‘Boost your Basic’ Beef & Lentil Bolognese

  • Servings : 6
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 30m
  • Ready In : 40m

‘Boost your Basic’ Beef & Lentil Bolognese

If a bolognese sauce is a weekly or fortnightly staple in your house like it is mine then this recipe is for you. This particular bolognese sauce is a ‘basic’ meal boosted with a healthy variety of vegetables and lentils to make sure it packs a nutritious punch. Every time George tells me it is “yummy” followed by, “what’s in it?”. And I tell him, honestly. The words lentils, zucchini, mushrooms never scare him off. He might refuse those vegetables served in other ways at other mealtimes but he continues to devour them when served as spaghetti bolognese. Talk to your kids about food and nutrition. Their health will thank you for it.

Make the most of leftovers: 20 ways with leftover bolognese.

‘Basic Boosts’

The additional vegetables, mushrooms, carrots and zucchini and valuable nutrients including B vitamins, beta carotene, folate and fibre and the lentils also provide B vitamins and fibre as well as iron, zinc, protein and quality carbohydrates. Substituting white pasta for a whole grain variety will help meet your child’s daily whole grain target.

Nutrition Note: A family staple, your favourite spag bol can be boosted with simple, cheap ingredients to maximise both nutrition and flavour. And your kids will hardly notice a thing. Don’t be limited by our suggestions either – most seasonal vegetables will match perfectly.

3 more ways to include tinned lentils and legumes in your meals:

  1. Include chickpeas in your favourite homemade vegetable dip
  2. Add lentils or cannellini beans to soups and casseroles in winter
  3. Substitute some meat for lentils or red kidney beans in rissoles, meatballs and meat loaf.

More ‘Boost Your Basic’ Recipes:

Chicken nuggets

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  • 300g dried whole grain pasta
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 500g premium lean minced beef
  • 1 cup swiss brown mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 zucchini, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 tbsp no added salt tomato paste
  • 400g tin no added salt chopped tomatoes
  • ¾ cup no added salt beef or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup tinned brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • grated parmesan cheese to serve


Step 1

Cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions or until al dente. -

Step 2

While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and sauté the onion and garlic until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 2-3 minutes or until the onion and mushrooms are soft.



Step 3

Add the beef and brown all over, separating the mince with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Add the grated vegetables and cook for 2-3 minutes. -

Step 4

Add the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes and stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for around 15 minutes or until the liquid has reduced. -

Step 5

Add the lentils and parsley and cook for a further 5 minutes. -

Step 6

Serve with the pasta and serve with the parmesan cheese.

Storage: keep leftover Bolognese sauce in the fridge for 1-2 days or in the freezer for 1-2 months. -


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