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.

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Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Vegan version of bolognese sauce that is both hearty and delicious. This recipe is going to blow your skirt up!
Recipe type: vegan main course
Serves: 8 servings
  • 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
  • ½ 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 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • ½ 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
  • ½ cup (87 g) quinoa, rinsed well
  • ½ 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)
  1. Add the lentils, carrots, and water to a large soup, or stock pot.
  2. 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.
  3. While the lentils are cooking, heat the oil in a frying, or saute pan over medium heat.
  4. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until it's translucent.
  5. Add the bell pepper and the garlic, cook for 1 minute more.
  6. Once the carrots and lentils are cooked remove the carrots from the pot of lentils and add them to a food processor or blender along with the tomatoes, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, kale, and sauteed veggies, and give the food processor a big whir until everything is smooth.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Pile this sauce on top of cooked pasta.
  10. Serve with a big old Pasta Loving smile!
Recipe Source: Kathy Hester's Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce from The Great Vegan Bean Book

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

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. I earn a small commission if you purchase any items I recommend. Thanks for supporting my blog. 

Craving more meatless recipes? Check these out: 

Sloppy Black Eyed Peas | Cravings of a Lunatic | This is a wonderful slow cooker recipe for Vegan Sloppy Joes. It's a real crowd please

Sloppy Black Eyed Peas

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta | Cravings of a Lunatic | Super quick and easy to make pasta. It’s meatless so it’s perfect for a Meatless Monday or just any day you want to cut out the meat. It’s made with roasted red peppers and lots of garlic. This recipe is perfect for a fast and tasty weeknight supper. Sure to be a hit with kids and adults.

 Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Penne with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto | cravingsofalunatic.com | This pasta is simple to make yet packed with flavour. Quick to make and sure to be a hit with family and friends!

 Penne with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

You can find more meatless monday recipes and healthy recipes by searching my recipe index. You can also follow me on pinterest. I have a meatless monday cravings board, as well as a healthy cravings board. Lots of inspiration for anyone looking for healthy recipes.

 I also have tons of non-healthy recipes for when you’re feeling indulgent. Just keeping it real peeps, just keeping it real. Thanks for reading!

Toodles and smoochies! xx

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  1. says

    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.

  2. says

    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.

  3. Marla says

    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.

  4. Pamela S says

    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.

  5. says

    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. :-)

  6. WendyJ says

    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 :-)

  7. says

    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!

  8. Sarah says

    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?


    • Sara P. says

      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!

      • 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

        • Nancy . says

          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!

    • 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.

  9. Alyssa says

    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!

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