Black Bean & Lentil Bolognese

black bean & lentil bolognese

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Black Bean & Lentil Bolognese is the perfect alternative to your normal beef bolognese. As I am taking part in “Veganuary”, I wanted to transform some traditional comforting meat dishes into delicious vegan dishes instead.

It’s a very simple and healthy one pan dish. It works great for lunch/dinner the next day and also can be frozen down and stored.

4-5 servings

Prep: 15 mins

Cooking: 1 hour 10 mins



  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 large red onion finely diced
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms
  • 2 celery stalks finely diced
  • 2 carrots finely diced
  • 200g fresh plum tomatoes
  • 2 pinches dried oregano
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of bijoux verts lentils (I buy mine from Waitrose, you can use normal though if you can’t find)
  • 400ml veg stock
  • 1 tablespoon of cacao powder
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 courgette per person for courgetti or brown rice spaghetti.
  • fresh chopped chilli or basil (optional)


Firstly you need to prepare the vegetables. Slice the mushrooms and then finely dice the onion, celery and carrots. Cut the fresh tomatoes into quarters.

Now place a large casserole dish (if you don’t have this use a large pan with a lid instead) on a medium heat adding the olive oil and crushed garlic.

Once the garlic is sizzling add the chopped onion with a pinch of salt & pepper and allow to brown off and soften (roughly 2-3 mins).

Now add the mushrooms, celery, carrots and fresh tomatoes to the dish along with another pinch of salt & pepper (as shown below). Stir often allowing them to soften for roughly 5-7 minutes.

bolognese vegetables cooking

Add the 2 pinches of oregano followed by the tinned tomatoes and stir in.

Now drain and rinse the black beans and lentils (I use bijoux verts as they hold their consistency and add a nutty flavour). Then add to the pan.

Add 400ml of vegetable stock and the tablespoon of cacao powder and stir.

Bring to a boil, place the lid onto the pan then reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes.

Stir every 15-20 minutes.

After the 45 minutes, take the lid off the pan and allow to cook for a further 15 minutes. This allows it to thicken further.

Finally prepare the spiralized courgetti or brown rice spaghetti (if you prefer something more filling) to accompany the bolognese.

Tip: When having the bolognese with the courgetti try adding fresh chopped chilli on top. When having with brown rice spaghetti try adding fresh chopped basil on top as shown in the pictures.

bolognese with brown rice spaghetti

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