Do you want to try something new and exciting for your next pasta night? Look no further than this delicious Lentil Pasta Sauce recipe, which swaps out the traditional tomato base for a hearty and flavorful lentil base.
Not only is this recipe a tasty departure from the norm, but it’s also a great way to add more plant-based protein to your diet. Lentils are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients, making this sauce a healthy and satisfying choice for any meal.
Ingredients You Will Need:
- 1 cup of dried lentils: Lentils are the main ingredient in this recipe, providing protein, fiber, and nutrients. Use one cup of dried lentils, rinse, and pick over to remove debris.
- 1 onion, chopped: Onion adds flavor and depth to the lentil sauce. Chopped onion is sautéed with garlic and olive oil to create a flavorful base for the sauce.
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced: Garlic adds a rich, savory flavor to the lentil sauce. Minced garlic is cooked with onion and olive oil to create a fragrant base for the sauce.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil: Olive oil is used to sauté the onion and garlic, adding richness and depth of flavor to the sauce.
- 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar: Balsamic vinegar adds a tangy sweetness to the lentil sauce. It is added to the pot after the lentils are cooked to add a depth of flavor to the sauce.
- 2 cups of vegetable broth: Vegetable broth is used as the liquid in the sauce. It adds flavor and richness to the sauce while keeping it vegetarian and vegan.
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil, oregano, and thyme: These herbs add flavor to the lentil sauce. They are added to the pot with vegetable broth and lentils to infuse the sauce with their fragrant and savory flavors.
- Salt and pepper to taste: Salt and pepper are added to the sauce to taste. They help to bring out the flavors of the other ingredients and balance the overall taste of the sauce.
- 1 pound of pasta of your choice: Any pasta can be used for this recipe. The lentil sauce pairs well with most types of pasta, from spaghetti to penne to rigatoni.
Equipment You’ll Need
- Large pot: A large pot is necessary to cook the lentils and make the sauce.
- Cutting board: You’ll need a cutting board to chop the onion and garlic.
- Knife: A sharp knife is essential for chopping the onion and garlic.
- Immersion blender or blender/food processor: You’ll need either an immersion blender or a regular blender/food processor to blend the lentil sauce until smooth.
- Measuring cups and spoons: Accurately measuring the ingredients is important for achieving the right consistency and flavor in the sauce.
- Wooden spoon: A wooden spoon is useful for stirring the lentil mixture while cooking.
- Pasta pot: A separate pot for cooking the pasta is necessary.
- Colander: You’ll need a colander to drain the pasta.
- Serving bowl: A large serving bowl is necessary for combining the pasta and lentil sauce.
- Garnishing tools: Optional tools for garnishing include fresh herbs, grated cheese, or crushed red pepper flakes.
Lentil Pasta Sauce No Tomato Recipe Instructions
Lentil pasta sauce is the perfect option! This recipe is delicious and easy to make, but it’s also packed with nutrients your body will love.
Step 1: Rinse and Sort the Lentils
Begin by rinsing the lentils and picking out any stones or debris.
Step 2: Sauté the Onion and Garlic
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Step 3: Add the Lentils
Add the lentils to the pot and stir to coat them in the oil and onion mixture.
Step 4: Add Balsamic Vinegar
Pour in the balsamic vinegar and stir well. Cook for another minute or so until the vinegar has evaporated.
Step 5: Add Broth and Spices
Add the vegetable broth to the pot, along with the dried basil, oregano, and thyme. Stir well and bring to a boil.
Step 6: Simmer the Lentils
Reduce the heat to low and let the lentils simmer for 30-40 minutes or until tender and fully cooked. If the sauce becomes too thick, add more vegetable broth or water to thin it out.
Step 7: Blend the Sauce
Once the lentils are cooked, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Use an immersion blender or transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Step 8: Season with Salt and Pepper
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 9: Cook the Pasta
Cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente.
Step 10: Drain and Combine
Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Pour the lentil sauce over the pasta and stir well to coat.
Step 11: Garnish and Serve
Serve hot and garnish with fresh herbs or grated cheese if desired.
Tips & Tricks for the Perfect Lentil Pasta Sauce No Tomato
1. Rinse and Sort the Lentils
Before using the lentils, it’s essential to rinse them thoroughly and sort them to remove any stones or debris. This step is crucial to ensure clean and safe lentils are free from unwanted contaminants.
2. Use the Right Ratio of Broth to Lentils
To achieve the perfect consistency and flavor, it’s important to use the right ratio of vegetable broth to lentils. A good rule of thumb is to use two cups of broth for every cup of lentils. However, this can vary depending on the type of lentils you use and how thick or thin you want the sauce.
3. Don’t Overcook the Lentils
Overcooking the lentils can result in a mushy and unappetizing texture. To avoid this, it’s important to monitor the cooking time and check the lentils regularly to ensure they are cooked to your liking. Lentils usually take around 30-40 minutes to cook, but this can vary depending on the lentils you use.
