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Vegan Lentil Marinara with French Lentils. GF, oil-free, nut-free and soy-free. HolyCowVegan.net
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4.8 from 5 votes

Vegan Lentil Marinara

In this recipe for Lentil Marinara I make my favorite marinara sauce even healthier by adding peppery, delicious French lentils. There's no added oil here; instead, use vegetable broth for flavor and depth.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian fusion, nut-free, Pasta, Soy-free
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Vegan lentil marinara
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 108kcal


  • 1 cup French lentils
  • 8 cloves garlic, crushed, then cut into thin slivers
  • 28 oz San Marzano Tomatoes (or any plum tomatoes. Crushed the canned tomatoes into a coarse puree with your fingers. San Marzano tomatoes are best in a marinara, but if you can't use these, sub with an equal amount of canned plum tomatoes)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp oregano (Use 4-5 basil leaves for a variation)
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp vegetable stock (see recipe notes)


  • Wash the French lentils and place in a saucepan covered with at least two inches of water. Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat, and cook 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoon of the vegetable stock. Add the garlic and saute, stirring frequently, until the water dries up and the garlic is fragrant. This should take no more than 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes with all the juices, red pepper flakes and oregano. Add the remaining one cup of vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
  • Stir well and let the sauce cook for 15 minutes. The sauce should have patches of bright orange liquid on top.
  • Stir in the cooked lentils. Season with salt and add ground black pepper if desired. Let the sauce cook another five minutes, stirring it a couple of times.
  • Serve hot over a bed of pasta.


  • Click here for a recipe for homemade vegetable stock. If you want to be completely oil-free, skip the step for sauteeing the veggies.


Calories: 108kcal | Protein: 7.3g | Fat: 0.5g | Potassium: 484mg | Fiber: 8.7g | Sugar: 3.2g | Vitamin A: 1550IU | Vitamin C: 21.5mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 2.2mg