Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce | The Great Vegan Bean Book #Review

Vegan version of Bolognese Sauce that is both hearty and delicious. This recipe is going to blow your skirt up!

Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce | Cravings of a Lunatic | Vegan version of bolognese sauce that is both hearty and delicious.

I’m so excited to share this recipe with you today. My incredibly talented friend, Kathy Hester, has a cookbook out called The Great Vegan Bean Book. She offered to send me a copy of her cookbook to review and she’s also given me the nod to give away a copy of this amazing book. So make sure you scroll to the bottom for giveaway details.

I met Kathy a couple of years ago at a food conference. I had the pleasure of riding back to our hotel in a golf cart with her. We had already met, but it was that ride that cemented our friendship. Every time I think of my attending my very first conference I think of Kathy, and our chat on that golf cart. She was just the sweetest, kindest person. She took the edge of my nerves so quickly. She’s just good people and I adore her immensely.

Kathy has a blog called Healthy Slow Cooking. It’s such a cool blog, and great inspiration for meatless meals. I will admit readily that I am, in fact, a carnivore. I am not a Vegan, nor a Vegetarian. However, we do eat meatless at least once or twice a week. I am a big fan of the Meatless Monday movement. So I am always on the lookout for great meatless recipes. I feel like it’s a healthy approach for my family to cut back on our consumption of meat. It’s also a cost-effective way to feed a family with big appetites.

What I love most about Kathy’s cookbooks are you can enjoy them whether you are Vegan, Vegetarian, or meat eater. The recipes are filling and hearty. That works well for my family. We like protein, in any form. I have to admit we’re not big salad eaters. We like a substantial meal. The recipes in Kathy’s cookbook fill that need. Deliciously, in fact.

I made her Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce. It is spectacular. I’m munching on a batch while I write this up. Consequently my computer screen is covered in sauce. Now that is a sign of a good meal!

Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce | Cravings of a Lunatic | Vegan version of bolognese sauce that is both hearty and delicious.

Places to stalk Cravings of a Lunatic!

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | G+ | Kiss My Smoke

Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 38 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 8 servings

Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce

Vegan version of bolognese sauce that is both hearty and delicious. This recipe is going to blow your skirt up!


  • 1 cup (192 g) lentils (green, brown, or beluga), I combined green and brown for mine
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled if not organic, cut into 4 large pieces
  • 1 to 2 cups (235 to 475 ml) water, I used just over 2 for mine
  • 2 tablespoons (28 ml) olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped, I used 2 in mine
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 can (20 ounces or 560 g) crushed tomatoes, or 3 cups (750 g) homemade puree plus 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or crushed dried chiles (optional)
  • 1 small bunch kale, stems removed and torn into small pieces (about 3 cups or 201 g) (optional), I left this out of mine
  • 1/2 cup (87 g) quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) red wine or 2 tablespoons (28 ml) balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste, I left the pepper out of mine
  • Cooked pasta, for serving (GF)


  • Add the lentils, carrots, and water to a large soup, or stock pot.
  • Turn the heat to high and cook until the mixture is simmering. Decrease the temperature to low and cover. Cook until the lentils are tender, which should take about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • While the lentils are cooking, heat the oil in a frying, or saute pan over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until it's translucent.
  • Add the bell pepper and the garlic, cook for 1 minute more.
  • Once the carrots and lentils are cooked you can remove them from your pot of lentils. Add them to a food processor (or blender). Now add the tomatoes, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, kale, and the veggies from the frying pan. Give the food processor a big whir until everything is smooth.
  • Now add the quinoa and red wine to the pot of lentils. Turn your heat to medium and start cooking, allow it to simmer again, then you can cover it and decrease the heat right down to low. Cook until the quinoa show white tails.
  • Now add the mixture from the food processor to the lentil-quinoa mixture. Cover and cook over low heat until the sauce comes together and heats up thoroughly. This should take about 20 minutes.
  • Pile this sauce on top of cooked pasta.
  • Serve with a big old Pasta Loving smile!



Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce | Cravings of a Lunatic | Vegan version of bolognese sauce that is both hearty and delicious.

I love this bolognese sauce so much. You will not miss the meat in this one. I can guarantee you that. It’s hearty, filling and absolutely delicious.

I did leave the kale out of mine. Kale is not my friend. I have IBS and dark greens really bother me. So just FYI, mine is missing the kale.

I tried a few other recipes from Kathy’s book, The Great Vegan Bean Book. Every single one wowed this family. I particularly loved the Enchanted Vanilla Pancakes, the Pepita Black Bea Dip, and the Vanilla and Rose Water Parfaits. Every recipe was easy to follow and the taste was bang on. I am so utterly impressed with this cookbook.

The Great Vegan Bean Book

Full disclosure: Kathy provided me a copy of her book, for free, but there was no other compensation for this review. Y’all know me, if I didn’t like something I’d straight up tell you that. This is one I not only liked, but loved. 

Also, this post contains affiliate links to the cookbook. I am an Amazon Affiliate, which means I get a few gold doubloons if you order anything through me. My goal  is to let that account add up so I can buy myself a new lens for my camera. Right now I can afford 1/1000 of that lens. Just keeping it real.

Giveaway Deets:

Open to U.S. and Canada. Winner must be 18 years of age to enter. Winner must respond within 48 hours to claim prize, or it will be drawn again. Thanks for entering.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Toodles and smoochies! xx

Subscribe and Never Miss a Bite!


