick.
    Once lentils are cooked, taste and adjust seasonings.

  4. While the sauce is cooking, spiralize your zucchini into noodles. Alternatively you can use vegetable peeler or cook up your favorite pasta.

  5. Serve the sauce over noodles of choice and garnish with desired toppings - I like red pepper flakes and nutritional yeast.

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