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Close up of vegan bolognese​ Sauce in white pot

The Best Vegan Lentil Bolognese Sauce Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 33 minutes
  • Yield: 4 large servings
  • Diet: Vegan


This Lentil Bolognese Sauce is easily one of my favorite pasta recipes. It’s hearty, full of flavor, and high in plant-based protein. All you’ll need is one pot and about 30 minutes to put together this incredibly delicious vegan pasta sauce.


  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, finely minced 
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, adjust to taste
  • 1 medium carrot, finely diced
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium bell pepper, finely diced
  • 8 oz white mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup vegan dry white wine (we used a Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1 (28 oz.) can crushed San Marzano tomatoes, unsalted 
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or water (see notes)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can cooked brown lentils, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil and/or parsley, finely chopped
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon brown sugar (see notes)

Serve with (optional):


  1. In a medium pot or pan over medium heat, add in 2 tablespoons of vegetable broth . Once warmed, add in the onions, garlic and red pepper flakes, and sauté for about 3 minutes, stirring often, or until fragrant and translucent. Be sure to add more vegetable broth or water, 2 tablespoons at a time, as needed to prevent burning. 
  2. Add the carrots, celery and bell pepper, and cook for 3 minutes more, or until cooked through and softened. Again, be sure to add more vegetable broth or water, 2 tablespoons at a time, as needed to prevent burning. 
  3. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until softened and no liquid remains, about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in the vegan white wine and mix through. Continue to cook until all of the liquid cooks off, about 5 minutes. 
  5. Add in the tomatoes, along with the bay leaves and remaining broth or water, and mix until uniform. Simmer for 10 minutes, mixing often. Mix in the lentils and cook for 5 more minutes so that all of the flavors marry together.   
  6. Remove the pot from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with fresh herbs as desired.
  7. Serve as desired– we prefer this on top of  spaghetti with vegan parmesan cheese. Enjoy!


  • To speed up prep time, we recommend using a food processor to chop up the vegetables. Refer to recipe instructions to see which vegetables get paired together — do not process them all at once and mix them up.
  • I have seen bolognese recipes that use both white and red wine. We preferred white wine in this recipe over red, but feel free to change it up as desired! 
  • Some people prefer to add a touch of sugar to bolognese to cut the acidity. You can add it after you add the tomatoes if you would like, but we opted out of it.
  • I like to use this brand of vegan beef broth in this recipe to give it extra flavor.
  • Not all wines are vegan due to the refining process they go through. To ensure your wine is vegan, check out Barnivore
  • Check out this website for alcohol-free wine substitutions.
  • To up the protein in this recipe, you can add one pack of diced tempeh.
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 31 minutes
  • Category: Entree, Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian