How much does it cost? This cost me less than 50p per person.
What are the benefits? This lentil bolognese is an excellent source of veggie protein, as well as easily supplying you with two of your five a day and makes a brilliant vegetarian-friendly meal.
This all started with me buying lentils for a curry about three months ago and having half a bag leftover sitting in the cupboard. I’ve not cooked with lentils much so I didn’t really know how to use them up, but I don’t like to waste food so I began searching online for inspiration…
There are loads of lentil curries out there, even some lentil chillies, so I was really spoilt for choice when it came to ideas. During my research I discovered lentils are often used to bulk out vegetarian meals because they’re a great source of protein, have tonnes of texture and are super filling.
So, with this in mind, I made a swap, taking the mince meat out of traditional bolognese and sneaking lentils in its’ place for a hearty, healthy pasta – and red lentil spag bol was born!
1 Mug of Red Lentils
2 Medium Onions, Chopped
2 Large Mushrooms, Chopped
Handful of Sweetcorn, Fresh or Frozen (if using)
1 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
1 Tbsp of Tomato Puree
1 Stock Cube, Crumbled
1 Litre of Boiling Water
280g Wholewheat Spaghetti
First thing to add is the dried garlic flakes, which go in with the onion. After that, sprinkle a few chilli flakes, a hefty dose of dried oregano and dried basil, salt and pepper when it all starts to simmer. A couple of minutes before serving the bolognese, throw in some mixed herbs too.
So, this is how I did it…
1. Spray a large, deep pan or dish with cooking spray, or splash in a small drop of oil. Cook the chopped onions and dried garlic flakes on a medium heat for a few minutes, until soft.
2. Add the lentils, mushrooms, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, a crumbled stock cube, one litre of boiling water and seasoning. Stir and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes.
3. If you’re adding sweetcorn, throw it in for the last 10 minutes of cooking.
4. Cook the spaghetti in salted water according to packet instructions – usually 10 – 15 minutes.
5. Serve (with grated cheese and garlic bread, if you want to make it even more awesome! 🧀)