Lentil Bolognese with loaded veggie sauce

Lentil Bolognese with loaded veggie sauce

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  • 15
  • Easy
  • Meat-free
  • 10 minutes
  • 50 minutes


  • 1 T 1 coconut oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 110 g portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, scrubbed and grated
  • 1 small stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 450 g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 T coconut sugar
  • ½ cup uncooked red split lentils
  • 2½ cups vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • 125 g gluten-free spaghetti or spaghetti of your choice
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves or parsley

Cooking Instructions

1. Heat the coconut oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.

2. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring often.

3. Add the tomato paste, carrot, celery, paprika and oregano. Cook down for 5 minutes, stirring often. Once the celery and carrot soften, add the tomatoes and sugar and mix well. Add the lentils and vegetable stock and bring the mixture to a simmer with the lid on. Cook for 35 minutes or until the lentils are al dente, verging on soft. Make sure to give the sauce a stir every 10 minutes. Once ready, season to taste.

4. While the sauce is cooking, prepare the spaghetti as per the packet instructions in salted water. Once ready, drain and set aside. Drizzle the olive oil over the spaghetti so that it doesn’t stick together.

5. Serve the spaghetti topped with the lentil Bolognese sauce, sprinkled with the nutritional yeast and garnished with fresh basil or parsley.

Cook's note: Trying out vegetarian dishes for your children can be difficult, but it is worth it when you find a breakthrough point and something they enjoy. This dish is a new take on a classic that all kids love. You can swop out the wheat pasta for a variety of healthy alternatives from your local health store. Cook the sauce with love and give it time for the flavours to develop. Your kids will also enjoy any leftover lentil sauce for sloppy Joe’s or on toast with some egg. The real challenge is making sure you don’t finish it all in one go!

Find more vegetarian recipes here. 

This is an extract from HEAL – begin with food by Melissa Delport. Published by Struik Lifestyle (an imprint of Penguin Random House (Pty) Ltd). Photographer and food stylist: Melissa Delport

Melissa Delport Recipe by: Melissa Delport
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Melissa Delport is a certified integrative health coach, photographer and food stylist. She is also the author of WHOLE – bowl food for balance and HEAL– begin with food.

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