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Big weekend ahead? Joe Wicks's healthy lentil bolognese recipe is filling and meat-free!

The perfect meat-free feast for bolognese lovers

lentil bolognese
23 September 2019
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Everyone loves a hearty bolognese, it's an Italian classic for a reason! Yet, with more and more people looking to cut their meat consumption, the traditional key ingredient of beef mince can prove an obstacle -  but no fear, Joe Wicks is here to save the day. Sharing his delicious lentil bolognese recipe, The Body Coach has provided a fab meat substitute as well as the perfect healthy dish - a win, win! You can make this dish ahead of time as it can keep in the fridge for around 2–3 days AND it's also good to freeze, so save that lunch money and treat yourself to drink this weekend instead - you know you want to.

MORE: This chicken pappardelle recipe is set to impress your dinner party guests 


Serves 2, Preparation time 10-15 minutes, Cooking time 25-30 minutes


• 2 tbsp olive oil

• 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped

• 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into cubes

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 2 cloves of garlic, crushed

• 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

• 200g/7oz dried green lentils

• A glass of red wine

• 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

• 1 tbsp tomato purée

• 60g/2 1/2oz walnut halves

• 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 

To serve

• Cooked pasta of your choice 

• Grated cheese (optional) 

Lentil Bolognese


1. Add the oil to a saucepan over a low heat. Tip in the chopped onion and carrots, along with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 6 minutes until mostly softened. Stir in the garlic and rosemary sprigs. Cook for another minute until it smells fragrant and then tip in the lentils. 

2. Give everything a good stir, then pour in the red wine. When most of the wine has bubbled off, chuck in the chopped tomatoes, then re-fill one of the tins with water and pour it in. Stir in the tomato puree then leave to cook for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the lentils are soft. 

3. When the lentils are nearly cooked, toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until lightly browned and smelling nutty. Leave to cool then roughly chop and add them to the pan. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and season your Bolognese to taste, removing the rosemary sprigs. 

4. Serve with cooked pasta and, if you’re like me, loads of grated cheese on top! 

Veggie Lean in 15 by Joe Wicks (published by Bluebird) is out now, priced £16.99. Visit or

MORE: The Body Coach Joe Wicks' chicken pie recipe is the best - and you've got to try it

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