Mushroom and Lentil Bolognese

If you don’t eat meat (or even if you do) and miss a delicious Bolognese, this is a pretty good alternative. The lentils give a ‘meaty’ texture and a slightly peppery flavour.

It’s an easy and slow recipe, so ideal for one of those overcast days when you have time to spend in your kitchen.

Another delish vegan recipe, just replace the Parmesan with a non-dairy alternative.

This amount feeds four generous portions and will keep in the fridge for a day or two. If feeding two, remove half the sauce from the wok and add the cooked spaghetti into the warmed sauce.

Portions: 4 generous portions
Prep and Cook Time: Over an hour
Cookware: A wok and pasta saucepan

  • 150g spaghetti or long pasta, of choice
  • 1 red onion – finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves – crushed
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms – finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots – small dice
  • 1 bell pepper – small dice
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tins tomatoes
  • 175g raw green lentils
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 300ml veg stock
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt flakes
  • 2 bay leaves, thyme or rosemary (optional)
  • 40g parmesan – grated
  • basil (optional)
  • 2 handfuls of spinach leaves (optional)


Heat a tbsp oil in your wok and gently sauté the onion for 5 minutes without browning. Add the mushrooms and garlic, stir well and cook on a medium heat for approx 8 minutes until the mushrooms have lost their moisture and are golden, then add pepper, carrots and spices.

Sauté the veggies in the spices for 2 minutes then add the tomatoes, lentils, tomato purée, stock, sugar, vinegar, salt, herbs and give it a good stir. Bring to a gentle boil, cover and simmer on a low heat, for 45 minutes.

This will happily simmer for up to an hour with an occasional stir. Once cooked, check seasonings, turn off the heat and it’s ready when you are.

Ten minutes before your mealtime, cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water for 8 minutes (al dente). Once cooked, pour some pasta water into a cup and using pasta utensils, tong the spaghetti into the sauce and combine well over low heat. Add splashes of pasta water to enable the sauce to cover each strand of spaghetti, which will finish cooking in the sauce.


Into warmed pasta bowls, sprinkle with grated Parmesan and basil. Sometimes, I line the bowls with spinach leaves and spoon the Bolognaise on top.

Enjoy, I really love this tempting bowl!