This Lentil Pasta has the perfect combination of hearty and healthy. The rich, flavorful sauce, the texture of the lentils against the soft pasta, and the hint of spice from the red pepper flakes all come together to create a dish that's truly irresistible. The finishing touch of fresh parsley adds a burst of freshness, making every bite a delight.
Lentil pasta is a versatile and nutritious dish that's easy to make at home, and what’s best is that this recipe is entirely vegan. It's packed with protein from the lentils and loaded with vegetables for extra nutrition. Plus, with its rich, hearty sauce, it's a meal that's sure to satisfy your taste buds as well as your hunger.
This lentil pasta recipe stands out for its blend of flavors and textures. The addition of Worcestershire sauce and nutritional yeast gives the sauce a unique, umami flavor that's hard to resist. So, if you're looking to spice up your pasta nights, this lentil pasta recipe is one to consider.
Read on to learn exactly how to make this delicious lentil pasta recipe today!
- What is Lentil Pasta?
- Why This Is The Best Lentil Pasta Recipe
- What You Need to Make Lentil Pasta At Home
- How to Make Lentil Pasta, Step by Step
- Tips For Making the Best Lentil Pasta Every Single Time
- Serving Suggestions
- Recipe Variation Ideas for Lentil Pasta
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How to Store Leftover Lentil Pasta
- More plant-based dinners
What is Lentil Pasta?
Lentil pasta is a delicious vegan dish that combines the rich, hearty flavors of lentils with the classic comfort of pasta. This recipe is a delightful fusion of a traditional pasta dish and lentils, a superfood known for its high protein content.
The key ingredients include lentils, gluten-free pasta, onion, garlic cloves, olive oil, tomatoes, and fresh herbs, all combined to create a dish that's as flavorful as it is nutritious.
Lentil pasta is a fantastic dish to whip up in your home kitchen. Not only is it a great way to introduce more protein into your diet, especially if you're following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, but it also tastes incredible.
The rich, robust flavors of the lentils, combined with the tangy tomatoes and aromatic garlic and herbs, make this pasta dish an absolute treat. It's a perfect meal to serve for a family dinner, or to impress your guests at a dinner party.
Once you've had a taste of lentil pasta, it's sure to become a regular in your kitchen.!
Why This Is The Best Lentil Pasta Recipe
Easy to make: This lentil pasta recipe is as simple as sautéing a few ingredients, letting them simmer to perfection and tossing them with your favorite pasta. Plus, it's a great way to use up those leftover lentils sitting in your fridge.
Family-favorite: With its rich flavor from garlic, onion, and a hint of heat from red pepper flakes, this pasta dish is bound to become a family favorite. The added nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan cheese gives it that extra 'cheesy' flavor that kids and adults alike will love.
Vegan and versatile: This recipe is not only vegan-friendly but also versatile. You can switch out the spaghetti for your preferred gluten-free pasta or add in extra vegetables for a nutritional boost.
Crowd-pleaser: The combination of lentils and tomatoes creates a hearty sauce that's both healthy and satisfying. It's a surefire hit at potlucks or dinner parties, and leftovers (if there are any!) taste even better the next day after the flavors have had time to meld in the fridge.
What You Need to Make Lentil Pasta At Home
All you need are some incredibly simple, pantry-staple ingredients to make this delicious lentil pasta recipe at home.
Here's an overview of the specific ingredients for this recipe. For the exact ingredients and measurements, please scroll to the recipe card below.
Lentils: The star of our recipe, lentils, are a great source of protein. You can use either green or brown lentils in this recipe.
Olive oil: We'll use olive oil to sauté the onions and garlic. It's a healthier fat choice that lends a subtle flavor to the dish.
Onion: This ingredient will be chopped and sautéed until translucent, adding a savory sweetness to the pasta dish.
Carrots: Peeled and chopped, carrots add a touch of color and a slightly sweet taste to the sauce.
Garlic cloves: Minced garlic cloves give our dish a punch of flavor, creating a savory aroma that's hard to resist.
Dried oregano, red pepper flakes, and dried basil: These herbs and spices will be simmered with the tomatoes to create a rich, flavorful sauce.
Crushed tomatoes: The main ingredient in our sauce, crushed tomatoes will be simmered with herbs and spices to create a savory, tangy flavor.
Nutritional yeast: This ingredient adds a cheesy, umami flavor to the sauce. If you don't have nutritional yeast, you can substitute it with grated vegan parmesan cheese or leave it out altogether.
Worcestershire sauce: Adds a tangy, sweet, and salty flavor to the sauce, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper: Essential for seasoning, these ingredients will be used to taste, enhancing the flavors of the other ingredients.
Spaghetti: You can use any type of pasta you like instead of spaghetti. It's the perfect way to enjoy our hearty lentil sauce.
Fresh parsley: Chopped fresh parsley adds a pop of color and a hint of freshness to the finished dish. It's optional but highly recommended.
