Hearty Lentil Mushroom Bolognese

If spaghetti is a regular on your family's meal rotation, why not re-imagine your meat sauce with this hearty lentil mushroom bolognese sauce?  By eating less meat, especially less red meat, you benefit your health, the planet, and your wallet!

Maybe it's the dietitian in me, but just look at these lentils...aren't they beautiful! Little morsels of good-for-you stuff and they're so satisfying and filling in this recipe. 

Makes about 10 cups sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup each onions, carrots & celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups (227g) mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 cups/750mL marinara sauce
  • 1 can (540mL) diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp each dried oregano and dried basil
  • 2 cups cooked lentils (or one can lentils, 540mL, drained and rinsed)
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • If using dried lentils, cook in boiling water for 20-30 minutes until tender, or according to package directions. Drain and set aside. 
  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. 
  • Add mushrooms, stir and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, oregano and basil. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. 
  • Add in lentils, and continue to cook for 10 more minutes. 
  • Remove from heat, stir in parsley. 
  • Serve over hot whole grain pasta, or eat on its own as a filling lentil stew! This would also make a yummy protein-packed breakfast served alongside eggs and toast, or topped with a little feta cheese. Freezes well too!

Natalee, RD