Healthy Vegan Mushroom and Lentil Ragu

Hi! Welcome to Forkful of Plants. If you’re reading this, that means that you’re reading the first ever recipe posted to my blog. If you’ve been here before, or you’re just dying to see the recipe for this easy mushroom and lentil ragu, just hit the jump to recipe button above. Or if you haven’t made it over to my about page yet, then here’s a little on what this blog is all about:

Delicious plant based recipes for every day of the week

3 years ago, I moved across the country with my partner, to start what would become my very quickly progressing career in commercial photography. Suddenly struck with less time, and a hungry omnivorous boyfriend to please in a plant based kitchen, I had to rethink my ad-hoc, whatever-I-fancy cooking style. Fast forward to now, and I have mastered the balance of easy week day batch cooking and meal prep, whilst still indulging my love for food and cooking delightful meals for 2 at the weekend. After a little bit of hassle from my newly plant-fond parter, here I am, writing it all down for you busy, food loving, vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians.

And that brings me on to my first ever recipe for you.

A healthy, cheap and versatile recipe for when you’re really busy

When Remi and I first moved in together, our life was crazy. We were trying to find the right places for the crazy disorganisation of boxes and furniture, some of mine, some of his; we were both finding our footing in new jobs, facing the stress of making great first impressions for our bosses and colleagues; it felt like we were constantly shopping and spending money, moving from small apartments to a 2 bedroom house and having so much space to fill. I needed a recipe that was cheap, that I could cook a lot of, and that froze well.

Mushroom and lentil ragu with tagliatelle

This incredible mushroom and lentil ragu

Yes, I know, there are thousands of recipes for ragu on the internet. But hear me out. This recipe is not only deliciously rich, moreish, and full of vegan protein from mushrooms and lentils, making it a great dish for veggies and flexitarians alike. It is also incredibly versatile. This recipe makes a huge batch, can be frozen in portions, and can be used time and time again in so many different ways.

  • Layer with pasta sheets and white sauce for an easy lasagne.
  • Use as a bolognese sauce, spooned over pasta for a quick weeknight fix.
  • Stir in some mexican seasoning for a great taco filling.
  • Mix with leftover cooked rice, and use as a stuffing for sliced open peppers.
  • Top with mashed potato and bake in the oven for a simple cottage pie.

The list goes on, and this is my reason for loving this recipe SO much. The possibilities are endless.

Mushroom and Lentil Ragu in Pan

How to make mushroom and lentil ragu

The great thing about this ragu is it is so easy to make and gives perfect results every time.

You start by frying the chopped onion and carrot with the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. This recipe makes a large batch, so I suggest using the biggest pan you have! This can be a saute pan, a casserole pan, or even a wok. 

Once the onions and carrots are softened and slightly brown, add the sliced garlic and cook until fragrant. Fun fact- Remi and I LOVE garlic, so the second either of us smell that fragrant smell coming from the kitchen, we know something delicious is on the way!

Next go in the mushrooms, and they’re cooked for 3-4 minutes, until they’re softened and start to release liquid. Here’s when we add the red wine, and the whole thing is left to simmer until slightly reduced. 

Wine Pouring into Lentil Ragu

Now throw in the rest of the ingredients, give it a good old stir, and simmer, covered, until the brown lentils are cooked through. The red lentils will cook faster than the brown lentils, and will fall apart slightly to create a thick sauce. Don’t worry if you see this happening, it’s part of the process!

And that’s it! Season this plenty, and serve in whichever way you see fit. If you want to freeze the batch, leave to cool down at room temperature before putting into the freezer.

How long does it last?

This ragu will last 3-4 days in the fridge, but is the perfect candidate for freezing. I like to freeze mine in separate portions which I can pull out and use in different dishes. It will last 3 months in the freezer, and is best defrosted at room temperature or in the fridge before use.

If you love freezer friendly recipes…

I think you’ll love:

Mushroom and Lentil Ragu in Pan

Healthy Vegan Mushroom and Lentil Ragu

Chloe from Forkful of Plants
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 10
This healthy lentil ragu is versatile and totally delicious, and makes a big batch- perfect for the freezer.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions diced
  • 1 large carrot diced
  • 6 cloves garlic sliced
  • 250 g chestnut mushrooms sliced
  • 250 ml red wine
  • 200 g dried brown or green lentils rinsed
  • 200 g dried red lentils rinsed
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes 400g each
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 500 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp vegan Worcester sauce
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika*

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and fry until softened, around 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute until fragrant, then add the mushrooms.
  • Cook until mushrooms are slightly reduced and start to release water, around 3-5 minutes. Season well, then add the red wine. Bring to a rapid simmer and leave for 5 minutes until wine is slightly reduced.
  • Next, add the remaining ingredients- green and red lentils, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, stock, Worcester sauce, soy sauce and smoked paprika. Stir well so that everything is combined.
  • Simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Remove the cover and stir well, then leave to simmer for a further 15 minutes uncovered**. Stir occasionally to prevent the lentils from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Notes

*Make sure that your smoked paprika isn’t hot smoked paprika, as this will make the ragu spicy!
**If you prefer a wetter ragu, you can leave this to cook covered for the full 30 minutes. Just make sure you lift the cover occasionally to stir, as this will prevent the lentils from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

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