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Lentil Marinara

  • Author: Brittany Dixon
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 40 min
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x


This lentil marinara is a hearty, healthy and filling sauce that you can make ahead and freeze, and it’s a perfect addition to your favorite pasta, casserole or other dish.



2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small Japanese eggplant, diced
8 ounces white button mushrooms, diced
1 medium white onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 cup dry green lentils
2 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 sprigs fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Shredded Parmesan cheese


Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant, mushrooms, onion, carrots, and garlic to skillet. Cook vegetables for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add tomatoes and tomato paste to vegetable mixture. Stir well to combine.

Stir in lentils; add broth and stir until thoroughly combined. Turn up heat to bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently for 25-30 minutes or until lentils are tender.

Stir in parsley, basil, salt, and pepper.

Serve over cooked pasta and top with shredded Parmesan cheese.


If you do not have fresh herbs, you can substitute 3-4 Tbsp of dried Italian herb blend in place of the parsley and basil.

Make this marinara on a Sunday to last all week.

Keep leftovers chilled in fridge for 5-6 days.

Freeze marinara mixture for up to 3 months.

To defrost, either leave in fridge overnight or place in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water, cover with lid, and heat until hot, stirring occasionally.

Don’t like one of the veggies on the ingredient list? Swap it out with any other vegetable you can dice: bell pepper, zucchini, yellow squash…

Bonus recipe idea: Place marinara mixture in a casserole dish or oven-proof skillet, cover mixture with mashed potatoes, bake at 425° for 10-15 minutes for a delicious Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie!