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Vegetarian Bolognese

Being gluten free means I can’t eat many veggie substitutes like quorn so red lentils make a good substitute.

This to me is also a bit of a recipe I throw together as a store cupboard/fridge thing as I rarely would be without the basic ingredients needed the pepper is added if I have it. Also of course mushrooms would be perfect but 2 out of 4 like mushrooms in this household so…

You will need to make 4 servings:

  • 150g Red Lentils
  • 1 Large onion chopped
  • 1 Pepper (any colour) chopped
  • 1 apple peeled and chopped
  • 1 large carrot finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • Fresh herbs if you have them or 2 tsp of mixed dried herbs
  • 1  x 500g Pasatta ( or you can use another 400g tin of tomatoes)
  • 1 x 400g chopped tomatoes
  • A little Olive Oil for frying
  • Freshly ground black pepper and a little salt to season

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the onion, pepper and carrot and cooked until beginning to soften approximately 4-5 minutes.

2. Add apple and garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.

3. Add Lentils and give a good stir. Season with black pepper. If using dry herbs add now and cook for a further minute.

4. Add tin of tomatoes and pasatta and give good stir. Add fresh herbs now if using.

5. Simmer for 30-40 minutes until the lentils are tender. Do keep stirring every so often as lentil has great sticking power even on non-stick! You may have to add water if it getting to thick.  I added a glass of water after about 20 minutes as mine was getting to thick though sometimes I don’t need to add any so it just a case of what you think!

Serve this with either spagetti or pasta and nice with a sprinkling of cheese and more black pepper.

Also good as a veggie shepherds pie filling, on a jacket potato or even nice with rice (when I have run out of gluten free pasta!)


I have joined Chronicles of a Reluctant House Dad with his Recipe Shed which is vegetarian this week. Pop over there to find some more delicious vegetarian recipes.



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10 Responses to "Vegetarian Bolognese"

  1. Very nice. I think I’ll try that on the kids one day. Many thanks for sharing. I;m going to do a vegetarian theme once a month from now on

    1. Ali says:

      My guys love it and makes a nice change from mince. Great re veggie once a month will start planning! :-)

  2. Midlife Singlemum says:

    This is a great idea to use lentils. I make a veggie spag bol with tofu but lentils are cheaper and also good nutritional value.

    1. Ali says:

      Thanks, I love lentils and nice and easy to have in the cupboard!!! :-)

  3. Anton1a says:

    I have often wondered what to do with lentils, and you have solved this dilemma for me with this lovely recipe. Thank You :)

    1. Ali says:

      Though I do make a lovely lentil and cheese loaf which is pretty scrummy too :-)

  4. Emma says:

    Thanks for this it looks yum! I’ll definitely be giving it a try.
    I’ve got a jar of red lentils in the storecupboard left over from when I tried a red lentil dish for the Little Chap when he was weaning. It went down well all round and I can’t believe I’ve not cooked it again since, especially as they suggested spicing it up a bit more as he’s got older. Laziness and comfort zones I guess!

    Also, I’ve got an amazing veggie lasagne recipe which I need to share at Mayfairm Mum/Reluctant House Dad in due course – keep you posted!

    1. Ali says:

      Yes lentils are great and highly underrated :-) Vegetable and lentil dansak was a favourite of Bex’s when she was weaning. My two love spicey food, I held back from adding chilli from this recipe but….

      Good veggie lasagne recipe always good!

  5. Karien says:

    What a good idea! I am glutenfree as well (not strictly veggy but 90% so) and just have a pot of lentils soaking I was wondering what to do with…
    I do really like the quorn chicken pieces which are luckily glutenfree. Yesterday made a lovely ‘chicken’ curry with them using fenugreek leaves.

    1. Ali says:

      It’s ever so easy and really yummy. I often wonder about quorn as a lot of the products do seem to have gluten in. Curry sounds nice :-)

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