This Mushroom Lentil Pasta is the perfect easy dinner to cook up in no time! Hearty, vegetarian/vegan, flavorful and super budget friendly. Healthy comfort food at its finest and the perfect family dinner recipe.Jump to Recipe
TNNers, sometimes you just need a hearty, comforting pasta dish. Ain’t no shame and this lentil mushroom pasta sauce does the trick for me and my family every time.
If you are new to lentils, this recipe the perfect place to get started on your legume lovin’ journey. The rich red sauce gives the slightly chewy lentils a familiar flavor. This is one of my daughter’s favorite Meatless Monday dinners and was key in encouraging her to try lentils in many other dishes. Now, she proclaims that lentils are her #2 favorite food….after bananas!
Health benefits of lentils
Lentils have been a rich and healthy food source since the beginning of civilization. They are wildly rich in calcium, potassium, zinc, iron and Vitamin B and are probably the most nutritious of all the legumes (sorry peanuts). Combined with chopped mushrooms, this pasta sauce has a lovely texture that will dazzle even the most die-hard meat lover.
Health benefits of mushrooms
Before anyone says it….yes. I know that mushrooms are botanically considered a fungus ….but let’s be honest. People eat them like a vegetable. And, mushrooms are super nutrient dense, like a veggie! So let’s just refer to them as a veggie for the moment.
Mushrooms are an awesome thing to add to your veggie-loading loving life. Loaded with fiber, B vitamins, selenium and potassium. There is even some protein hanging out in mushrooms! (source). There have even been studies that show that mushrooms help to boost your immune system. SO, this fungus is as awesome as any veggie in my book.
Adding mushrooms to pasta sauce is also a great way to not only get more plants into your diet, but also pairs so beautifully with lentils to give this mushroom pasta sauce an extra hearty comforting texture and flavor.
Time Saving Hacks for making lentil mushroom pasta
Let’s face it, very few of us have oodles of time to cook dinner. We need and/or want fast recipes that are healthy, filling and don’t create tons of dishes. If you are sitting there, noodling your head because it is like I am reading your mind, here are some easy time saving hacks for simplifying this mushroom lentil pasta and getting it on the table FAST!
- Cook your lentils ahead of time! I will do that as part of my weekly meal prep and let the lentils hang out in the fridge until I am ready to make this sauce (or other lentil loaded recipes)
- Use precooked lentils. You can find them with the canned vegetables at most grocery stores or in the refrigeration section of the produce area.
- Finely chop mushrooms in food processor. I do this ALL. THE. TIME. I just throw my mushrooms in my food processor with the “S” blade and pulse a few times. So fast and perfect for getting that “meaty” texture that the mushrooms while skipping standing over a cutting board.
- Use homemade veggie-loaded tomato sauce. If want to add extra veggies to this meal, I love to use this veggie-loaded tomato sauce that is super easy! Or make homemade sauce in your slow cooker!
- Add extra veggies to the sauce while it cooks. I love to throw in shredded carrots, finely chopped spinach or leftover roasted veggies. They add to the flavor and texture of the sauce while bulking up the veggies in your meal.
- Make the sauce ahead of time. This sauce makes for a great leftover! Make it, store it in your fridge and reheat it when you need it! BOOM! Dinner became as easy as boiling pasta!
Other amazing lentil recipes
Okay, so now you are jazzed about eating more lentils. But if you are staring at the bag of dry lentils in your pantry, wondering how else you can use them in beyond this amazing mushroom pasta recipe, her are some of our other favorite lentil recipes!
- Instant Pot/ Slow Cooker Lentil Soup
- Vegan Carrot Muffins (with lentils)
- One-Pot Curry Lentil Soup
- Slow Cooker Lentil Tacos
- Veggie-Loaded Lentil & Quinoa “Meatballs”
Lentil Mushroom Pasta
- 1/3 cup dry green lentils or brown
- 10 oz pasta of choice
- 1 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
- 8 oz mushrooms, finely chopped
- salt to taste
- 2 cups pasta sauce of choice
- Start by cooking the lentils. Pour lentils into a medium sauce pot and cover the lentils with water. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the lentil simmer for about 20 minutes. Drain extra liquid off before adding to the sauce.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions. Drain when done and set aside.
- While pasta and lentils cook, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add the finely chopped mushrooms, season with salt if desired and sauté 3 to 5 minutes or until mostly golden brown.
- Add the cooked lentil and drained lentils to the skillet with mushrooms. Stir to combine. Add pasta sauce to the skillet next, again stirring to combine.
- Taste sauce and season with salt if needed.
- To serve, either spoon sauce over noodles, or add pasta to the sauce and toss to coat.
- Top with grated cheese, fresh basil or red pepper flakes.