‘Zero Waste’ Loaded Veggie Lentil Bolognese

This recipe is fairly versatile and can be served with almost any starch – or perhaps try throwing it on top of a baked potato with some sour cream!

Nothing much beats a good Spag Bol – it’s easy, it’s delicious, and it makes great leftovers served with almost anything you can think of!  Spag Bol is traditionally a mince, and it’s quite easy to access vegan mince such as TVP from supermarkets – the only problem is the packaging involved as it is always in plastic!

I’ve aimed to create a ‘mince’ of sorts by using finely chopped mushrooms and lentils – which soaks up all the sauce and flavours as a mince or TVP would.   The texture is not exactly the same, but this recipe is delicious nonetheless.  As I recently found TVP package free I have added this option in if you wish to do so.

Tips for how to make this a low impact/zero waste recipe:

  • I purchased all my herbs, dry goods and sauces from package free stores
  • If you can’t get package free products, aim for products in cardboard
  • Sometimes rice can be found at markets in fabric bags that can be reused or re-purposed

Loaded Veggie Lentil Bolognese

Serves approx 5


2 Tbs veggie stock (or olive oil if you don’t mind the extra fat)

1 stalk celery or zucchini, finely diced

1 carrot, finely diced

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 C dried brown lentils

2 C mushrooms – finely minced

3 Cups Roasted Tomato Sauce, or 8 ripe tomatoes pulsed in a food processor (you could also blitz some semi-dried tomatoes for extra umami)

2 Tbs dried Italian herbs

2 bay leaves

3 Tbs soy sauce, tamari or liquid aminos

1 C veg stock – possibly more depending on your stove top and the cooking process

1/2 C dry TVP with 1C water – if you don’t have TVP, just add an extra 1/2 C of lentils

Any fresh herbs you like!

300g dried penne (or 5 potatoes, or bread, or all 3)

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Saute the carrot, celery onion, garlic until transluscent.  Add the mushrooms and lentils and saute until mushrooms are softened
  2. Throw in the rest of the ingredients, and bring to boil. Reduce and simmer for approx. 45 minutes until the lentils absorb the liquid and it thickens – this will likely depend on the lentils and type of TVP you have used.  Bring a separate pot of water on to boil for the pasta.
  3. Season to taste, and throw in some fresh basil, chives, parsley
  4. Cook the pasta for 10 mins or until al dente.  Drain and season
  5. Serve with pasta, mash, or large chunks of bread (or all 3)



Nutrition Facts
5 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  • Calories354.2
  • Total Fat2.0 g
  • Saturated Fat0.2 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat0.4 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat0.1 g
  • Cholesterol0.0 mg
  • Sodium451.9 mg
  • Potassium903.3 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate75.5 g
  • Dietary Fiber18.6 g
  • Sugars12.1 g
  • Protein21.3 g
  • Vitamin A86.5 %
  • Vitamin B-120.2 %
  • Vitamin B-614.8 %
  • Vitamin C73.9 %
  • Vitamin D5.3 %
  • Vitamin E4.9 %
  • Calcium4.5 %
  • Copper14.1 %
  • Folate44.2 %
  • Iron30.4 %
  • Magnesium8.7 %
  • Manganese18.0 %
  • Niacin35.9 %
  • Pantothenic Acid10.7 %
  • Phosphorus10.4 %
  • Riboflavin30.6 %
  • Selenium5.4 %
  • Thiamin49.2 %
  • Zinc3.3 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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