Lunch\ Dinner

Cheap and Easy Yummy Family Bolognese, a recipe for vegan pasta!


A family favourite recipe and a twist on the classic. This Vegan Lentil Bolognese pasta recipe is super delicious, filling and easy to make. A recipe for vegan pasta that is a staple at our place. Made with 10 ingredients and ready in just 30 minutes. The perfect kid-approved weeknight meal.

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Birds eye view of a bowl of easy recipe for vegan pasta. Family style lentil bolognese

A cheap pantry recipe

This recipe for vegan pasta is actually a husband original, lol. Way back before we were parents or vegan, this lentil bolognese was a recipe my husband would make for us every week. As broke graduate students, this was the perfect easy and cheap recipe for us! Mostly because it relied on pantry items. Back then we used canned everything so this was the easiest lazy cheap meal of all time!

But, over the years this lentil with pasta recipe developed into more of a vegan lentil bolognese sauce! Meaning it has way more flavour now despite still using pantry items! It has matured into a super easy, vegan, protein-rich sauce. Perfect over a bowl of yummy noodles or even rice.

Family-friendly recipe for vegan pasta

This recipe for vegan pasta has come a long way from the broke grad student days. And while the recipe is still super simple we have learned a lot about how to add flavour and make it more family-friendly.

But what kid doesn’t like pasta right. Well actually my middle guy! He HATES pasta but he does like this lentil with pasta recipe! We add a bit of coconut sugar and use olive oil which I believe helps make this a more taste bud friendly recipe.

Regardless, this is a great recipe to make when you are busy, lazy or if you need a cheap meal to feed a large family. And because it used mostly canned items it is a good recipe to make while camping or traveling!

Straight shot of a bowl of delicious vegan lentil bolognese with a baby eating some in the background

Just 10 ingredients

Yup, that is right! This recipe for vegan pasta only has 10 ingredients in it! Making it an easy meal to prepare. Over the years and through our food and health journey one thing I learned is that simple meals are key. Maintaining a healthy way of eating and being able to cook when you are a busy parent, student, or person relies on having some great simple recipes in your back pocket!

To help our family stay on track and continue cooking healthy recipes having easy ingredients we can fall back on is super helpful!

Prep shot of the ingredients for a family vegan bolognese pasta sauce.

What you need

While most of the ingredients are canned, I do encourage you to try and use fresh when possible. Cooking the lentils from dry is not only cheaper but yummier. You can avoid that tin-y taste and add salt and garlic to the cooking process. It makes a huge difference. The same goes for the fresh versus canned whole tomatoes. Chopping up fresh tomatoes and cooking them down is key!

To make this recipe all you need is:

  • olive oil 
  • onion 
  • garlic
  • Italian seasoning
  • coconut sugar
  • smoked paprika
  • salt
  • tomatoes
  • canned crushed tomatoes
  • lentils 
  • nutritional yeast

And that is all folk. I hope you enjoyed this recipe for vegan pasta! And if you are looking for more easy vegan family meals make sure to check out these:

Did you make this recipe? Comment down below or connect with me over on Instagram ( I would love to share your creations!

Easy family bolognese pasta

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A protein-rich lentil bolognese sauce to fill your bellies. This recipe cooks up in just 30 minutes making it a great recipe for those busy weeknights. It is packed with nutrient-rich lentils and made with just a few ingredients. Serve over your favourite pasta for an easy family meal!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Vegan
Keyword: lentil bolognese, lentil recipe, vegan family recipe, vegan pasta recipe
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 164kcal


  • 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 5 vine or beefstake tomatoes (or sub for canned diced tomatoes)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can cooked lentils drained and rinsed or cook your own
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast


  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat saute the onions in the olive oil (for an oil-free version use water). Once the onions are soft add in the garlic, sugar and all the spices and cook until fragrant (roughly 2 min).
  • Next, add in the fresh and canned tomatoes, and the lentils reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue to cook for another 15 ish minutes.
  • Finally, sprinkle in the nutrional yeast and remove from the heat. Serve over your favorite pasta, we love using either rice pasta or for an extra protein-rich meal we use a red lentil fusili


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 164kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 309mg | Potassium: 1053mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 3110IU | Vitamin C: 47mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 3mg
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  4. roslyn

    My son is intollerent to lentils. What bean could I substitute the lentils for that would give a similar taste?

    • Is he OK with mock meets or TVP? You could try that. This sauce is good without it, we make it all the time that way as well. White beans are nice as well if he can eat those.

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