4. Blend the Sauce for a Creamy Texture
Blending the lentil sauce is essential to achieve a smooth and creamy texture. You can blend the sauce into an immersion blender, a regular blender, or a food processor. If using a regular blender, let the mixture cool for a few minutes before blending to avoid accidents or burns.
5. Season with Salt and Pepper
Adding salt and pepper to the lentil pasta sauce is crucial to enhance the flavor and balance the sweetness of the lentils. It’s important to season the sauce towards the end of the cooking process to avoid oversalting.
6. Serve with the Right Type of Pasta
Lentil pasta sauce pairs well with various pasta types, but some shapes work better. Short pasta shapes like penne, fusilli, or rigatoni are perfect for holding the sauce, while long pasta shapes like spaghetti or linguine may also not work.
7. Garnish with Fresh Herbs or Cheese
Garnishing the lentil pasta sauce with fresh herbs like parsley, basil, or thyme, or grated cheese like Parmesan or Pecorino, can add flavor and texture to the dish.
Nutritional Benefits of Lentil Pasta Sauce No Tomato
Lentils are a type of legume that have been cultivated for thousands of years, and they are a staple food in many cultures around the world.
- High in Protein: Lentils are a rich source of plant-based protein, making lentil pasta sauce an excellent option for vegetarians and vegans. One cup of cooked lentils contains approximately 18 grams of protein, almost as much as a cup of cooked chicken breast.
- Rich in Fiber: Fiber is essential for maintaining good digestive health and feeling full and satisfied after meals. Lentils are a rich source of soluble and insoluble fiber, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and lowering cholesterol.
- Low in Fat and Calories: Lentils are low in fat and calories, making them an excellent option for weight management. One cup of cooked lentils contains only 230 calories and less than 1 gram of fat.
- Rich in Iron and Other Essential Nutrients: Lentils are also a good source of iron, essential for healthy red blood cells and preventing anemia. They also contain other essential nutrients like folate, potassium, and magnesium, which are necessary for overall health and well-being.
- May Help Reduce the Risk of Chronic Diseases: Lentils are rich in antioxidants, which can help protect against cell damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Servings Suggestions for Lentil Pasta Sauce No Tomato
It’s a perfect way to incorporate plant-based protein into your diet while enjoying the comforting flavors of a classic pasta dish.
But once you’ve made a batch of lentil pasta sauce without tomato, what are some serving suggestions to make the most of this delicious sauce?
1. Classic Spaghetti
The most traditional way to serve lentil pasta sauce is over spaghetti. Cook your spaghetti according to package instructions, then toss it in the lentil sauce. Add some grated Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast on top for extra flavor.
2. Zucchini Noodles
Try serving your lentil pasta sauce with zucchini noodles for a low-carb alternative to traditional spaghetti. Use a spiralizer or vegetable peeler to make long, thin zucchini strips. Cook the noodles in a pan with some olive oil for a few minutes until they are tender, then toss them in the lentil pasta sauce.
3. Stuffed Peppers
You can also use the lentil pasta sauce to fill stuffed peppers. Cut off the top of the peppers, remove the seeds and membranes, and fill them with the lentil pasta sauce. Bake the peppers in the oven at 375°F for 30-35 minutes or until the peppers are tender.
Another great way to use lentil pasta sauce is as a base for lasagna. Layer lasagna noodles with lentil pasta sauce, ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layers until you reach the top of the baking dish, and then bake in the oven at 375°F for 45 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
5. Stuffed Shells
You can also use the lentil pasta sauce to fill stuffed shells. Cook the shells according to package instructions, and then fill them with the lentil pasta sauce.
Place the shells in a baking dish, cover with mozzarella cheese, and bake in the oven at 375°F for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
6. Cauliflower Rice
You can serve the lentil pasta sauce with cauliflower rice for a low-carb option. Cut the cauliflower into small pieces, then pulse in a food processor until it resembles rice. Cook the cauliflower rice in a pan with a little bit of olive oil for a few minutes until it is tender, and then toss it in the lentil pasta sauce.
You can use the lentil pasta sauce as a pizza sauce. Spread the lentil pasta sauce on a pre-made pizza crust or the naan bread. Add your favorite toppings, such as cheese, vegetables, and meats.
Bake the pizza in the oven at 375°F for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Lentil Pasta Sauce No Tomato Is Best Served With?
This versatile and nutrient-packed sauce is a great alternative to traditional tomato-based sauces. Not only is it high in protein and fiber, but it also pairs well with various dishes.
- Spaghetti: Let’s start with the obvious choice. Lentil pasta sauce is the perfect accompaniment to spaghetti. The thick, hearty sauce coats the noodles perfectly, delighting every bite.
