I served this for dinner last week and, a few mouthfuls in, Mr Jones said, “ Mmm, I love meat!”
I could have so easily kept quiet and let him enjoy his ‘meaty dish’ but, whilst I was pondering whether to admit it or not, my smile gave me away.
He looked at me and then the plate of bolognese. “There’s no meat in here, is there?”
“Nope!” I replied.
“Well it’s yummy anyway.” He said, and carried on eating.
Mini Jones is also a huge lentil bolognese fan, and so when I serve this up for dinner, there is always a happy silence whilst we eat.
Why we love this lentil Bolognese:
- It’s a budget friendly meal
- You can meal prep/prepare it in advance
- It freezes so well
- It is packed full of vegetables
- It can be used in many dishes: to make a vegan shephards pie, a vegetarian or plant based lasagne,
- It’s suitable for babies, toddlers, kids and adults, which makes it a great dinner idea for all – less cooking and less washing up.
What to serve with lentil Bolognese?
I like to serve it with pasta (spaghetti), on jacket potatoes, or on nachos with some guacamole. If it’s a busy evening then I reheat this vegetarian Bolognese and boil some noodles, and dinner is on the table in 10 minutes!
Can you freeze lentil Bolognese?
Yes, you can. The Bolognese will keep in the freezer for up to a three months. I tend to make a big batch then freeze in individual portions so I can pull out 1 if it’s for Mini Jones’s lunch, or 3 if its for dinner for all of us. (It also takes less time to defrost than freezing the whole amount.)
To Make Ahead Keeps for up to 3 days in the fridge.
To freeze Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in fridge over night.
Veggie Packed Lentil Bolognese
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 red onion finely diced
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 2 sticks celery finely sliced
- 1 green capsicum/pepper finely chopped
- 2 carrots grated
- 1 zucchini/courgette grated
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 400g (14oz) tin/can tomatoes
- 200g (1c) green lentils
- 750ml (3c) water or stock
- Bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- small pinch allspice
- Black pepper
- In a large saucepan, fry the onion in the olive oil over a low-medium heat until soft – around 5 mins.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the celery, capsicum, grated carrot and zucchini, stir, and then place a lid on the saucepan and cook, covered for another 5-10 minutes, until tender.
- Stir in the tomato puree before adding the tinned tomatoes, green lentils, water (or stock), bay leaf, ground cumin, ground coriander, allspice and season with salt and black pepper.
- Turn the heat up, bring to a gentle boil then turn the heat down and simmer for 40-45 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf before serving.
- Serve straight away, or store in fridge or freezer.