Lentil Pasta Sauce

August 22, 2023   25 Comments

This lentil pasta sauce is my kind of recipe. Delicious, inexpensive, and it can be served on just about anything.

Lentil Pasta Sauce

Why use lentils instead of ground beef? They are a fraction of the cost and most of the flavor in tomato sauce is due to the tomatoes. You don’t really need meat (though I do admit that meat is quite luxurious).

It is far better for the planet to eat lentils so you get a win-win. You spend less money and you stop global warming. YES!

My daughter went vegetarian last year so I have been making all of the family favorites without meat. I actually like this sauce better than a typical Bolognese because it is lighter and doesn’t weigh down my stomach.

I also like how easy it is and you can freeze it! Spoon it on pasta, eggs, toast, or wherever you like to pour pasta sauce.

For all those Weight Watchers members out there, this recipe is ZERO points. How about that? I love that Weight Watchers made lentils a FREE food because they are so good for you.

I have made lentil tacos and mushroom lentil burgers with great success.

One of the reasons why lentils are better than your average bean is that they are small so they only take about 15-20 minutes to cook. This makes this recipe work because you can reduce and meld the sauce as you cook the lentils. Then you simply toss the lentils in when they are ready.

i love them in a curry called dal. I could eat that every day with rice and feel totally satisfied. Dal is something that I order in restaurants but I should make it! What am I waiting for?

Do you use lentils instead of beef? What are the recipes that work for you?

Lentil Pasta Sauce Recipe

3.9 from 12 reviews

Makes 10 cups

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1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1-28 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 bay leaves
1 cup dry lentils


Heat oil to medium high in a large sauce pan. Saute onion and garlic until translucent about four minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, fire roasted tomatoes, parsley, Italian seasoning, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

While sauce is cooking, add lentils to a medium sauce pan with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until lentils are tender and drain.

When sauce is finished cooking mix in cooked lentils and serve. Enjoy over pasta, roast vegetables, or toast.

Nutrition Facts

For one cup = 127 calories, 2 g fat, 0.3 g saturated fat, 20.6 g carbohydrates, 6.1 g sugar, 7.3 g protein, 9.1 g fiber, 221 mg sodium, 0 Freestyle Pts

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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Mushroom lentil burgers are a very healthy replacement for 8 ounce beef burgers....

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 25 )

For those of us not following WW Frestyle because it doesn't work for us, I calculated one cup of this this to be 4 WW SmartPoints on my SmartPoints calculator which, thankfully, I saved!

I love lentil soup, but only on the first day, before it turns to sludge. If I were making the above sauce, I'd want it to be thinner/saucier. So maybe fewer lentils and some tomato sauce.

Great recipe! I was just looking for something to make for dinner and this is it! I've never liked ground beef in sauces but I like lentils go figure. I use lentils in tacos, sloppy joes, "meat" balls and loaf and of course soups and stews.

interesting idea...I'll try it.

Thanks for these low points vegetarian recipes. I love beans and lentils. They are full of protein, fiber and nutrients and they are so filling. I would add even more fresh veggies to this sauce to make it more colorful but I love the concept. For those who lives near a Trader Joe's, they sell vacuum packed cooked lentils in the produce section. That makes this sauce even easier!

Thank you for this and any other easy zero/low point recipes you can post.🌻

when I am rushed or come home too tired to cook, I heat up

Progresso Lentil Soup (2 cans) & I cook up Uncle Bens Rice. Combine as much or little soup together.

Then add your Italian grating cheese of any kind. A chicken cutlet or piece of meat on the side is great.

One more thing those of you that are really pressed for time you buy the Uncle Bens Rice in a packet that heats up in the Micro for 1 1/2 min ( I use the Brown rice, careful of those other flavors w/ high sodium etc.) have a great day

Add this over edamame pasta (I just purchased at Costco, but haven’t tried yet) and you have a total 0 Freestyle meal! Thanks for this sauce recipe!

Great recipe! It's great over butternut squash or zucchini "noodles".

Cooking the lentils in broth...vegetable, chicken or beef....boosts up the flavor. Just watch out for the sodium level in the broth.

Wow! That’s a lot of sauce for 1 Cup of lentils cheap & delicious. I look forward to making it & yes, you are SO right being plant based is better for our poor, embattled earth & a way of combating climate change- as well as being very tasty & healthy - a win/win situation. I look forward to making this and those mushroom lentil burgers. I’m also thinking - add some carrots, mushrooms, corn and chili seasoning to this recipe and eliminate the Italian seasoning & you’ve got a great chili without carne...

Do you have a good recipe for Dal. Going to try your lentil sauce over spaghetti squash.

We use a lot of lentils. One tried and true way is for sloppy joes. I found this recipe and its a favorite I've made umpteenth times [w/out oil]. . Lentil soup or just lentils and/or chickpeas sprinkled on a salad is a must. So healthy, easy and satisfying. I'll be trying your lentil pasta sauce next Lisa, thank you.

I enjoy your newsletter and recipes very much, but eating lentils does not stop global warming. Let's leave politics out of it, please!

Wonderful recipe! However, vegetarians notoriously lack vitamin B12 and should obviously take a supplement. Nutritional yeast has B12 twelve so it should be included in this recipe and others. Lack of B12 can cause anemia kthat can lead to other health problems. School kids are being brainwashed that it is better to be vegetarian. This a dangerous trend unless it is properly managed. Those who have milk, cheese and eggs in their diets will be adding B12 to their diets as well, however, the most B12 is derived from beef, clams, trout, salmon, tuna, fish, chicken and liver. Certain medicines keep the body from absorbing B12 also. It is best to check with your doctor or nutritionist before depending solely on a vegetarian diet.

I cannot find fire-roasted tomatoes. What is a good substitute?

Note to IFortuna--RD here. It is vegans, who avoid all animal products, that must supplement with B12, not vegetarians who consume dairy and/or eggs. Also many cereals are fortified with B12 with high bioavailability. Some nutritional yeast products also contain B12. Of course, multivitamins are another source. Adults need 2.4 mcg/day.

Great recipe. I am going to try it the next time I make pasta. Lentils are so good and can be substituted for many things. IFortuna, I have been a vegetarian since I was a teenager and have not had any issues. I have two children (21 and 29) and didn't eat meat or seafood or drink milk while pregnant with them. I actually feel like I am healthier then my meat eating friends.

Love lentils and as I follow plant based diet will make this without the oil.

@Joan - just use regular chopped tomatoes - no big deal. Thanks for your question!!

Thanks, Lisa. I used regular tomatoes, as I could not find fire roasted. They were no-salt added. I spiced it up with more herbs, also a little smoked paprika and liquid smoke. Good stuff.

Yes Joan I know the difference, however, some people who call themselves vegetarians avoid eggs, cheese and even honey. Thanks for your clarification. I use to be a vegetarian. Every couple of years I practice it. I mentioned vitamin supplements i my post but the best way to get B12 is through food. B12 is absorbed in the mouth, therefore, masticating one's food is ideal. Nutritional yeast, btw, is full of all the B vitamins and many people like to put it in soups, stews,or sprinkled on other foods. I can't get enough of the stuff because I find it delicious. When hubby had cancer, I put a lot of it in the smoothies I made for him because he couldn't eat. The smoothies had fruit and loads of vitamins, seaweed, turmeric and other herbs like kale. Seaweed helped the residual effects of the radiation. Also, cilantro helps with the removal of heavy metals from the body. The metals attach to the cilantro and are removed through waste. (I mention this for whole body health.) Unlike other cancer patients, the doctors told hubby he actually gained weight and was very healthy at the end of his treatments. He has been 7 years cancer free.

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