Vegan Lentil Porcini Bolognese Sauce


A Wonderful Textured Alternative To Meat

This Vegan Lentil Porcini Bolognese Sauce is so rich and delicious you would never now it was made with lentils. The consistency and thickness of the sauce is just like a real meat sauce. So belly up and pour it on your pasta, mash potatoes or bread. This makes a rather large batch of bolognese sauce. It is perfect to make ahead for the long work week or large portions for a dinner party of six. Don’t be afraid to top it high with vegan parmesan cheese, hot pepper flakes or hot cherry peppers. This is a recipe the whole family will love, even the little ones.

Vegan Lentil Porcini Bolognese Sauce. Photo by Spicy Saucy Vegan

Cleaning And Sorting The Lentils For The Bolognese Sauce

Lentils are delicious and I know it is just so easy to just rinse the lentils in a sieve and toss them into your recipe. But! They really have to be sorted through, be very mindful and check for small stones. The stones that are the same size as the lentils sneak through and are in with the lentils. There are little bits of dirt as well. They are little clumps of hard dirt stuck together. So it is critical that you sort and clean the lentils. I sort then rinse and set them aside. Any clumps of small dirt will turn darker because they have absorbed the water. Search through the wet lentils after they have sat for a few minutes and then you can find the dark clumps of small dirt. Then rinse them one last time.

Vegan Lentil Porcini Bolognese Sauce
Vegan Lentil Porcini Bolognese Sauce. Photo by Spicy Saucy Vegan

How To Make Vegan Lentil Porcini Bolognese Sauce

I feel the best way to make this Vegan Lentil Porcini Bolognese Sauce is to really sauté the onions and garlic down to really bring out the sweetness. It really creates a whole other layer to the flavor of the dish. Making for a richer flavored sauce. I also like to add the bay leaves and dried herbs about one minute before I am done sautéing the onions and garlic. The oil in the pan really opens up the flavors of the dried herbs.

After the onions, garlic and herbs are done sautéing add the rest of the ingredients. Just throw it all in! It will look like this picture below.

Photo by Spicy Saucy Vegan

Then it will cook down and because of the dried porcini mushrooms and red wine it will turn darker to a rich warm brown. Looking very authentic to a real meat sauce like the photo below.

Photo by Spicy Saucy Vegan

Thats looking just right and very delicious. This should cook down for at least one hour but I cooked this one on low for two and half hours. The longer it cooks the better the mingling of the flavors.

Adding Extra Ingredients To The Lentil Bolognese Sauce

There are some optional ingredients that I put into this Vegan Lentil Porcini Bolognese Sauce. Don’t worry if you can’t find them or don’t want to use them in the recipe. It will still come out wonderfully.

I use a dried porcini mushrooms instead of fresh ones. But! You can use fresh ones. I just really like this one brand “Melissa’s” that you can find in most grocery stores all over the United States. The reason I like them so much is because they really break up so nicely and you can crumble them into a powder form. It really makes the sauce very rich and robust in porcini flavor. If you want to really transform them just into powder then put them into your coffee grinder if you have one. It works really well.

Porcini Mushrooms used for Vegan Lentil Porcini Bolognese Sauce. Photo by Spicy Saucy Vegan

As another robust buster I add a little red wine to the recipe. You can use a nice Italian Chianti or a good Cabernet. If the wine you have is on the sweet side add it before the agave nectar. The agave is added to cut the acidity of the tomatoes. So just be aware of the taste of your wine before adding the agave.

Vegan Lentil Porcini Bolognese Sauce
Vegan Lentil Porcini Bolognese Sauce. Photo by Spicy Saucy Vegan

The other ingredient that is optional is the ground walnuts. I add them to add some extra texture. I know some people are allergic to nut so no worries, it is not necessary. But! it is very good. I like to put them in a small food processor to make sure they are finally chopped. I hope you love this recipe as much as we do. Enjoy!

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Vegan Lentil Porcini Bolognese Sauce

Vegan Lentil Porcini Bolognese Sauce

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  • Author: Spicy Saucy Vegan
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 7 minutes
  • Yield: 6 people 1x
  • Category: Dinner, Lunch
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan


This Vegan Lentil Porcini Bolognese Sauce is rich in flavor and heavy in texture. The lentils really give it the authenticity of real meat. This is a recipe that cooks down to real Italian flavors and tops nicely on pasta, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, roasted vegetables and bread. Make ahead and store in the refrigerator for the long week ahead. It reheats up well on the stove top and serves 6 large portions.


Units Scale

Vegan Lentil Porcini Bolognese Sauce

  • 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 medium Yellow Onion, (diced)
  • 4 to 5 cloves Garlic, (minced)
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 15 oz can Organic Diced Stewed Tomatoes
  • 1 28 oz can Organic Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Dry Red Wine, (Italian Chianti or Cabernet, optional)
  • 1 cup Dried Brown Lentils, (sorted and cleaned)
  • 1/2 medium Red Bell Pepper, (diced medium to small chunks)
  • 3/4 cup Ground Walnuts, (optional)
  • 4 Lg Dried Porcini Mushrooms or 5 Fresh Porcini mushrooms, (broken and crumbled dried (I use “Melissa’s” brand) and diced small fresh mushrooms)
  • 2 Tbsp Organic Tomato Paste
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Agave Nectar
  • 2 1/2 tsp Vegetable Better Than Bouillon
  • 1 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1/4 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 3 dashes Cayenne Pepper, (optional)
  • Sea Salt To Taste


  1. Measure out 1 cup of lentils and sort through them as you pour the lentils into a small bowl slowly. Check for little stones and clumps of dirt. Rinse the sorted through lentils in a sieve under cool water and set aside for a couple of minutes. Check through the lentils again for wet dark clumps of dirt. They should be much darker than the lentils. Take them all out and rinse the lentil in the sieve under cool water again. Set aside.
  2. Clean, dice and mince the red pepper, yellow onion and garlic. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large cooking pot under medium heat and add 3 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Add the diced onions and minced garlic. Cook until they are glassy. Add the bay leaves and Italian seasoning. Cook for 1 minute tossing the dried herbs around with the onions and garlic.
  4. Add all the liquid ingredients first and then the rest of all the ingredients and stir. Turn the heat to medium low and cover the pot with the lid.
  5. Check the sauce to make sure it is not sticking if it is then turn the heat to low. You may have to add more water if it is getting too thick.
  6. Cook for 1 to 2 hours before serving. I like it to cook 2 hours for the best flavor.
  7. When done serve over pasta, mashed potatoes or baked potato or bread. Top with vegan parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes or hot cherry peppers.
  8. Enjoy!


Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

Reheat on stove top on medium low heat in a pot with a lid. You may have to add extra water if it is too thick. Stir often as to not burn. 

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