Red lentil bolognaise

This simple red lentil bolognaise is a delicious, healthy alternative to the traditional beef version.  It freezes well so is definitely a recipe to cook in bulk.
This version is vegetarian, but it can be made vegan by substituting the red-pesto and parmesan for vegan alternatives (which are readily available in supermarkets).  
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Pasta, Vegetarian
Servings 4


  • 120 g dried red lentils
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove peeled and minced
  • 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 3 tbsp red pesto
  • 50 g fresh basil leaves torn
  • 350 g whole wheat spaghetti
  • 50 g parmesan grated


  • Cook the lentils as per packet instructions
  • Put a pan of water for the spaghetti on to boil
  • Soften the onions for 3 minutes
  • Cook the spaghetti as per the packet instructions
  • Add the garlic to the onions and cook for another minute 
  • Add the tinned tomatoes to the onions and garlic; simmer on low for 5 minutes 
  • Taste and season
  • Add the cooked lentils, red pesto and chopped basil
  • Taste and add more seasoning if necessary
  • Serve with whole-wheat spaghetti, plenty of parmesan and a sprig of basil
Keyword comfortfood, dinnerideas, dinnerinspiration, familyfavourite, feedingacrowd, foodforkids, healthyfood, meatfreemonday, midweekmeal, quickdinners
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