Lentil Bolognese

Searching for lentil inspiration? Try this simple pasta recipe that uses lentils and walnuts in its hearty, vegetarian sauce. If you don’t happen to have zucchini, you can easily substitute another veg (fresh or frozen), such as broccoli, spinach, or cauliflower. Choose your favorite pasta, or whatever you have in the pantry. This dish goes great with fresh-baked crusty bread, a glass of red wine, and a leafy salad if you happen to have those things on hand as well! Buon appetito!

dry lentils
  • ¼ cup green lentils
  • 2 ½ cups water, divided
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 3 mushrooms, sliced & cut into thirds
  • 1 small zucchini, quartered & sliced ½ cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½# dry spaghetti (any grain)
  • 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan (optional)


Place lentils and 2 cups water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook 20-30 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Drain and set aside. Heat oil in a large pot; add onion and saute until soft. Add garlic, carrots, mushrooms, and zucchini; saute until zucchini starts to soften. Add walnuts, lentils, tomatoes, basil, oregano, ½ cup water and salt. Simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes. Serve over pasta, topped with grated Parmesan. While sauce is simmering, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse. Serve with the sauce.