Vegetarian lentil bolognese

Looking for a new pasta recipe to get the kids eating more vegetables? Try our lentil bolognese for something different from the usual spaghetti bolognese that the kids will love!


  • 210g dried red lentils
  • 1 small brown onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 large zucchini, diced
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 800g tinned tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1½ cups fusilli pasta
  • ¼ cup grated cheddar or parmesan cheese


  1. Cook lentils in a saucepan of water according to packet instructions.
  2. Finely chop onion, carrot and celery.
  3. Grate zucchini.
  4. Drain and rinse lentils.
  5. Heat oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add onion, garlic, carrot, celery and zucchini. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes until onion is tender.
  6. Add tomatoes, cooked lentils, tomato paste, basil and oregano.
  7. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook covered, stirring occasionally, for at least 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  8. Cook pasta in boiling water, following packet instructions until tender. Drain.
  9. Serve pasta with sauce over the top and a sprinkle of grated cheese.


  • You can add any leftover vegetables to this recipe to help reduce food wastage.
  • Use this sauce as a base for vegetarian lasagne or vegetarian shepherd’s pie.
  • For a milk protein free option, omit cheese.
  • For a gluten/wheat free option, replace pasta with gluten free pasta, rice noodles or rice (check alternatives for soy, if required).