Lentil Bolognese

Lentil Bolognese

Serves 4


  • 115g (4oz) brown lentils, rinsed well
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • ½ green pepper, finely diced
  • 1 stick of celery, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 285ml (½ pint) water
  • 570ml (1 pint) passata (creamed tomatoes)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • Salt and pepper

This has always been one of my favourite recipes from my first book ‘Cooking Without’ and it’s such a useful standby. I like to make it in quantity, preferably in the slow cooker so that I don’t even need to think about the odd stir whilst it is cooking. Add a little less water if slow cooking – 150ml (¼ pint) instead of 275ml (½ pint) – as less evaporation takes place.


It’s wonderful to have a few portions in the freezer for easy lunches or those days when you just don’t feel like cooking. Children will love it – my grandchildren certainly do and it’s such a good way to include lots of vegetables in their diet.


  1. Place all the ingredients into a pan, bring to the boil and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft but not mushy.
  2. Serve with pasta, rice, or buckwheat and with a green salad if preferred.