This Lentil Mushroom Bolognese is a vegetarian twist on a classic Italian dish. It’s filling, full of flavor and absolutely delicious!

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The guys in my family (my hubby and oldest son) have both adopted a vegetarian lifestyle, and my daughters and I try to eat as many vegetarian meals a week as possible. With that said, I’m always working on more vegetarian recipes in general, but also vegetarian twists on classic recipes that everyone knows and loves. This Lentil Mushroom Bolognese is my newest venture, and I gotta say, I think I nailed it!


There’s nothing better than a big heaping spoonful of bolognese over fresh pasta. It’s and ultimate comfort food! Just because you’re vegetarian doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get to enjoy the wonders of bolognese. In this recipe, lentils and mushrooms replace the typical meat you find in a classic bolognese so you’re getting tons of protein. And I promise, when I tried out this vegetarian take for the first time I didn’t even miss the meat!


Pasta has been and will forever be one of my go-to weeknight family meals because it’s super simple to whip up, and everyone loves it! Plus, there’s typically some leftovers which makes lunch the next day that much easier. If you’re looking for more vegetarian pasta recipes to add to your repertoire, try out Pasta MamaWild Mushroom PastaRoast Vegetable Pasta Sauce to name a few!


Next time you’re wanting a vegetarian version of a classic and comforting meal, this Lentil Mushroom Bolognese is your answer. It’s flavorful, filling and delicious! Let me know if you make it and what you think by tagging me on social media


Lentil Mushroom Bolognese

This Lentil Mushroom Bolognese is a vegetarian twist on a classic Italian dish. It's filling, full of flavor and absolutely delicious!
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Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces portobello or baby portobello mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 4 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pound spaghetti or pappardelle
  • grated parmesan cheese, to taste
  • fresh basil, to taste


  • Place celery, carrots and onions in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  • Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pot over low to medium heat and sauté the onion mixture for 8 minutes or until softened.
  • While the onions are cooking, place the mushrooms in the food processor and finely chop. Add to the onion mixture and sauté an additional 4 minutes. 
  • Add the salt, pepper, thyme, lentils, vegetable broth, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar and crushed tomatoes, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook covered over low heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until lentils are tender. 
  • While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to package directions. 
  • Remove the bay leaves and thyme stems from the sauce. Toss the pasta with the bolognese, sprinkle with parmesan and fresh basil if desired.
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About the Author

Catherine is a mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.

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