You can make the most amazing, savory, nutritious bolognese without any meat! Yes, that’s right! Just cook up an easy, healthy pasta sauce with lentils, walnuts, and tomato products, which provide just the right amount of pizzazz to pasta recipes, such as this hearty, plant-based (vegan) Lentil Walnut Bolognese with Spaghetti dish. The deep red color of tomatoes is a calling card for lycopene—the plant compound linked with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. In fact, lycopene is more available to the body in its cooked form, as in cooked tomato products, like pasta sauce, canned tomatoes, and tomato paste. Including these healthy plant foods in your diet more often is linked with prostate cancer protection.
Eating more pulses—beans, lentils, dried peas—is a healthy, cancer-fighting strategy too. In this super easy, one-dish meal, you swap out a traditional meat-based sauce for a tomato-forward, lentil and walnut Bolognese sauce, smothered over spaghetti noodles. Savory and delicious, your whole family will love it. Plus, it’s easy on the pocketbook and makes great leftovers the next day!
Cook up an easy, healthy pasta sauce with lentils, walnuts, and tomato products in this hearty, plant-based, (vegan), budget-friendly Lentil Walnut Bolognese with Spaghetti dish.
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs (i.e. basil, thyme, oregano)
- Place a Dutch oven or large saucepan on medium heat and add lentils and water to the pot. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, uncovered.
- Add olive oil, finely chopped onion, minced garlic, finely chopped celery, finely shredded carrot, and finely chopped walnuts, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, soy sauce, red wine, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and salt (optional). Stir well and simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened and vegetables are tender. May need to cook longer to reduce extra moisture until you achieved desired consistency.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil to cook pasta. Add dry spaghetti noodles, and cook until al dente, according to package instructions (about 7 minutes). Drain noodles in colander.
- To serve: Divide spaghetti noodles among 6 serving plates or pasta bowls (about 1 ¼ cups each). Top with 1 cup of Bolognese sauce. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon chopped herbs. Alternatively, place spaghetti noodles in one large serving bowl, Bolognese sauce in another large serving bowl, and chopped herbs in a small dish, allowing guests to serve themselves as desired.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: Italian, American
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 463
- Sugar: 5 g
- Sodium: 294 mg
- Fat: 8 g
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 78 g
- Fiber: 16 g
- Protein: 20 g
Keywords: vegan pasta, healthy pasta, lentil bolognese
Check out my Amazon Storefront to grab my favorite Dutch Oven I used for this recipe here.
For other favorite, plant-based pasta dishes, try the following:
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This recipe, video, and photography was created by Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN in partnership with AICR.