Happy Tuesday friends! I’ve been dying to get this recipe to you since I know you’ve all been asking for it! Here’s a recipe that’s been weeks in the making (and eating). It is my new go to entertaining recipe because I can throw a few things in the slow cooker in the morning, walk away, heat up some pasta or swoodles (sweet potato noodles or Banza chickpea pasta shown here) and dinner is ready. It is hearty, nutritious and great for those #meatlessmondays when you just need something a little lighter! It is rich from the red wine and has a meaty texture and flavor from the walnuts and the mushrooms. Your meat eaters will not miss the meat in this, I promise! Even my 5 year old loves this dish, so that’s a win in my book! **If you want to add turkey or beef to this, instead of lentils, I’ve given you the recipe below.
Even your meat lovers will this easy, rich and delicious bolognese sauce loaded with hidden veggies!
1 cup uncooked green or red lentils* (I prefer green)
1 24 oz. jar of your favorite marinara sauce
4 medium size carrots
1 yellow or red pepper
1 cup red wine
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (in oil)
1/4 cup walnuts
1 8 oz. package of mushrooms
1/4 cup water
*Dump the lentils in the slow cooker.
- In a food processor blend the marinara sauce, carrots, pepper and wine until smooth. Pour in the slow cooker with the lentils.*
2. In the same food processor (no need to rinse), pulse the sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, and walnuts 3-4 times. The mixture should still be chunky, kind of like coarse sand. Pour this mixture into the slow cooker and add the 1/4 cup water. Stir the ingredients until well combined and place the slow cooker on high for 5 hours.
* You can make this in a saucepan as well by following step 1 and 2, omitting the slow cooker step. Simply cook the lentils according to package directions. Combine the marinara/veggie sauce, the cooked lentils and the mushroom, sun-dried tomato, walnut mixture in a saucepan and cook over medium low heat for 20-25 minutes.
*I’ve only used green lentils, so if you choose to use red you should reduce cooking time to 2-3 hours and know it the sauce will have less of a bite to it and will be a bit mushier
**If you like beef or chicken, you could blend the sauce using your favorite marinara, pepper, carrots, and red wine (same measurements as above). Simply cook 1 pound of meat in a pan before and dump everything in the slow cooker on low for 5 hours.