This roast vegetable sauce with lentils is one of my favourite lentil recipe: not only is it simple to prepare, but it is so versatile.
Although this roasted vegetable sauce is a red sauce, it doesn’t contain any tomatoes. Instead it gets its colour from red capsicum/bell peppers. Roasting them in the oven helps bring the natural sugars out of the vegetables which gives them an amazing intensity of flavour. The sweetness also makes them more appealing in our household and it is this, rather than the flavour of lentils, which shines through.
I love using red lentils, especially in dishes such as this. They are very quick to cook, highly nutritious, and budget-friendly.
The sauce only requires a couple of minutes preparation, then it can be left to cook whilst you get on with other things. The vegetables and lentils can both be cooked a day or two ahead, meaning all you have to do is blend them together, heat and serve. I often make a large batch – sometimes doubling the recipe below – and then portion it out into individual servings and freeze them, ready to defrost overnight or during the day for a healthy vegetable packed sauce for Mini Jones.
A few ideas to use this sauce:
A vegan pasta sauce – or non vegan pasta sauce if you add a spoonful of ricotta or sprinkling of cheese on top!
Healthy pizza sauce without tomatoes
Dilute with plain Greek yogurt/ricotta for a delicious dip for vegetables and breadsticks.
Does this roast vegetable and lentil sauce freeze?
Yes, it freezes really well and you can keep the sauce in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Roast Vegetable Sauce
2 red capsicum/bells 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 dsp olive oil
1/3 c/65g red lentils
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.
I like to make it a thick sauce, freeze it in portions, then heat and add water as needed. If its going to be a pizza topping I want it to be thicker than if it was a pasta sauce.