This easy lentil pasta recipe is a satisfying, comforting vegetarian meal. A rich tomato and lentil sauce coats chewy ribbons of al dente pasta.
Well, pasta lovers, you need this lentil pasta recipe this winter! It’s budget-friendly, easy to make and comforting in the way that only pasta with red sauce can be.
Although this lentil pasta recipe is full of Italian flavors (marinara! balsamic! parmesan!), it doesn’t cater to any specific Italian pasta dish. Rather, it’s something I like to cook when I want a hearty, flavorful pasta dinner, but I no Want to go shopping or spend hours in the kitchen. This lentil pasta recipe comes together with basic pantry ingredients and you can have it on the table in about 30 minutes. I think you are going to love it!
Lentil Pasta Recipe Ingredients
Here’s what you need to make this lentil pasta recipe:
- Lentils, of course! They pack this pasta with nutrients like fiber and plant-based protein. I like to use French green lentils for this recipe because they retain a nice bite while cooking. In a pinch, regular green or brown lentils will work here too. Avoid red lentils – their texture is too soft and mushy for this recipe.
- the pasta – Pappardelle is my favorite noodle. I love wide, chewy ribbons in a hearty lentil pasta sauce. If you can’t find it, tagliatelle is a great sub. Or, if you’re vegetarian, and you must use egg-free pasta, swap to fettuccine or linguine. Gluten free? Use your favorite gluten-free pasta!
- Onions, carrots, and garlic – They form the flavor base of the sauce.
- Cremini mushrooms – For rich, delicious complexity.
- Tamari and balsamic vinegar – They bring out the umami flavor of mushrooms.
- Extra virgin olive oil – For roasting vegetables.
- Marinara sauce – I like to make my own with simple ingredients like tomatoes, dried oregano, garlic and red pepper flakes. In a pinch, store-bought works too.
- Cheese made in Parma – To top the pasta. It adds a nutty, salty richness to the final dish. If you’re vegan, use my vegan parmesan cheese instead!
- Fresh parsley – Sprinkle it over pasta for a fresh, vibrant finish!
- and salt and pepper – Make all the flavors pop!
Find the full recipe with measurements below.
How to make lentil pasta
This lentil pasta recipe is so easy to make! Here are a few tips to make it especially quick and easy:
- Use pre-made marinade. As much as I love making my marinara sauce from scratch, this adds a whole 30 minutes to the recipe… not what I want on a busy weeknight. If I’m lucky, I’ll have some leftover marinara in the freezer on hand, but if I’m not, I use store-bought here. Rao’s is my favorite brand. This makes this recipe super delicious and surprisingly quick!
- Keep cooked lentils handy in the fridge. Not only will they come in handy for this lentil pasta recipe, but also for grain bowls and salads! If you don’t have cooked lentils handy, start this recipe by cooking 1/2 cup dry lentils according to the instructions in this post.
Once these ingredients are ready, the rest of the recipe is straightforward:
Start by cooking the pasta In a large pot of boiling salted water. When the pasta is al dente, drain it and toss with a little olive oil to prevent sticking.
Next, fry the vegetables. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften, 5 to 8 minutes. Then, add the mushrooms, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook until the mushrooms are tender, 5 to 8 minutes more.
Add the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Stir in balsamic and tamari followed by lentils and marinara. Cook, stirring, until sauce is well combined and heated through, 2 minutes or so.
Finally mix the pasta. Add it to the skillet and toss to coat in the sauce. Season to taste…
…and serve with parsley and parmesan cheese!
What to serve with lentil pasta
We often enjoy this lentil pasta recipe by itself for dinner. But, if you’re craving a big meal, you’re in luck! It goes perfectly with all kinds of side dishes. Lean into the comfort food factor and serve it with garlic bread or focaccia, or add some color to your plate with a veggie side dish. It would go nicely with any of these:
More easy pasta recipes
If you like this lentil pasta, try one of these easy pasta dishes:
This easy lentil pasta recipe is a hearty, delicious vegetarian dinner! A delicious tomato and lentil sauce coats chewy ribbons of al dente pasta.
- 10 ounce Pappardelle pasta
- 2 table spoon Extra virgin olive oil, More for the drizzle
- ½ Medium yellow onion, to cut
- 1 Medium carrot, finely chopped
- 8 ounce cremini mushrooms, Stem and finely chop
- 3 cloves of garlic, to cut
- ½ teaspoon Sea salt
- Again ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon Flavored vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Tamari
- 1½ the cup Cooked green or French green lentils, From ½ cup dry
- 24 ounce Marinara sauce
- ½ the cup Parmesan cheese or vegan parmesan, to serve
- Fresh parsley, For the garnish
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare pasta according to package directions, cooking until al dente. Drain and toss with a drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 8 minutes or until softened. Add the mushrooms, garlic, salt and several grinds of pepper and cook for another 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the mushrooms are tender.
Stir in balsamic and tamari, then add lentils and marinara. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until the sauce is well combined and heated through.
Add pasta to skillet and toss to combine. Portion onto plates and serve with parmesan and fresh parsley for garnish.