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SpagBol, but make it vegan! 

We asked the general public what their go-to budget meal was, and the winning response was the humble and hearty spaghetti bolognese. It’s a dish that people go to time and time again, but with the cost of living on the rise, meat is expensive to get your hands on in the supermarket. Here is City Harvest’s vegan take on the classic, using tinned green lentils to make this lentil spaghetti bolognese recipe cheaper, healthier and high in fibre and protein. 

Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe

Ingredients (makes approximately 5-6 servings)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, finely diced
  • 3 medium-sized carrots, finely diced
  • 3 sticks of celery, finely diced
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, finely minced or crushed
  • 2 tbsp red wine (optional)
  • 1 tin green lentils in water 
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes (or peeled tomatoes)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Parmesan to serve (or vegan/vegetarian alternative)
      1. Gently heat the olive oil in a large, wide-bottomed pan.
      2. Finely chop your onion, celery, carrots and garlic. First, add the onion and carrots to the heated oil and stir gently on medium-high heat.
      3. Once the onions and celery become translucent and start to sweat, add your garlic. *It is always best to add the garlic to the heat later than the other ingredients, as it can burn very easily.
      4. Then add the finely diced carrots and continue to cook on medium heat until soft.
      5. At this point, season your vegetables with salt and pepper. Add any extra oil if the mix starts to stick to your pan.
      6. Open and add your tin of lentils. Drain about half of the water from the tin, and reserve the rest to add some liquid to the diced vegetables.
      7. If you have any old wine, or cooking wine, add it to the pan at this point and let the alcohol simmer off before adding the tin of chopped tomatoes. *Always make sure to swill your tins with warm water to get all the tomato out.
      8. Stir this all together and add 2 bay leaves.
      9. Allow for your lentil sauce to simmer gently for as long as you can leave it, this way the flavour can develop.
      10. Meanwhile, cook your spaghetti in generously salted water until al-dente (often about 1 min under the suggested on-pack cooking time).
      11. Take about 2 ladlefuls of the starchy, cloudy past water and add to your simmering ‘ragu’ (lentil sauce). This will make it extra silky, and add a little extra liquid if it’s looking a bit on the dry side.
      12. Mix your hot, drained pasta with the lentil ragu and serve with grated parmesan, or a vegetarian/vegan alternative. Buon apetito!

      Check out the short cookery tutorial below.

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