This easy baby pasta sauce with lentils and vegetables is a simple pasta sauce that toddlers love too. Naturally sweetened with roasted vegetables and full of fresh ingredients, enjoy this tomato free sauce with your favourite pasta shapes.
Roasting the vegetables brings out their natural sweetness making the sauce appeal to babies and kids, as this sweet vegetable taste hides the taste of the red lentils. Like my sweet potato sauce, it is full of fresh ingredients and delicious stirred through pasta. If you want baby led weaning pesto for your pasta, this dairy free spinach avocado pesto or nut free broccoli pesto are also simple to make, and tasty baby led weaning pasta sauces.
Why We Love This Recipe
- This is a baby led weaning pasta sauce without tomatoes.
- It is easy to make: roast the vegetables, cook red lentils then combine the two and puree until smooth.
- This sauce can be made ahead or batch cooked and frozen. You can double the quantity too.
- This pasta sauce for babies is also a great hidden vegetable pasta sauce for toddlers!
- Versatile recipe, not only is it delicious stirred through pasta or used as a dip with baby eggy bread, but it is delicious as a pizza sauce for kids too!
- Sugar and salt free. Making homemade blw pasta sauce from scratch means you know exactly what is in it.
- Dairy free (and vegan) making it suitable for babies with dairy allergies.
- This pasta sauce for babies is one the whole family enjoy to eat, which means less time in the kitchen and less washing up!
Ingredients Notes And Substitutions
- Red lentils – iron rich red lentils cook quicker than other types of lentils and break down easier, meaning they blend to a smoother sauce, ideal for babies.
- Vegetables – red pepper / capsicum not only add nutrients but also sweetness, and zucchini / courgette adds extra vitamins to the sauce as well as sweetness, with a mild flavour.
- Onion – red or brown onion.
- Olive oil – Extra virgin olive oil.
- Water – I personally like to use water in this pasta sauce for babies, as many store bought stocks are salty. You can use homemade stock without any salt added, or low sodium stock / broth diluted with water.
How To Make This Recipe
- Cut the bell peppers into quarters, slice the zucchini/courgette and quarter then seperate some layers of the onion and place on a lined baking sheet with the unpeeled garlic and drizzle with olive oil.
- Place in a preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, until soft.
- Once cool enough to handle, place the capsicum / bell peppers in a bowl and cover with cling film.
- Cook the red lentils according to the packet instructions. You want them to be soft.
- Take the skins off the cooled peppers / capsicum.
- Add the skinned peppers to a bowl with the roasted onions and zucchini / courgette, garlic and red lentils.
- Using a stick blender or processor, blend until the sauce is smooth.
Yes, the sauce keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days
Larger pasta shapes such as strips of lasagna noodles or spaghetti are good to start with, then around 8-9 months fusilli, bow tie or penne pasta are a good shape to try. When your baby is spoon feeding, try orzo pasta.
To cook pasta for baby, don’t add salt to the water the pasta is being cooked in, and cook the pasta 2-3 minutes longer than the packet instructions to make it soft and easier to eat
My Recipe Tips
- This vegetable pasta sauce is made without salt on purpose. If you are not making this pasta sauce for babies, then add some salt whilst cooking, and/or use stock.
- If you don’t want to roast the vegetables, finely dice them all then cook the onion in the olive oil for 5 minutes until soft before adding crushed garlic, chopped red peppers, and chopped zucchini / courgette. Cook for 5-10 minutes over a low-medium heat.
Make ahead / Storage
- Make ahead – The vegetables and lentils can both be cooked 2-3 days ahead, meaning all you have to do is blend them together, heat and serve.
- Fridge – keep in a airtight container up to 3 days.
- Freeze – cool completely, freeze in individual portions for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight and heat through, adding a splash more water if needed.
As well as being a delicious pasta sauce for babies, this vegetable lentil sauce can also be served in various ways:
- Pizza – spoon on homemade pizza dough, top with cheese and bake! You can also pop a spoonful on mini muffins or crumpets for a quick pizza.
- Mix into a little ricotta, Greek yogurt, or blended cottage cheese for a dip and serve with baby mushroom quinoa bites or savoury baby pancakes.
- If serving as a kids pasta sauce, some cooked chicken breast, flaked tinned tuna or grated cheese would be a tasty addition.
- Other beans / pulses: if you don’t want to use red lentils, half a can of cooked white beans like cannellini beans or haricot (navy beans) would work well. Or use yellow split peas and cook for around 15 minutes longer until they have broken down.
- You can use other veggies: carrots, pumpkin, butternut squash would all work well, as would a little spinach (it can make the sauce slightly darker so if you are after a bright red pasta sauce then I’d leave out the spinach and use it in this pesto instead.)
- Herbs: half a teaspoon of dried oregano would be a lovely addition, or Italian herbs, as would a bay leaf (just be sure to take the bay leaf out before blending!)
- Gluten free: serve with gluten free pasta.
- Creamy pasta sauce: stir through a couple of tablespoons of ricotta cheese.
More Baby Led Weaning Recipes for you
Baby Pasta Sauce with Red Lentils
- 2 red capsicum/bell peppers cut into quarters
- 1 red onion cut into quarters then the layers of each quarter separated
- 1 clove garlic unpeeled
- 1 zucchini/courgette roughly sliced, 1 cm thick
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 65g (⅓ c) red lentils
- 375ml (1½ c) water
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C/400˚F
- Place the capsicum, onion, garlic, zucchini on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Season with pepper and salt (if giving to baby under 12 months don’t use salt.)
- Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, until soft.
- Put the red capsicum into a bowl and cover with cling film. When cool enough to handle, peel the skin away. Add these to the rest of the vegetables in a mixing bowl.
- Meanwhile cook the lentils in the water until soft according to packet instructions (usually around 10-15 minutes). Drain any excess water then leave to cool.
- Add the lentils to the cooled roast vegetables and blend with a hand blender, adding a little water if it’s too thick.
- This is quite a thick pasta sauce – I like to make it a thick sauce, freeze it in portions, then heat and add water as needed as I heat it.