This is a healthy alternative to regular beef bolognese. It doesn’t have the saturated fat content of the meat and instead is high in fibre and good quality plant protein source.

This recipe is very adaptable. Use any vegetables you have to hand and you don’t have to serve it with spaghetti: try using it as a base for a vegetarian Shephard’s pie or lasagna, serve it with a baked sweet potato, some brown rice or other grains, or a root vegetable mash. You could also serve it with spiralised courgette instead of spaghetti for an even healthier option.  It also freezes well.

This is also a very cheap meal – around 44p per serving when served with wholewheat spaghetti.


(Serves 4)

  • Vegetables, for example: 1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 stick of celery and a handful of mushrooms. Or whatever else you have available!
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 1 cup of dried lentils (red, green or brown are all fine)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Herbs and spices of your choice. For example a teaspoon of mixed Italian herbs and a sprinkle of chili flakes. Or a teaspoon of ground cumin and coriander.
  • A teaspoon of miso paste or 1 vegetable stock cube
  • Olive oil for frying



  • Chop all of the vegetables quite finely
  • Add the vegetables to a medium-large saucepan and lightly fry in a dash of olive oil, for a few minutes until starting to go soft
  • Finely chop the garlic and set aside
  • Add the tinned tomatoes, herbs and spices and miso/stock cube.
  • Rinse the lentils in a sieve under cold running water and add these to the pan
  • Add water to ensure the lentils and vegetables are well covered.
  • Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for around 30 minutes until the lentils are soft.
  • Keep checking on the pan every few minutes to ensure it is not drying out as the lentils will absorb the liquid as they cook. If it is drying out add a little more hot water.
  • Once the lentils are soft, remove from the heat. Add the garlic and stir this in.