Lentil ragu

Lentil ragu

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(122 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hr, 15 mins


Serves 6

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

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Healthy
  • Vegetarian

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 carrots, 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 cloves, 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
  • parmesan or vegetarian cheese, grated, to serve



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…


  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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9th Feb, 2015
Agree with others, less lentils needed and makes loads. This has quickly become a family favourite! It is super cheap to make and really very yummy! Ultimate comfort food...and this coming from a meat eater.
30th Dec, 2014
I've just made this and it is fab! I read the comments first and added a couple of teaspoons of smoked paprika too. We're meat eaters usually but didn't find this bland at all. Agree as well that 30 minutes is long enough for the lentils.
11th Dec, 2014
Took on board others' comments and 250g of lentils and 1 tin of tomatoes would feed 6 if not 8 with pasta! Added a tablespoon smoked paprika and 200ml red wine with 800ml stock. Good alternative to meaty bolognese! Enough for leftovers with baked potatoes and freezing for kids portions. Makes loads!
7th Oct, 2014
i love the recipe but i would not add celery because it hides the flavor of the lentils
16th Aug, 2014
I used sun dried tomato paste to give a bit more flavour, but still it was better with a dollop of green pesto mixed in - but definitely makes loads. I agree with comments about needing extra liquid!
3rd May, 2014
Lovely. Wasn't sure the texture worked with spaghetti that well, but actually the combination grew on me..... Often with spaghetti sauces they run through and pool in the bottom, but this coated the pasta nicely. Have enough for a good 6 to 8 portions so would half quantities next time.
15th Feb, 2014
Good food
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!


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