Vegan lentil walnut bolognese - this vegan spaghetti bolognese is richly flavoured, hearty, high in protein, filling and delicious.
Everyone has to have a spag bol recipe in their meal rotation, it is a hearty, satisfying meal that is easy to make and sure to please a crowd.
There are many recipes for vegan bolognese out there, but this is my favourite and the one I have been making for years.
It is my ideal bolognese - richly flavoured and filling. It may seem like a long ingredients list, but all of them serve to create a wonderful flavour and it isn't at all difficult to make, mostly just chopping and stirring.
What Do I Need To Make This Bolognese?:
Vegetables: Onion, celery, carrot, garlic and finely chopped chestnut mushrooms form the base of this bolognese. The mushrooms add loads of flavour and form a mince-like texture along with the lentils.
Red lentils: Red lentils add protein in place of the mince, making the bolognese hearty and filling.
Walnuts: I love adding finely chopped walnuts to my bolognese, they add rich flavour, texture and extra protein.
Herbs and spices: Smoked paprika, rosemary, thyme, oregano and bay leaves are my favourites, but do feel free to vary the herbs if you want.
Tomatoes: Sun dried tomatoes and tomato puree add flavour while tinned chopped tomatoes form the liquid base of the sauce.
Soy sauce: Adds umami flavour.
Red wine: This adds loads of rich flavour. Make sure that the wine you use is vegan friendly. You can omit it if you must but I really do recommend using it if possible.
Stock: I like to use mushroom stock here, but vegetable is fine too.
Sugar: A touch of sugar helps to balance the acidity of the tomatoes.
Nutritional yeast: This is optional but I love to mix in some nutritional yeast once the bolognese is cooked for extra flavour and nutrients.
How To Make Vegan Lentil Walnut Bolognese:
(Full measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page)
Start by gently frying the onion, celery and carrot for 10-15 minutes until soft.
Add the finely chopped mushrooms and garlic and continue to cook until all of the excess liquid has evaporated.
Add the tomato puree and smoked paprika and cook for a minute, then add the red wine, turn up the heat and cook until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.
Add the sun dried tomatoes, tinned tomatoes, oregano, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, soy sauce, red lentils, stock, sugar and chopped walnuts.
Bring up to a gentle simmer and cook for 40-50 minutes, stirring every now and again, until the lentils are tender. You can add a splash of water or stock if it becomes too thick.
Add the nutritional yeast and a good grinding of black pepper, season to taste with salt and serve with pasta.
For the best results follow the recipe closely and make it exactly as written. The ingredients are all included for a reason and omitting any may result in an inferior flavour.
This recipe is great for meal prep as it makes quite a big batch (about 6 portions).
Serve this bolognese with spaghetti, pasta or jacket potatoes.
I like it topped with a sprinkle of home-made vegan parmesan.
Make Ahead And Storage Instructions:
The bolonese sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days and can be reheated on the hob or in the microwave as needed.
It also freezes well in a freezer proof container. I like to freeze it in individual portions for easy meals.
More Vegan Pasta Recipes:
- Tofu tomato pasta sauce
- Vegan pasta bake
- Vegan spinach and ricotta stuffed pasta shells
- Vegan pumpkin mac and cheese
- Classic vegan lasagna
- Vegan sun dried tomato pesto
- Vegan cauliflower alfredo
- Sun dried tomato puy lentil pasta
- Creamy roasted red pepper tomato pasta
- Creamy vegan mushroom pasta with truffle oil
If you tried this recipe let me know how it went! Rate it, leave a comment or tag @domestic_gothess on Instagram and hashtag it #domesticgothess
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Vegan Lentil Walnut Bolognese
- 2 Tablespoons oil from a jar of sun dried tomatoes (or olive oil)
- 1 large onion peeled and finely chopped
- 2 sticks celery finely chopped
- 2 large carrots finely diced
- 250 g chestnut mushrooms very finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
- 4 Tablespoons tomato puree (paste)
- 1 heaped teaspoon smoked paprika
- 180 ml (¾ cup) red wine
- 10 sun dried tomatoes (in oil) finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 Tablespoons dark soy sauce
- two 400 g (14 oz) tins chopped tomatoes
- 400 ml (1 + ⅔ cup) mushroom or vegetable stock (1 stock cube)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 185 g (1 cup) dried red lentils rinsed and drained
- 75 g walnuts very finely chopped or crushed
- 4 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- salt and pepper
- Heat the oil in a large pan over a low heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook gently, stirring often, for 10-15 minutes until soft.
- Add the finely chopped mushrooms and garlic, turn up the heat a little and continue to cook until all of the excess liquid has evaporated.
- Add the tomato puree and smoked paprika and cook for a minute, then add the red wine and cook until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.
- Add the sun dried tomatoes, oregano, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, soy sauce, tinned tomatoes, stock, sugar, lentils and walnuts.
- Bring up to a gentle simmer and cook for 40-50 minutes, stirring every now and again, until the lentils are tender. You can add a splash of water or stock if it becomes too thick.
- Add the nutritional yeast and a good grinding of black pepper, season to taste with salt and serve with pasta.