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Veggie Lentil Bolognese With Low-Carb Pasta

Low Carb Vegetarian

Recipe by Chef Michele Ragussis

  • Cook Time 50 minutes
  • Serves 2 servings
  • Difficulty Medium

LOW-CARB VEGETARIAN BOLOGNESE WITH LENTILS

Looking for a classic Italian dish? You can’t go wrong with Fettucine Bolognese. We opted for a vegetarian version made with hearty lentils (full of protein). It’s Skinny Fettuccine helps keep the carb count down for a weeknight meal that tastes restaurant-worthy.

Try this low-carb vegetarian Bolognese with lentils; you'll be blown away by how well the ingredients create the best flavor. This isn't "rabbit food" like some vegetarian meals. This hearty meal is filling, rich, satisfying, and delicious. You're going to love it!

WHAT IS BOLOGNESE SAUCE ANYWAY?

When you hear of Bolognese, you probably think of a meaty, tomato-y sauce. But originally, Bolognese was simply a ragu (or Italian meat sauce) made with slow-simmered carrots, onions, and beef or pork. There weren’t any tomatoes involved in the dish at all.

Of course, eventually, tomatoes made their way into Bolognese sauce (because they’re delicious and ubiquitous in most Italian foods). Today, when we think of Bolognese, we probably think of a meaty, rich, slow-cooked sauce with tomatoes or tomato paste, cheese, beef, and pork.

But if you're a vegetarian, especially a vegetarian following a low-carb diet, you probably assume that Fettuccine Bolognese isn't the dish for you. After all, carb-heavy pasta and a meaty sauce seem neither low-carb nor vegetarian-friendly.

Well, we’ve remade the traditional recipe to fit your lifestyle. Made with light, low-carb It’s Skinny Fettuccine, there’s no carb-coma or pasta-induced guilt to be had! You can eat It’s Skinny and keep your carb count low- and even keto-friendly.

What's more, we use lentils here instead of the traditional beef or pork. Lentils have a wonderful texture mimicking ground beef and are a great plant-based protein. Many nutritionists consider lentils a superfood(Opens an external site in a new window). They're rich in polyphenols, which offer antioxidant protection. They have potassium, folate, fiber, and plenty of protein. In this Bolognese recipe, you can use any type of lentil—red lentils, green lentils, or brown lentils.

While lentils aren’t carb-free, they’re still low-carb and worth the extra splurge. 1 cup of cooked lentils has about 36 grams of carbohydrates—in-range for most low-carb diets. These pulses are good for you and easy to cook. In this plant-based version of a classic bolognese, they're delicious.

The rest of these simple ingredients are likely pantry staples and veggies you have in your fridge. We add a little bit of carrot to keep our Bolognese authentic. When combined with onion, herbs like basil and rosemary, and tomato puree, you get a sauce that's unstoppable. This sauce is excellent with meat, too. It needs to simmer for a while, so start it about 45 minutes before you plan to eat. That said, it's totally hands-off during that time (and your house will smell amazing)!

If you want a restaurant-level Italian pasta that's vegetarian, easy to cook, and low-carb, this dish covers all your bases. The milk and Parmesan add creamy richness to the sauce and a depth of flavor that makes it taste like it simmered all day long. It's truly wonderful!

IT’S SKINNY FETTUCCINE: THE LOW-CARB PASTA SOLUTION

It’s Skinny Pasta (and Rice) is completely plant-based. It’s suitable for vegetarians, vegans, low-carb dieters, keto, paleo, and more. It’s Skinny is kosher. It’s gluten-free. We offer organic varieties of all our pasta shapes. It’s easy, simple, and guilt-free.

But what exactly IS It’s Skinny? Is it made from a vegetable?

It’s Skinny is shirataki pasta. That means it’s pasta that’s made from konjac root. Konjac is indeed a vegetable. It grows in Asia and is quite popular there, used as both food and medicine. Konjac is high in filling fiber—a special type of fiber called glucomannan—which some studies show helps keep blood sugar levels steady.

Unlike some of the other pasta swaps on the market (including other shirataki pastas), It’s Skinny doesn’t have strong flavors that can overpower other ingredients. It’s our favorite pasta because it's easy to work with. It doesn’t become watery like zucchini noodles or gloppy like some pastas made from beans or soy.

