Meatless Monday: Spicy Lentil Pasta Sauce (Low fat, Vegan, Gluten free)

I know what you’re thinking… it’s not a soup recipe. Or an oatmeal recipe. Has the world tipped on it’s head? No, my friend, it has not. Contrary to the evidence on this blog, my Snapchat and my Instagram, I do eat things other than soup and oatmeal. Honest. They are staples of my week-to-week food consumption though. In the evening, it’s mostly curry or chilli too, granted. But occasionally I’ll branch out! Largely because whilst I could happily eat baked potatoes, curry and chilli everyday of my life, my fiancé is not (if he was perfect, it’d be weird).

Although, this is sort of a hybrid of a (meatless) ragu and a chilli: a regular bolognese that’s been laced with chilli spices to liven it up a bit. There’s no depth of slow cooked pork or beef here, but it’s not a bland dish by any means. We add chilli, balsamic vinegar, vegetarian Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce to make a yummy spicy lentil pasta sauce that everyone can enjoy.

Spicy Lentil Pasta Sauce over Spaghetti

“Dice and go” spicy lentil pasta sauce

There’s another wonderful element to this pasta sauce. It can be (and I usually do) made in a slow cooker. Dice up your veggies, rinse your lentils and put it all in the slow cooker. Carry on with your day and, hours later, return to a delicious dinner that smells wonderful and is ready to go – just add some form of pasta! Or mix it up a bit, serve it as a spicy “cottage pie” topped with mashed potato, or just serve with baked potatoes. It’s as versatile as any other ragu, but completely Vegan!

Spicy Lentil Pasta Sauce over Spaghetti

Accidental lentils

Love spice? Check out my spicy lemon pepper dressing, and pair it with a crispy chickpea salad.

Originally I used to make this with just red lentils. But one day, I sort of ran out. I had a scant 100g, rather than my preferential 200g that I usually do. I’d (foolishly) already chucked in the passata so halving the recipe was out of the question. But I did have some green lentils. So.. I took a chance and haven’t looked back! Granted, at the time of experimentation I doubtfully peeked into the pot of the slow cooker, poking around at the cooking lentil pasta sauce with some speculation.

The red split lentils cook down to thicken the sauce, whilst the green lentils hold strong enough through the cooking to keep some of their bite and give the sauce texture, combined with the mushrooms and carrots.

Spicy Lentil Pasta Sauce over Spaghetti

Spicy Lentil Pasta Sauce (Vegan)

  • Prep: 5 minutes
  • Cook: 5 hours
  • Total: 5 hours
  • Author Luci Rebecca, Made by Luci
  • Serves 5
  • Calories 221


  • 1 large onion, chopped (~140g)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
  • 1 large chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 large or 2 small carrots, diced (~65g)
  • 125g mushrooms, quartered
  • 500g passata
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 50g tomato paste
  • 100g red split lentils (dry weight)
  • 100g green lentils (dry weight)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes


  1. Add all of the ingredients to a slow cooker. Stir well. Cook on low for at least 5 hours, or on high in about 3. Slow cookers are pretty forgiving. If you can, check in every few hours and make sure you don't need to add any more liquid - it seems to depend on the lentils.
  2. About 10 minutes (or whatever time your particular dried pasta requires to cook) before serving, cook your pasta.
  3. When ready, fish out the bay leaves, drain the pasta and serve topped with the spicy pasta sauce!
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 bowl
Servings Per Container 5

Amount Per Serving
Calories 221 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 342mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 13%
Dietary Fiber 15g 60%
Sugars 11g
Protein 13g 26%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

All nutritional information is approximate - any exact calories will depend on which exact ingredients you use.

Use a slow cooker or a stove top to make this spicy lentil pasta sauce for a healthy, vegan dinner that's low in fat and gluten free. lentil-pasta-header

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