- Zucchini noodles: Try serving lentil pasta sauce with zucchini noodles for a lighter option. This gluten-free, low-carb alternative is a great way to enjoy pasta without the guilt.
- Baked sweet potato: Believe it or not, lentil pasta sauce is a great topping for baked sweet potatoes. The sweetness of the potato pairs perfectly with the savory sauce, creating a delicious and healthy meal.
- Cauliflower rice: Another low-carb option is to serve lentil pasta sauce with cauliflower rice. This healthy alternative to rice is a great way to sneak in some extra veggies while still enjoying a hearty meal.
- Grilled chicken: If you want a protein-packed meal, try serving lentil pasta sauce with grilled chicken. The sauce adds flavor to the chicken, making it a tasty and satisfying meal.
- Roasted vegetables: For a vegetarian option, try serving lentil pasta sauce with roasted vegetables. The sauce adds a ton of flavor to the veggies, making them even more delicious.
Storage Tips for Lentil Pasta Sauce No Tomato
Temperature is one of the most important things to consider when storing food. It is important to cool your lentil pasta sauce down before storing it to prevent bacterial growth. Let your sauce cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container or storage bag. This will prevent condensation from forming inside the container, which can lead to mold or bacterial growth.
If you plan on storing your lentil pasta sauce in the fridge, it can last up to 5 days. Store it in an airtight container to keep it fresh. Glass containers with locking lids work well, preventing air from entering the container. Mason jars are also a great option.
Freezing is your best option if you’d like to store your lentil pasta sauce for longer than 5 days. To freeze your sauce, let it cool to room temperature, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or storage bag. Remove as much air as possible from the container or bag, as this can lead to freezer burn. Your lentil pasta sauce can last up to 3 months in the freezer.
When ready to use your frozen lentil pasta sauce, let it thaw in the fridge overnight. This will prevent it from developing harmful bacteria that can cause foodborne illness. You can also reheat your sauce in a pot on the stove or the microwave. If you reheat it in the microwave, stir it occasionally to prevent hot spots from forming.
Is red lentil pasta better for you than regular pasta?
Red lentil pasta is better for you than regular pasta because it is a good source of plant-based protein, fiber, and nutrients such as iron, folate, and potassium. It also has a lower glycemic index so that it won’t spike your blood sugar levels as much as regular pasta.
Plus, it’s gluten-free, making it a great option for those with gluten sensitivities.
What type of pasta pairs best with lentil pasta sauce without tomato?
When pairing pasta with lentil sauce, it’s best to go for shapes with ridges or curves that can hold the sauce well, such as fusilli, penne, or rotini. Whole wheat pasta or lentil-based pasta can also complement the lentil sauce nicely.
Ultimately, the pasta shape choice depends on your preference and the texture you want to achieve.
How long can you store lentil pasta sauce without tomato in the fridge?
Lentil pasta sauce without tomato can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. To maximize its shelf life, store it in an airtight container and cool it to room temperature before putting it in the fridge.
If you’re not planning to use it within 5 days, you can freeze it for up to 3 months. Just make sure to thaw it thoroughly before reheating.
Lentil Pasta Sauce No Tomato Recipe
- Large pot
- Cutting board
- Immersion blender or blender/food processor
- Measuring cups and spoons
- wooden spoon
- Pasta pot
- Serving bowl
- Garnishing tools
- 1 cup of dried lentils
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups of vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound of pasta of your choice
Rinse and Sort the Lentils
- Begin by rinsing the lentils and picking out any stones or debris.
Sauté the Onion and Garlic
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the Lentils
- Add the lentils to the pot and stir to coat them in the oil and onion mixture.
Add Balsamic Vinegar
- Pour in the balsamic vinegar and stir well. Cook for another minute or so until the vinegar has evaporated.
Add Broth and Spices
- Add the vegetable broth to the pot, along with the dried basil, oregano, and thyme. Stir well and bring to a boil.
Simmer the Lentils
- Reduce the heat to low and let the lentils simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until they are tender and fully cooked. If the sauce becomes too thick, you can add more vegetable broth or water to thin it out.
Blend the Sauce
- Once the lentils are cooked, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Use an immersion blender or transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Season with Salt and Pepper
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the Pasta
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente.
Drain and Combine
- Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Pour the lentil sauce over the pasta and stir well to coat.
Garnish and Serve
- Serve hot and garnish with fresh herbs or grated cheese if desired.
Using lentils as the base of your sauce adds a great source of protein and fiber to your meal. Lentils are also low in fat and high in nutrients like iron, folate, and potassium. Plus, they’re affordable and readily available at most grocery stores.
When making a lentil pasta sauce without tomato, it’s important to consider the acidity level of your ingredients. Without tomato, your sauce may have lower acidity, affecting how long it can be stored. Following proper storage techniques, such as cooling your sauce before storing it and using airtight containers, you can keep your sauce fresh for several days or freeze it for later use.