Lentil ragù

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hr, 15 mins


Serves 6
Struggle to get your five-a-day? This superhealthy ragù will get you four steps closer and can be frozen for extra convenience

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal662
  • fat9g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs120g
  • sugars14g
  • fibre10g
  • protein33g
  • salt1.05g
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  • 3 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 onions, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 3 carrot, finely chopped



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 3 celery sticks, finely chopped



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 3 garlic clove, crushed
  • 500g bag dried red lentils
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tsp each dried oregano and thyme



    Closely related to marjoram, of which it is the wild equivalent, oregano has a coarser, more…

  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1l vegetable stock
  • 500g spaghetti, plus Parmesan or vegetarian cheese, grated, to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook gently for 15-20 mins until everything is softened. Stir in the lentils, chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, herbs and stock. Bring to a simmer, then cook for 40-50 mins until the lentils are tender and saucy – splash in water if you need. Season.

  2. If eating straight away, keep on a low heat while you cook the spaghetti, following pack instructions. Drain well, divide between pasta bowls or plates, spoon sauce over the top and grate over some cheese. Alternatively, cool the sauce and chill for up to 3 days. Or freeze for up to 3 months. Simply defrost portions overnight at room temperature, then reheat gently to serve.

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Comments (95)

tinani's picture

Lovely, great vegetable alternative......as we like to spice things up, I added 2 finely chopped green chillis, fabulous

lottiesue's picture

Lovely... I added the extra bits like the balsamic vinegar, worcestershire, touch of chilli, salt and a little sugar. Also didn't over cook dish when the lentils were just tender stopped cooking; vegies were cooked but still firm. Will cook again definitely

emmajanec's picture

I love this recipe, it fits in so well with a well known diet club I attend as well! So tasty

mademoisielle's picture

Loved this recipe! I did add some harissa for extra spiciness and used wholewheat pasta. And loads of parmesan!

funkasaurus's picture

It's a little bit bland but a sizeable splash of worcester sauce and a sprinkling of caster sugar sorted it out.

charliebug's picture

Loved it! Added a bit of chilli sauce and served with grated cheddar. Our one year old loves it and it goes a very long way!

funkasaurus's picture

This really needs some extra stuff in there to make it work, kinda bland biege without it. I also agree that the portion sizes are way off, I made half of it and it did four people with some left over. Defo needs more stock, it took a whole litre for half the ingredients eventually.

liza77laws's picture

I love this recipe. For a low-cal dinner that feels decidedly naughty, I use lavash bread, smear it with low-fat natural yoghurt, then a little cheese (parmesan isn't too bad) rocket and then the ragu. I then attempt to fold it into a sort of burrito effort which usually collapses but it tastes delicious and definitely like it should be worse for you than it is!

londonactually's picture

Good, easy week night recipe--didn't take as long as explained which was a perk!

sian-life-1986's picture

Good. But better with olives and capers added!

sian-life-1986's picture

Good. But better with olives and capers added!

veuvelloyd's picture

Loved this dish and so easy to make! I used double concentrate puree and tinned plum tomatoes rather than the standard as I love a really tomato flavoured dish. Very filling and tasty .. And makes enough to feed a small army so will be freezing some!

fallella's picture

Really tasty and filling, but could have done with more spice and garlic I think.

teresak83's picture

Great recipe, super healthy and tastes comforting on a cold night. Not too much washing up as it's a one pot meal and freezes well.

kelpieandkobold's picture

I didn't have a pan big enough for this recipe. Could easily serve six twice over.

cathyhill's picture

I followed this recipe almost to the letter. The only difference was to use dried mixed herbs and a tsp of ground cinnamon. Even before seasoning, it tasted great! If lentils go too mushy, don't cook them for the full time, check after 30 mins and cook longer if still a bit of bite.

elisaponsele's picture

Really like this! It fills you up but still feels healthy and is so straightforward to make! Plus I find it freezes well so all the extra portions become a really easy solution for nights when you're pressed for time. Although I agree it benefits from extra herbs and Worcestershire sauce. My other half, whom I'm trying to persuade to eat more vegetarian things, really enjoyed it too!

amicle's picture

It is a little too 'lentil-y', but with some cheese on top it makes an alternative veggie pasta dish option. Would definitely choose this over any veggie mince substitutes.

kiixi's picture

My 2 and 1/2 year old took seconds, he normally leaves the vegetables and only eats the pasta and cheese, but this he loved!
It doesn't need adding sauces or spices. As long you as you don't use much sauce or spices with every meal, you won't get 'addicted' to it and taste the lovely peppery taste of the lentils and the herbs used!!

nikkibrooks's picture

Thought this was a bit bland until i grated the parmesan over the top,then WOW, this just brought all the flavours together and alive.
Very Filling!!


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