Hearty Vegetarian Ragu

Hearty Vegetarian Ragu

Meat won’t be missed with this Hearty Vegetarian Ragu

That’s right. Meat will not be missed with this hearty vegetarian ragu. Brown lentils replace the traditional beef or pork in this Italian mainstay. This is a very rich meal and no one will walk away from the table hungry.

I’m always looking for filling vegetarian pasta recipes to serve my family. Italian food is a favorite cuisine. The richer the sauce the more I like it. We adore Meat Sauce Belgian-Style, but that has ground beef.

Vegetarian Ragu Recipe

vegetarian ragu

Hearty Vegetarian Ragu


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 ounces mushrooms, chopped finely
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Handful of baby carrots or 1 large carrot, chopped finely
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped finely
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 bay leaf1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth with extra
  • 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and picked through
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 box (16 ounces) spaghetti
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


  • Heat 4 cups of water in a sauce pan and the lentils bringing to a broil cooking until lentils are tender about 20 minutes.
  • In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add mushrooms, garlic, carrot, bell pepper and onion. Cook until vegetables are very brown and soft, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add wine; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in bay leaf, crushed tomatoes, water, lentils, oregano, salt, ground pepper and red pepper flakes.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low.
  • Add cooked lentils and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Remove bay leaf and stir in basil.
  • Prepare spaghetti while ragu is simmering.
  • Meanwhile, prepare spaghetti according to package directions.
  • Serve ragu over spaghetti. Garnish with parsley and serve with Parmesan cheese.
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