Lentil ragù

Lentil ragù

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(100 ratings)

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, questions and tips

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28th Jan, 2014
I made this with chicken stock (naughty I know but we're not vegetarian), added a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and a generous grating of nutmeg. Full of flavour and went down really well with the whole family including a fussy 4 year old.
14th Jan, 2014
Have cooked this a few times now. It makes loads - this recipe could easly serve 8-10 people rather than 6. Not being vegetarian I've found the way round the lack of flavour to be beef stock rather than vegetable. Even Hubby prefers it to meat bolognese so it's become a regular for us.
10th Nov, 2013
Cooked this with extra garlic, leek and Worcester sauce in my pressure cooker in half quantities, it worked really well (10 mins full pressure, depressurise naturally). Added a handful of black olives before serving, nice. Would also be nice with a bit of cumin and minced jalapeños. Not the most delicious recipe in the world, but tasty enough, versatile and nutritious!
7th Nov, 2013
As per previous comments, makes loads and is very filling but a bit bland. I added 1 red chilli, chilli powder, paprika and worcester sauce but it's still missing something. Nice with spaghetti.
29th Oct, 2013
Much nicer than some of the comments would lead you to believe. We enjoyed it as it was and it had loads of flavour, although I did cook out the tomato puree a little. Tasty, filling and cheap.
22nd Oct, 2013
Lovely flavour and healthy, but can be a little bit dry so add lots of liquid.
saffron9's picture
21st Oct, 2013
Added 1tsp of smoked paprika to the fried vegetables, very tasty and filling. I agree with other comments that 30 mins is probably long enough to cook the lentils if not it goes very mushy.
4th Oct, 2013
Added some chilli powder and paprika to give it some flavour as I only had dried mixed herbs available but this did not seem to matter! Think I might prefer it to 'the real deal' meaty style. Nice one!
29th Aug, 2013
This is nice, but a bit bland. Will cook again but add some chilli powder next time, and maybe more herbs to give it a bit more flavour. Super healthy though.
18th Aug, 2013
Went down well with my meat-eating family! Super healthy too! Recipe serves about 8, not 6, and freezes well. For extra goodness, try this on a baked sweet potato instead of pasta or rice.


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