This Hearty Lentil & Veggie Spaghetti Sauce makes a great alternative to a meat-based pasta, using chunky mushrooms, vegetables and protein-packed lentils.
We love spaghetti in our house! We also love making vegetarian dishes a couple times a week and this lentil & veggie take on our usual meat-based spaghetti sauce is a delicious way to switch things up.
This recipe uses lentils and finely chopped vegetables like mushrooms and carrots to help create a chunky, hearty sauce without any meat. All those veggies add tons of fibre and phytonutrients like iron, potassium, and folate. Lentils are an especially great pantry staple. They’re versatile, protein-packed, inexpensive, and great for gut health.
What You’ll Need To Make Lentil & Veggie Spaghetti Sauce
For this sauce you’ll need:
- Dried green lentils (for an ultra quick version of this recipe, skip cooking the dried lentils and use canned)
- Cremini mushrooms
- A jar of marinara sauce (you can find this in the sauce section at the grocery store; I choose one that doesn’t have added sugar)
- Tomato paste
- Dried oregano, basil and bay leaf
- Olive oil
- Worcestershire sauce (the secret ingredient!)
Hearty Lentil & Veggie Spaghetti Sauce
A rich and hearty plant-based spaghetti sauce made with lentils and veggies.
- 1/2 cup dried green lentils
- 2 cups water (to cook lentils)
- 3 cups cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups marinara sauce (650ml jar)
- 1 156ml can tomato paste (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 oz pasta of choice (spaghetti, fusilli, etc.)
- parmesan cheese (dairy-free if desired), chili flakes, chopped fresh basil
To Cook Lentils
Add water and dried lentils to small saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover for about 25-30 minutes, until lentils have softened. Drain excess liquid.
To Make Sauce
Place mushrooms and carrot into food processor in batches and finely chop, or do so by hand.
Add olive oil to pan and bring to medium heat.
Add minced garlic to pan and saute 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add in chopped mushrooms and carrots and cook until lightly softened, about 5 minutes.
Once lentils have finished cooking and have been strained of excess water, add them to the pan.
Add marinara sauce, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, basil and bay leaf into lentil and veggie mixture. Stir well.
Reduce heat to a simmer and let sauce bubble away without a lid for about 30-40 minutes to let the sauce reduce and thicken.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook your pasta per package directions.
Divide pasta into bowls and top with sauce. Garnish with optional parmesan cheese, chili flakes or fresh basil if desired. Enjoy!
Store leftovers in airtight container in refrigerator for 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months. Makes great leftovers!
Be sure to tag me on Instagram @meghanlivingstone if you give this recipe a try!
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