  1. 1

    Who’d have thought it? Looks delicious, KimBee. xo

  2. 2
    Debbie Bray says:

    soak overnight for soup

  3. 3

    One of the great things about cooking is all the amazing variations you can make on classic themes. THis is terrific! I’m OK with kale so I’d add it in, but this looks wonderful. Thanks.

  4. 4

    That looks fantastic! The photos are magnificent too! I’m hungry now.

  5. 5

    Right now, my favorite bean dish is chili

  6. 6

    This looks soooo good!!! Lentils are my favorite bean. I love subbing them in for meat in recipes, so this sounds like something that we would love. Thanks so much for sharing this, Kim! Oh, and my favorite way is to use them in casseroles.

  7. 7

    I’ve made this and it’s wonderful! I’ve never put the kale in it..but I should really try it. I like mine with a pinch of cayenne.

  8. 8

    We love Black Beans Burgers and Cholay (an Indian chickpea dish)!

  9. 9

    How can I pick a favorite way? I most often eat black bean burritos and I love home-made hummus and chickpea cakes. Chili, calico beans and navy bean soup are more favorites.

  10. 10
    Debra Lee says:

    I love lima beans and dumplings!

  11. 11

    I love this healthy bolognese. You know me… I’m a big lentil fan. :)

  12. 12

    Depends on the beans. I make a lot of chili, and I love chana masala and falafel and mjeddrah.

  13. 13

    Yum!! I’d love to try all of these recipes!

  14. 14

    I love making bean and lentil chili with sweet potato. Tasty and filling!

  15. 15

    That is a very creative combo so immediately she gets a whole lot of “brownie points” from me. I will pin this to my culinary to do list and give this to my die hard carnivores. I already know I’m going to love it. :-)

  16. 16

    Predictable but still my fave – chilli!

  17. 17

    I like making up a slow-cooker full of beans, and then adding them to all kinds of things. Hummus, soups and stews are easy, but also muffins, pancakes, and cookies too :-)

  18. 18

    I love to make pinto beans in my pressure cooker to go with mixed greens and cornbread!!

  19. 19
    Shelly Skoog-Smith says:

    I love hummus & anything with refried beans.

  20. 20

    I love beans – my fave – Navy Bean soup!

  21. 21

    Love to try this on my redneck non bean eatin’ friend!! Looks delish.

  22. 22

    I never would have thought to ever read a wonderful meatless Bolognese sauce and when your post arrived in my email box, I just knew that I had to find out more about this recipe! I can’t wait to try a healthier version of the classic Italian Bolognese! Thanks Kim . . . and also for the opportunity in this delightful giveaway!

  23. 23

    I love to cook beans in chili and soups, especially this time of year.

  24. 24

    I love adding beans to chili or whatever Mexian meal we are having – tacos, nachos, enchiladas. Black beans all the way.

  25. 25
    Sally Tews says:

    Like this so much~now to fool the family

  26. 26

    I love to make three bean chili

  27. 28

    I love beans! Chilis, dips, side dish for Mexican food and more!

  28. 30

    baked beans!

  29. 32

    I like beans in the slow cooker or red beans & rice.

  30. 34

    I love to make frijoles de la olla and serve it in a bowl with it’s broth.

  31. 36

    I like to put baked beans in the slow cooker with onions and a little brown suar

  32. 38

    with rice

  33. 40

    I like Ham & Bean soup

  34. 42

    I’m hoping to try this out tomorrow – though I have a question on what’s blended and what’s not. It sounds like the lentil/carrot mix is pureed? But the pictures looks like it’s not and you refer to adding the quinoa to the lentils/carrots… could you clarify because it looks reaaaally good and I don’t want to muck it all up.

    And if I can’t get my hands on quinoa (which probably won’t happen, out of country), so just skip that step? Add the pureed veggies back in and let it simmer?


    • 43

      Yes, I had the same question. Are the lentils pureed as well? Because it does say to take out the carrots and lentils to puree, but later says to add it back to the lentils. Thanks, I look forward to making this!

      • 44
        Kim Beaulieu says:

        Hey Sara, let me check this out tonight and get back to you. I need to dig up my notes from this. Just saw your note, I’ll get back to you by tomorrow. xx

        • 45

          Hi, I was hoping to see your response to the questions about if the lentils are puréed as well. It does say to take out the carrots and lentils to purée , but later it says to add back to the lentils. I can’t wait to try this!

    • 46
      Kim Beaulieu says:

      Hey Sarah and Sara:

      I’ve tried to find the notes on this but cannot find them. We were renovating when I made this and they seem to have disappeared. So this is from memory. Kathy’s recipe calls for you to puree the carrots. If I recall my food processor was broken so I opted not to do that step but wrote the recipe as she states to do it in her cookbook. I don’t think you need to puree the lentils, I like texture so I think you would be okay either way. You are adding the quinoa later in the recipe, my thought is it take less time to cook so you add it later. You could totally skip the quinoa. You could swap that out for rice, I would think some jasmine or black rice would be amazing in this. I don’t think you can muck this up. It’s one of those recipes where you can add or subtract things easily. You can puree, or not puree, it’s going to turn out great no matter what. You do add the stuff from the food processor back in later, it’s all about timing. But honestly if you didn’t remove and puree this would still work.

      I am SO sorry it took me so long. I’m usually quick with responses but last year was challenging. So this got lost in the shuffle. I apologize, not typical for me to leave someone hanging. If you want more help I can tag Miss Kathy and have her give you some advice.

  35. 47

    OMG. Just made this and am having a hard time waiting for it to summer together! I’ve been sneaking tastes and it’s SO GOOD! Thank you so much for this!

Speak Your Mind