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Meal Prep Idea: Vegan Lentil Bolognese

Meal Prep Idea: Vegan Lentil Bolognese

vegan lentil bolognese

Want to eat healthily, save money, and reduce your stress throughout the week? This vegan lentil bolognese is the perfect meal prep idea.

For many people, weekdays can easily become a blur. You’re up early for work and trying to get everything done before you collapse into bed at night. The last thing you want to do is spend hours in the kitchen cooking a complicated meal. 

That’s where meal prep comes in. Meal prep is the process of making meals ahead of time so that you can quickly grab and go during the week. I’m a big fan of it, as it can be a great way to save time and money. However, I feel like it can also become a pain. If you’re not careful, you can end up with many bland, repetitive meals. I don’t know about you, but I don’t enjoy eating the same thing every day for a week.

1 base recipe, 3 different meals

The good news? It doesn’t have to be that way! You can make meal prep a breeze with some planning and creativity. This lentil bolognese is the perfect, flavour-packed base recipe, rich in protein and easy to prepare. Above all, this recipe can easily be transformed into three delicious meals in no time.

Using a base recipe to make three different meals still saves you a lot of time and effort, but also helps eat a variety of foods. And it won’t get boring! 

Here’s what my lentil bolognese meal prep looks like:

  • Day 1: The classic spaghetti bolognese
  • Day 2: Stuffed zucchini boats
  • Day 3: Stuffed bell peppers with cashew cheese sauce

If the variations on days two and three sound like too much work, simply stick to the base recipe below to get started and serve it with pasta or rice on all three days.

The base recipe

Meal Prep Idea: Vegan Lentil Bolognese

If you’re preparing the base for two people and all three meals, stick to the ingredients below. If you’re cooking for one person, go for half the amount.

Ingredients (6 servings):

  • 245g red lentils
  • 850ml vegetable stock
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 150ml vegan red wine
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp paprika powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Stir in onion and sauté for 7-8 minutes. 
  3. Add the garlic, thyme, oregano, paprika, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Stir frequently and cook for another minute.
  4. Add in carrots, lentils and sautè for 2 more minutes on high heat.
  5. Pour in the wine and simmer until evaporated.
  6. Pour in vegetable stock, add bay leaf and simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Add tomatoes and continue to cook until the lentils are tender. Stir every now and then, and add a dash of vegetable stock if needed.
  8. Add soy sauce and maple syrup, remove the bay leaf and season generously with salt and pepper to taste.

Meal prep recipe 1: Spaghetti bolognese 

spaghetti with lentil bolognese

This spaghetti with lentil bolognese was one of the first vegan dishes we tried when we transitioned to a vegan diet and has been a favourite ever since.

Ingredients:

  • 2 servings pasta
  • 2 servings of lentil bolognese
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • Vegan parmesan, optional

Method:

  1. Cook the pasta in salted water according to package instructions. 
  2. Reheat two servings of the lentil bolognese, and serve over pasta. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and vegan parmesan, and enjoy.

Meal prep recipe 2: Stuffed zucchini boats

Meal Prep Idea: Vegan Lentil Bolognese

These stuffed zucchini boats make such a hearty, super flavoursome, healthy dish full of nutrients. There are many ways to cook zucchini; however, these zucchini boats make one of our favourite mains. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 zucchinis, halved
  • 2 servings of lentil bolognese
  • 50g vegan cheese

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. 
  2. Use a spoon to scoop the flesh out of the zucchini halves (use it for soup or different stuffing. Leave a 1 cm thick border around the skin, then spoon the lentil bolognese mixture evenly into the zucchini boats.
  3. Top with vegan cheese and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the zucchini boats are tender and the cheese has melted.

Meal prep recipe 3: Stuffed bell peppers

Meal Prep Idea: Vegan Lentil Bolognese

Hearty stuffed peppers served with a creamy vegan cheese sauce? Oh boy, this dish is heaven in a bite.

See Also
vegan sharing board

Ingredients:

  • 3 small or 2 large bell peppers, halved and cores removed
  • 2 servings of lentil bolognese
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped

For the tomato sauce:

  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes, more to taste
  • ¼ tsp salt and pepper each, more to taste

For the vegan cheese sauce (optional)

  • 50g cashews, unsalted
  • 50ml soy or almond milk
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1⁄4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp cumin
  • 1⁄4 tsp turmeric
  • 1⁄2 tsp paprika powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. To make the tomato sauce, heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 4-5 minutes. 
  3. Then add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Stir in chilli flakes, maple syrup, tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook the sauce for 5 more minutes. 
  4. To save time, you can also use a store-bought one or prepare this ahead of time.
  5. Pour the tomato sauce into a baking dish, place peppers cut side-up into the sauce, then spoon the lentil bolognese into each pepper.
  6. Bake until the peppers are tender, about 30 minutes. Cover them with foil for the last 10 minutes if they brown too quickly.
  7. In the meantime, make the cheese sauce (optional). Cook cashews in water for 15 minutes, drain and place them into a blender or food processor together with the rest of the sauce ingredients. Blend until smooth.
  8. Once the peppers are tender, pour over the cheese sauce, sprinkle the peppers with fresh parsley and serve.

Freeze lentil bolognese sauce

If you prefer to spread the meals over a couple of weeks, you can easily freeze a few portions of the sauce. Let the sauce cool completely, then transfer it into freezer-safe airtight containers or freezer bags. When ready to use, let the sauce thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then gently reheat and use for any of the recipes above. 

Did you make this vegan lentil bolognese?

We absolutely love seeing your takes on our recipes! If you make this meal prep idea, tag us on Instagram. Also, let us know how the recipes turn out for you in the comments!

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