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Lentil Bolognese Sauce with Mushrooms

 lentil bolognese sauce over pasta

Lentil Bolognese sauce.

My family may disown me for this one.

My husband is Bolognese.

And my mother-in-law lives in Bologna.

And when I visit (despite my mostly plant-based lifestyle) I manage to eat my fair share of ragù. Typically, Americans call ragù, meat sauce. The two are meant to be the same thing, but they aren’t.

Traditional ragù is mainly meat, with just a tiny touch of tomato. The Bolognese sauce most people are familiar with is generally characterized as being a red sauce with meat in it. This mushroom lentil Bolognese sauce doesn’t actually contain either of the defining characteristics of a traditional ragù, but it does have a wonderful texture consistent with the meat sauce most of us know. And that counts for a lot.

I’ve been wanting to put a vegan Bolognese sauce on my blog for years. But I’ve always been too nervous to know what my Bolognese family might think. They’re quite judgmental. And by that I mean they’re very particular about their food and Italian culture. As they should be.

When Angela’s new book, Oh She Glows Every Day arrived on my doorstep containing a hearty vegan Bolognese recipe inside, I was like, yeah now is the time. Because I can count on Angela. She is the queen of plant-based blogging, after all.

A few things about the tagliatelle bolognese recipe! It contains mushrooms. A secret about me, I really dislike mushrooms. You won’t find a single recipe on my website that uses them, until now. I’m sorry, mushroom lovers. I’ve tried and tried but I just can’t get into them, until now. They make this lentil Bolognese sauce texture just right.

Plant-based protein like lentils (used here) gives it a good base layer, but it needs another component to build the right mouth feel. And minced mushrooms does just that. And although Angela’s recipe has a twist of tahini in it, which sounds like it’d provide some wonderful nutty undertones, I chose to forgo it keeping the sauce as authentic as possible.

A few things about this book. It is new, and it is fantastic. Oh She Glows Every Day is a hearty collection of simple, straight-forward staples for any anyone living a plant-based life. And I’m giving one away to one of you. Leave me a comment below—what vegetable is hard for you to get behind? Or do you love them all? I will choose a winner at random on September 19 at noon Central, and notify them by email. Sorry folks, the book will be sent to a United States shipping address only.

 lentil bolognese sauce with tagliatelle pasta

cookbook next to lentils, mushrooms, onions and garlic

 lentil bolognese sauce with tagliatelle in a pan

 lentil bolognese sauce over pasta

Lentil Bolognese Sauce with Mushrooms

Lightly adapted from Oh She Glows Every Day. I am using crushed tomatoes from a can that are unsalted and unseasoned. I chose gluten-free tagliatelle for the pasta, but you can use any kind of pasta you'd like, gluten-free or not.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 bowls of pasta


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced small
  • 3 - 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms minced
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes unsalted + unseasoned
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • sea salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound [url]tagliatelle∞[/url]
  • crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • fresh parsley optional
  • [url]herby oregano 'parm'∞[/url] optional


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Cook pasta according to the box instructions, drain and set aside until the sauce is ready.
  • In a large sauce pot heat the olive oil over low heat and add in the onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the mushrooms, season with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Add the spices and crushed tomatoes and stir. Bring the mixture to a simmer and add in the lentils. Simmer for another minute or two and remove from the heat and portion over pasta.
  • Serve hot with a sprinkle of crushed red pepper, parsley and parm if you desire.

(This giveaway is closed.)

Thanks to the folks at Avery Publishing for gifting me an advance copy of Oh She Glows Every Day!

More easy Italian recipes you’ll love:


Marsha Gainey

Tuesday 8th of August 2017

Delicious! Very hearty and substantial. I used all the optional ingredients except I used conventional parm as well as tagliatelle that wasn't gluten-free. I'm a solo cook, so this recipe made a lot and gave me a lot of leftovers, another plus.

Natalia M

Sunday 18th of September 2016

I almost laughed when I read about you hating mushrooms, I'm the same way! Everyone is always shocked that I'm a vegan who hates mushrooms, in the vegan/vegetarian world they're such a common ingredient. I will have to give this bolognese a try to see if I can tolerate the mushrooms. Like you, I've tried and tried countless times, and I just can't get them down. Olives are next on the most hated list. Besides the two, I love all other plants.


Sunday 18th of September 2016

I struggle with eating as much greens as I should. I'm good with kale but can't really get behind Swiss chard or mustard greens. Thank you for the chance to win Angela's beautiful new book!!


Saturday 17th of September 2016

Raw onions. Love the taste as I'm eating them but not hours later, on top of dessert!


Saturday 17th of September 2016

I like red, orange and yellow peppers but can't stand the flavor of green peppers.

Comments are closed.