When you want to get dinner on the table in under 10 minutes and you haven’t been shopping for a while, your answer is this 5 ingredient lentil bolognese. Tegan provided me with this cheap, cheerful and simple 5 ingredient recipe for a quick family meal that uses #PantryStaples. I am sharing it along with some presentation ideas for making lentil bolognese a bit more enticing for fussy eaters.

Tegan's 5 Ingredient Lentil Bolognese
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Quick, Economical and Full of Nutrients for a Busy Family!
Serves: 4 serves
  • 1 Onion, finely diced
  • 1 Can Passata Sauce
  • 1 Can Salt Reduced Brown Lentils, drained and rinsed
  • ½ Tbsp Italian Spices
  • Pasta, follow pack instructions to cook (varies depending on style)
  1. Boil a jug and get your pasta cooking in a pot of boiling water.
  2. Meanwhile, in a pre-heated nonstick pan, cook the onion stirring frequently until it slightly chars and caramelizes on the outside.
  3. Add the passata, brown lentils and italian spices and heat through.
  4. If your family like their sauce more smooth, give it a quick blitz with a handheld mixer or if lumpy is OK, this will get the meal on the table even quicker!
  5. Serve from the pot with the drained pasta from the table.

Alternative Serving Ideas

  1. Have some shredded kale, spinach and parsley in the middle of the table as garnish.
  2. Serve with crusty bread, salad or garlic bread.
  3. For a non-vegan option, you can add diced bacon in with the onion or parmesan in with the lentils.
  4. Try these other uses for lentil bolognese that are perfect for leftovers (including pizza sauce base, tacos and more.)
  5. Lately, we have been using wholegrain wok-ready noodles for really quick meals. In the picture, I also teamed this with some spiralised sweet potato that I microwaved for 3 minutes before mixing it with the wok-noodles. I love making rainbow pasta with the kids using a spiraliser. Here is my simple zucchini noodle go-to dish of tahini beef.

5 Ingredient Lentil Bolognese | Easy, Economical and On the Table in Under 10 Minutes | Play with Food

This is another installment of my 5 ingredient meal ideas for busy familys. The other meals have lots of tips too to change up how to serve them, especially with fussy kids! I dive into the sauce-loving-or-loathing conundrum in Kimberley’s rissoles. I also talk about how I served up Shiri’s Japanese Chicken Curry, even though I was sure my kids would turn their nose up at it.

Here is your free no-strings-attached printable to inspire you to cook all 9 recipes in this blog series:

5 ingredient dinner challenge for #pickyeaters by Play with

Click this image for the printable!

Have you found yourself stuck planning your way around the changes in kid’s routines as their needs change? Here is my post all about how I have adapted many meals to suit our situation, “Is witching hour spoiling your plans for a happy mealtime?”. I am sure it will resonate with you.

What 5 ingredient dinner is your go-to?

Thanks for reading and sharing!


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