Hearty Mushroom Lentil Bolognese spooned over piping hot pasta is one of our favorite Meatless Dinner Recipes.
Classic Bolognese is a hearty, flavorful meat and vegetable sauce that is simmered for hours on the stove top. It is also my favorite Italian sauce to spoon over everything from tender pasta to cheese enchiladas for a Spaghetti Western Meal.
Welcome to Spaghetti Western Week 2020! It’s our annual Birthday Party Bash for the biggest and baddest Southwestern Icon of all-time, Clint Eastwood—Mr Spaghetti Western himself! (I’m talking High Plains Drifter and Fist Full of Dollars Clint Eastwood. Ya, that Clint Eastwood)
This year, the feature is Mushroom Lentil Bolognese. It’s a yummy, meatless spin on the Italian classic that is filled with mushroom umami flavor and packed with protein from the lentils.
Hey, cowboys love their beans and don’t forget the Southwest flavors.
Why you are going to love this Mushroom Lentil Bolognese-
You are not going to miss the ground beef in this recipe. It is filled with mushroom umami flavor and protein from the lentils.
Don’t forget the Southwest flavors: cumin, oregano and chili powder.
There is no need to simmer this bolognese all day, this recipe uses a quick cooking tomato sauce and instant pot lentils.
Did I say this recipe is fast? Yummy Mushroom Lentil Bolognese in just under an hour to spoon over spaghetti or cheese enchiladas or even roll into a Burrito.
What are Lentils?
Lentils are best friends with beans and peas and are part of the legume family.
They grow in pods like all legumes.
According to Mayo Clinic, lentils also make a healthy meat substitute because they are high in protein and fiber but, they are low in fat.
Lentils are also packed with folate, iron, phosphorus and potassium (move over bananas).
How to Cook Lentils in an Instant Pot
Cooking the lentils for Mushroom Lentil Bolognese is quick and easy in an Instant Pot, here’s how to do it.
- Rinse the lentils in cold water and pick out any stems, stones, shriveled lentils, etc…
- Throw all of the ingredients into the Instant Pot.
- Close the lid and the vent.
- Set on high temperature for 10 minutes.
- Naturally release the steam.
- Take off the lid and stir the lentils.
- Remove the lentils from the hot Instant Pot as soon as you can safely handle the pot so they do not continue cooking. Remember that you will be adding them to the hot Mushroom Lentil Bolognese.
How to Make Mushroom Lentil Bolognese
You can make this dish in just in right at an hour so, if you are in a hurry or need a weeknight meal… you can do it!
I know it has a lot of steps but, the steps are easy and you can overlap the steps to save time.
- First, get those Lentils in that Instant Pot. You will need time for it to heat up and release steam.
- Second, get your water boiling for the pasta. Turn your tap water to hot and fill your pot with hot water to get you started. If your water boils before you need it, no problem, the water will be ready when you are. Who wants to wait around for water to boil?
- Next, start your Quick Tomato Sauce. Yes! You can use your favorite bottled spaghetti sauce.
- If you are a fast chopper, go for it. If not, use your food processor. Chop 1 and 1/3 medium onion first. Remove it from the food processor and reserve 1/2 cup for the mushroom mixture. Chop the carrots together if you wish but cut the carrot into 1 inch lengths.
- I like a little texture to my tomatoes so, I chop those by hand. You can certainly use canned tomatoes.
- Once you have the sauce simmering, you can start putting the Mushroom Lentil Bolognese together
Assemble the Mushroom Lentil Bolognese
- Heat the oil in the pan and add the reserve 1/4 cup onion. Cook until translucent then add the minced garlic. Mince the garlic while the onion is cooking. Use a garlic press to save time. This is what garlic in a jar is for so, use it if you’ve got it.
- Brush off the mushrooms and slice them. You can also purchase sliced mushrooms.
- Deglaze the pan with a 1/4 dry red wine, if desired (optional, not shown).
- Then, add your cooked lentils, Quick Tomato Sauce, herbs and simmer.
- Cook your pasta according to package instructions.
- Spoon the Mushroom Lentil Bolognese over your pasta and garnish with fresh grated parmesan cheese.
I hope you love this recipe. If you have any questions, just leave me a comment on this post. You can always reach me on Everyday Southwest’s Facebook Page and leave a comment on any Facebook post.
I love hearing from you!
Mushroom Lentil Bolognese
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ¼ Cup chopped onion
- 1 Garlic clove, minced
- 1 Cup mushrooms sliced
- 1/4 cup dry red wine optional
- 1 Cup lentils
- 1 Cup tomato sauce
- ½ Tsp oregano
- ½ Tsp onion powder
- ½ Tsp garlic powder
- parmesan cheese fresh grated, if possible
Instant Pot Lentils
- 1 cup dried lentils
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pinch salt
Quick Tomato Sauce
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 whole carrot, chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- salt, to taste
- pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until translucent, around 5 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes per side or until golden.
- Pour in dry red wine to deglaze the pan.
- Add lentils, tomato sauce and spices and stir to combine.
- Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Garnish with fresh grated parmesan cheese, if desired
Instant Pot Lentils
- Add all the ingredients to the Instant Pot and stir to combine.
- Close the lid and the vent and set on high pressure for 10 minutes
- Naturally release steam. Open the lid and stir.
Quick Tomato Sauce
- Heat the olive oil in a small pot over medium heat, add onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes stirring constantly.
- Add the carrot and pepper and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring.
- Pour in water, season with sugar and spices then, bring to a simmer.
- Simmer for 15 minutes, stir occasionally.
- Spoon over cooked spaghetti and garnish with minced parsley, if desired.
- Garnish with fresh grated parmesan, if desired