Red lentil Bolognese

Red lentil Bolognese
  • Low phosphate
  • Low potassium
  • Low protein
  • Low salt
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Main meal
  • European
  • 1 hour or less
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Delicious for vegans and meat eaters alike, this red lentil Bolognese is packed with flavour, yet it is low in salt. Plus, it's low potassium and low phosphate.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion
2 carrots (approx. 100g)
3 garlic cloves
2 celery stalks
100g dried red lentils
400g tinned tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 low salt vegetable stock cube
400ml boiling water
240g dried pasta


  1. Step 1

    To prepare the vegetables, peel the onion, garlic and carrots. Dice all the vegetables into small, evenly sized pieces.

  2. Step 2

    Add the olive oil to a large pan on a low heat. Add the diced onion, garlic, carrot and celery and heat gently. Stir regularly for approximately 10 minutes, until tender.

  3. Step 3

    Make up your stock by adding the low salt stock cube to 400ml of boiling water and stirring until completely dissolved.

  4. Step 4

    Add the dried lentils, tinned tomatoes, dried basil, tomato puree, stock, and balsamic vinegar. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes.

  5. Step 5

    For the pasta, bring a large saucepan, filled with plenty of water to the boil and then add your desired pasta. Cook as per the package instructions.

  6. Step 6

    Once the pasta has cooked, drain, and serve with the Bolognese.

Food facts

The pasta is the main source of carbohydrate in this meal and the value has been provided for those who have been trained in insulin adjustment.

Tinned tomatoes are a high potassium food, however when following the quantities and portions provided in this recipe the overall meal is suitable if you are following a low potassium diet.

This dish is low in phosphate, so can be enjoyed as part of a low phosphate diet. If you have been prescribed a phosphate binder, ensure you take them with this dish.

The protein in this dish is provided by the lentils, a plant-based protein, which is lower in protein than meat, fish and eggs, therefore this dish can be enjoyed as part of a low protein diet.

Use a gluten-free pasta and stock cube.

This is already a healthy dish, providing plenty of filling fibre from the lentils. You could consider using a wholewheat pasta instead of white pasta, which would provide even more fibre.

This is a relatively inexpensive recipe, using store cupboard staples such as dried lentils, pasta, tinned tomatoes, and dried basil.

The Bolognese can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheated as needed. If freezing, allow to cool then divide into portions and place in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost and then reheat in a pan.

We have served it with linguine however spaghetti, pappardelle or tagliatelle would work well too.

You can swap the dried basil for dried oregano. Add some extra flavour by adding a bay leaf at stage 4 but remember to take it out before serving.

If the sauce is too thick, add a little water to the Bolognese to thin it out to your desired consistency.