Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce #SundaySupper

Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce - heatlhy, vegan, delicious from Alida's Kitchen

Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce is a protein-packed, thick and hearty pasta sauce, made vegan using lentils in place of meat. {vegetarian, vegan without cheese, sauce is gluten free}

Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce a thick and hearty, like a meat sauce, using lentils instead of meat.  I love using lentils as a meat substitute in recipes.  They are very meat-like in that they are high in protein, take on flavors in a sauce (or salad) and are very versatile.  Unlike meat, lentils are high in fiber and easy on the budget.  They do not require soaking or long cooking times, making lentils a wonderful choice for quick, easy and healthy meatless meals.

Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce is very easy to make and takes roughly an hour to get a thick, hearty meatless pasta sauce.  The first step is sauteing the onions and garlic.  The next step is to add the lentils and broth to cook the lentils.  The last step is to add the tomatoes and the remaining ingredients to make the pasta sauce and let it simmer for about 40 minutes, letting the flavors come together.  The result is a healthy, protein-packed,  hearty meatless tomato pasta sauce made with lentils that is delicious, nutritious and suitable for a variety of dietary needs.  Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce makes a generous amount of sauce, and leftovers reheat nicely.

Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce

Lentil Marinara Pasta Sauce
Yields: 8 servings
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1½ cups dried lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can (14½ ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Italian herb seasoning
  • 1 pound pasta (spaghetti, penne, most shapes work well)
  • Parmesan cheese, if desired for topping (optional)
  1. Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until softened and starting to brown (5 to 7 minutes). Add garlic and crushed red pepper and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Stir in lentils and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender (about 20 to 30 minutes).
  3. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar and seasoning and stir until combined. Bring to a boil again, reduce heat and then cover. Simmer for 40 to 45 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Serve topped with lentil sauce and Parmesan cheese, if desired.


The theme for Sunday Supper this week is Sauce It Up.  The group is sharing recipes with or for sauces to put a special touch on a meal or dessert.  Be sure to check out what everybody made below.

Savory Sauces

Pasta Sauces and Pastas with Sauce

Entreés with Sauces

Sweet Sauces

Desserts with Sauces

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  1. Love the idea of using lentils instead of meat! What a great option. Looks amazing. And, balsamic in sauce… fabulous! Mmmm

  2. This is a great recipe! I love anything with lentils but never thought to put them into a pasta sauce. Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. I love that you used lentils. That is such a great idea! I am so going to try that!

  4. I have a lentil tomato pasta sauce that’s been bookmarked for ages and I’ve never made it but yours looks even better, Alida. I really need to make this soon! Hearty and delicious!

  5. Love lentils. Thank you for nice recipe.

  6. I love lentils. What a great recipe! Thanks!

  7. I love love love lentils! This looks so good! Healthy too, I can’t wait to try it!

  8. I have been wanting to try cooking with lentils. I am going to pin this so I can give it a try 🙂

    Bobbi ~ Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen