Lentil ‘ragu’

You are here

» Lentil ‘ragu’

If you want to save even more cash, you could cook a big batch of lentils and then freeze them in portions, but canned cooked lentils (rather than the trendy – and more expensive – pouches) can be really affordable too. If you don’t have a food processor to help make quick work of the veggie chopping, try using a box grater instead. Serve this ‘ragu’ with pasta, or on top of quick polenta or mashed potato. 

Serves 4 peoplephotograph of lentil ragu on a plate against a yellow background


  • 1 onion, roughly chopped 
  • 1 leek, roughly chopped 
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped 
  • 1 celery stick, roughly chopped 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated 
  • 400 g can of green lentils in water, drained 
  • 500 g tomato passata 
  • 2 tbsp vegan bouillon powder 
  • 1 tbsp yeast extract spread 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • Small handful of basil leaves (optional), to serve 


  1. In a food processor, blitz the onion, leek, carrot and celery. You may want to do this in batches, depending on the size of your food processor. 
  2. Put the oil in a deep heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the chopped vegetables and sauté for 5–8 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. 
  3. Add the drained lentils, passata, bouillon and yeast extract spread, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. 
  4. While the ‘ragu’ is cooking, you can make some pasta. Season to taste and serve with basil leaves, if you like. 

Recipe from Broke Vegan: Speedy: Over 100 budget plant-based recipes in 30 minutes or less, by Saskia Sidey. Published by Aster, December 2021. Photography by Jo Sidey. Hardcover 12.99 (octopusbooks.co.uk)   

Reg. Charity No: 279228 Company Reg. No: 01468880 Copyright © 1944 - 2024 The Vegan Society