Instead, It’s Skinny has the taste and texture of the pasta and rice you love with ZERO net carbohydrates and only 9 calories per pack! It’s so easy to work with It’s Skinny, too! Simply open the pack, rinse and drain the noodles, and then add them to your other ingredients at the end of cooking. It's Skinny needs only a few minutes to heat through, and it's ready to enjoy!

You can get It’s Skinny in organic varieties:

  • Organic Spaghetti
  • Organic Fettuccine
  • Organic Angel Hair
  • Organic Rice

Or the classic variations: Spaghetti, Rice, Fettuccine, and Angel Hair. If you can’t pick a style, you don’t have to! Order the variety pack to enjoy the best of all the It’s Skinny options. Try swapping them for noodles or rice in all your favorite recipes.

You can explore our recipe database if you need a few ideas of what to make with It’s Skinny. Look for keto-friendly recipes, low-carb recipes, or search by noodle type. No matter what, It’s Skinny is sure to be your new go-to recipe hack. Enjoy all your favorite meats, cheese, and sauce without the guilt—when you use It’s Skinny as your base, it lightens up all your recipes.

READY TO MAKE BOLOGNESE? HERE’S HOW TO MAKE IT YOUR OWN

Questions about customization? We’ve got you covered! Here are some of the most common questions about cooking low-carb vegetarian Bolognese with lentils.

CAN I MAKE THIS RECIPE VEGAN?

If you’re fully plant-based, you can still make this recipe with a vegan bolognese sauce! Swapping out the dairy in this dish for a dairy-free vegan lentil Bolognese is easy. Because the protein-packed lentils replace ground meat, it's easy to veganize. Try swapping milk for almond milk. Top the pasta with nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan cheese as a great way to add cheesy flavor and creamy texture.

It’s Skinny is vegan-friendly. There are no animal products used in It’s Skinny pasta or rice. It’s also kosher, gluten-free, and suitable for any low-carb diet. Some pasta contains eggs and even dairy ingredients, but with It’s Skinny, you don't need to worry. You can use it in any vegan recipe!

COULD I ADD MORE VEGETABLES?

We are absolutely PRO vegetables at It’s Skinny. If you want to bulk up any recipe with a few veggies, please don't let us stand in your way! You could add spinach, kale, zucchini, asparagus, broccoli, or any green vegetable you choose for more great flavor. Many vegetables are low-carb, but be sure to check your numbers if you're counting carbohydrates.

You could also add more onions or other aromatics like leeks to this recipe. Red bell pepper or green bell pepper is a nice addition. Mushrooms are right at home, adding a meaty flavor and additional texture to the Bolognese sauce. Add any fresh herbs to the main ingredients. You could also use garlic powder (although we recommend fresh garlic), Italian seasoning, or chili flakes to give it a little kick.

CAN I USE OTHER VARIETIES OF IT’S SKINNY?

We went with Fettuccine in this recipe because the large, wide noodles hold up well with the hearty sauce. But please feel free to swap out any variety of It's Skinny in this recipe. Spaghetti Bolognese is a classic option and the spaghetti noodles are a great match with this sauce.

Similarly, you could try Angel Hair or even It’s Skinny Rice here. Although the style might be a little different, both types are perfectly acceptable in any It’s Skinny recipe. Use whatever variety you have on hand. It won’t change the stats, and you can still enjoy noodles with only 9 calories per package and ZERO net carbohydrates.

HOW TO MAKE LOW-CARB VEGETARIAN BOLOGNESE WITH LENTILS

Ready to get cooking? Roll up your sleeves, follow these step-by-step instructions, and let’s hit the kitchen. Although the sauce is best when simmered for a while, the cooking process for this lentil recipe is pretty much hands-off while it cooks. For best results, let it go over medium-high heat until all the ingredients soften. Once you do your prep, you can chill and wait for this amazing sauce to hit its peak. Believe us—it’s worth it!

WATCH OUR VERY OWN CHEF MICHELE MAKE THIS PROTEIN-PACKED VEGETARIAN BOLOGNESE WITH LENTILS(OPENS AN EXTERNAL SITE IN A NEW WINDOW).

NUTRITION INFORMATION FOR VEGETARIAN BOLOGNESE WITH LENTILS

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Ingredients

  • Fettuccine | It's Skinny
  • 1 package It's Skinny fettuccine
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups dried lentils
  • 2 cups tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/8 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/8 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Directions

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    Fettuccine

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