How to Make Lentil Pasta, Step by Step
Making this incredible lentil pasta recipe at home is super easy and will give you great results every single time. Here's how to make it step by step:
How to Make Lentil Pasta Sauce
- Heat the olive oil: Start by heating the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Sauté the onions and carrots: Add the onion and carrots to the pot and sauté them for about five to seven minutes. You'll know they're ready when the vegetables are soft and the onions have turned translucent.
- Add flavor with spices: Next, stir in the garlic, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. Sauté these ingredients for about a minute, until you can really smell the garlic.
- Combine the main ingredients: Now, add the crushed tomatoes, cooked lentils, nutritional yeast, and Worcestershire sauce to the pot. Stir everything together to combine the ingredients well.
- Simmer the sauce: Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for about twenty to thirty minutes. This will allow it to thicken and let the flavors meld together. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
How to Cook the Pasta
- Boil the pasta: While the sauce is simmering away, start cooking your pasta. Follow the package instructions to get it al dente.
- Drain the pasta: Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and return it to the pot.
Combining the Pasta and Sauce
- Mix the pasta and sauce: Add the lentil tomato sauce to the pot with the pasta. Toss everything together to make sure the pasta is well coated with the sauce.
- Serve your dish: Serve the pasta hot. If you like, garnish it with fresh parsley before serving. This delicious vegan and protein-rich lentil pasta dish is now ready to enjoy!
Tips For Making the Best Lentil Pasta Every Single Time
Add Nutritional Yeast: Nutritional yeast adds a cheesy, umami flavor to the sauce. If you don't have nutritional yeast, you can substitute it with grated vegan parmesan cheese or leave it out altogether.
Be Flexible with Pasta: You can use any type of pasta you like instead of spaghetti. Gluten-free pasta can be a great alternative for those with dietary restrictions.
Allow the Sauce to Simmer: Let the sauce simmer for about twenty to thirty minutes. This allows it to thicken and the flavors to properly meld together, enhancing the overall taste of your lentil pasta dish.
Season to Taste: Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Remember, you can always add more, but you can't take it away.
Don't Overcook the Pasta: Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until it is al dente. This ensures that the pasta retains a slightly firm texture, and doesn't become mushy when mixed with the sauce.
- For a light and refreshing lunch, serve this lentil pasta with a side of mixed salad greens tossed in lemon juice and olive oil. The crispness of the salad complements the hearty pasta dish perfectly.
- Love cheese? Sprinkle some vegan parmesan cheese over the lentil pasta before serving. The cheese adds a wonderful depth of flavor to the sauce.
- If you're in the mood for a cozy dinner, serve this lentil pasta with a slice of warm, crusty bread. The bread is perfect for mopping up the delicious sauce.
- For a true Italian experience, pair this pasta dish with a glass of your favorite red wine. The rich flavors of the wine will enhance the taste of the lentil sauce.
Recipe Variation Ideas for Lentil Pasta
This delicious lentil pasta recipe is so flavorful and easy to make, you'll want to try out some of these delicious variations! Here are some great ideas:
Go Gluten-Free: If you're on a gluten-free diet, don't worry, you can still enjoy this delicious lentil pasta dish. Simply swap the regular spaghetti for gluten-free pasta. This variation not only caters to dietary needs but also adds a different texture to the dish.
Add More Garlic: If you just can't get enough garlic, double the amount of minced garlic cloves in this recipe. The extra garlic will give the sauce a more intense, aromatic flavor that pairs wonderfully with the earthy lentils.
Tomato Twist: For a deeper, richer tomato flavor, add a tablespoon of tomato paste to the sauce as it simmers. This small addition can make a big difference in taste, adding a concentrated burst of tomato goodness to the dish.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sure, you can use any variety of lentils in this recipe. However, green and brown lentils hold their shape well after cooking and add a nice texture to the pasta dish.
If you don't have nutritional yeast, you can substitute it with grated vegan parmesan cheese. It adds a similar cheesy, umami flavor to the sauce. If you don't have either, you can leave it out altogether.
Definitely! This recipe is very versatile. You can add bell peppers, zucchini, spinach, or any other vegetable of your choice. Just remember to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
How to Store Leftover Lentil Pasta
If you have any leftovers, you can easily store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. When it’s time to have it again, simply reheat in on the stovetop or in the microwave until it’s warm all the way through.
If you want to store it for longer, you can also freeze it for up to 3 months! Allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating and serving.
More plant-based dinners
If you make this recipe, please leave me a comment below and rate it. I always appreciate the feedback. Also, you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
Lentil Pasta Recipe (Easy Protein-Packed Vegan Recipe)
- 1 cup dried green or brown lentils cooked, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 1 can 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pound spaghetti
- Fresh parsley chopped (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and sauté for 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent.
- Add the garlic, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes and sauté for another minute or until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, cooked lentils, nutritional yeast, worcestershire sauce and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 20-30 minutes or until it thickens and the flavors meld together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- While the sauce is simmering, cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain the spaghetti and return it to the pot.
- Add the lentil tomato sauce to the pot with the spaghetti and toss to combine. Serve hot, garnished with fresh parsley if desired.