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)

fii33ify's picture

I really like this recipe. It is very adaptable and versatile (I added spinach and a few different spices) and it's tastier if it's left in the fridge overnight or frozen. I think the texture goes better with quinoa, rice or couscous than pasta.

jiddybrite's picture

Loved this, usually find lentil dishes to be very bland but added loads of worcestershire sauce, as i do with most things i cook and it was yummy!! Filling, low fat, easy! Cant ask for more

Dukie's picture

Love this recipe very easy to make.

lou-ann's picture

Lentil ragu is very nice- but come on good food you should know that parmesan and other Italian hard cheeses like pecorino and grand padano are not suitable for us veggies unless they carry a vegetarian sign as they all use calf's rennet!!

poorstudent768's picture

I've made this over and over again, for my very fussy vegetarian housemate (who doesnt like vegetables or meat substitutes) and my equally fussy veg-a-phobe boyfriend and they love it. I also added worchester sauce. Its works well on my student budget as its cheap to make. I always freeze protions for later, healthy microwave meals.

littleme09's picture

This was delicious! I really wasn't expecting it to be geat, in fact I regretted starting it once I had, but I'm glad I did now. Even my husband gave this a thumbs up and he won't eat a meal without meat!

The only reason I gave this a 4 and not 5 star is because I found it slightly odd to eat with spaghetti. It tastes a lot like my homemade vegetable soup so having it with a plate of spaghetti was different, albeit tasty.

curried2's picture

Another new favourite, I did add extra ingredients but I think the recipe would have been fine as it was. A definite underestimate of servings as previously mentioned. I forgot to buy celery so I used celeriac instead which worked fine. Will be making again (once we've worked our way through all the leftovers!)

nicolemcconkey's picture

This is an amazingly healthy and yummy recipe. A great way to include pulses in your weekly menu. The whole family loves it, including our 2 year old. And what's best is you have enough to freeze half of it and use it some other day when you have less time to chop and cook!

minacolada's picture

I used this as a rough guide so though though I really enjoyed the final dish I only rate the original recipe 3 stars as I tried it before adding the balsamic and purree and it was a little bland.

Instead of all red lentils I used 200g puy lentils and 200g red as it was all I had, and so I reduced the stock and added 800ml only. Also I used 4 tbsp of purree and a splash of balsamic. With these additions it was delicious. If it wasn't for my three year old a bit of chilli would be nice too.

yougotkegged's picture

Really lovely recipe although as mentioned previously the addition of a extra tomato puree and a splash of red wine definitely improves it. Divided the recipe by 6 for just one portion which was more than enough for me and my partner!

special_k's picture

Was surprised at how much flavour was in this dish, had the folks round for tea & mum being a veggie had this with myself & the hubby made the 'Proper beef, ale & mushroom pie' also from GF for himself & dad. Great meals :) The recipe says for 6 which I halved & its fed mum & myself with enough leftovers for 2 more huge portions so it makes a lot!

emilyjay's picture

Nice dish but not amazing. I will be making it again but with a few alterations. Very filling and cheap to make, which is great, but needs more flavouring. Next time I'll make sure I have some worcester sauce in, and put in some mushrooms. Might be worth substituting some of the stock with more tinned tomatoes too.

zomb1fied's picture

My boyfriend made this one lunch for me, I then made it one evening when my sister visited, and she now makes it for our dad and her boyfriend! This is a really tasty, cheap recipe. I always make plenty and freeze the rest - delicious !

mason1973's picture


harleymo's picture

This is a brilliant recipe! It's easy to cook, makes lots so plenty to freeze, and is very, very tasty. An all round winner!

lornanich's picture

Delicious, and freezes brilliantly.

mifmif5's picture

Didn't like the texture much with spaghetti, so have been having this with jacket potatoes or crusty bread.

I added extra tomato puree too. Freezes very well and makes loads!

sali4444's picture

I used under half amount of lentils and one tin tom not two and this did 4 large portions. Was ok but little bland so I added balsamic and marmite and dash of ketchup and tiny bit paprika and then it was lovely. Served it with home made garlic bread recipe found on this site and the family really enjoyed it.

natlee89's picture

I followed everyone's advice and added balsamic, worcestershire sauce, and some tabasco (couldnt find any chilli powder). Has nice flavours, but the mushiness of the lentils gave this dish a thumbs down.

drfabio's picture

This was delicious once I'd added in a few (!) extras - bit of balsamic, about 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce, hot smoked paprika, extra stock, extra puree, extra herbs and the rind from the parmesan. Served it with lots of parmesan on the top. I agree the portions are right off though. We're pretty greedy so normally something that serves 4 will do 3, or sometimes 2 - but we got 10 out of this!!


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