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Spaghetti with Lentil Marinara
with mixed greens salad

Active: 35 minTotal: 35 min
20161003 spaghetti lentil marinara nm 3.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

We add lentils to this classic marinara sauce for some extra texture, flavor and protein. Enjoy it with a mixed green salad for a simple but tasty meal! If you've got time over the weekend, make the sauce ahead of time so it can develop even more flavor.



Spaghetti with Lentil Marinara:
  • Garlic - 3 cloves, minced
  • Onions - 1, diced
  • Bell pepper, green - 1, diced
  • Thyme, fresh leaves - 1 tsp
  • Lentils, cooked (canned or vacuum-packed) - 2 cups
  • Spaghetti - 10 to 12 oz
  • Oil, cooking - 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Tomato paste - 2 Tbsp
  • Ketchup - 2 Tbsp
  • Crushed tomatoes (14 oz / 397 g can) - 1 can
  • Basil, dried - 1 tsp
  • Oregano, dried - 1 tsp
  • Cheese, parmesan - for serving
Mixed Greens Salad:
  • Bell pepper, red - 1, sliced
  • Vinegar, balsamic - 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Mustard, Dijon - 1 tsp
  • Maple syrup - 1 tsp
  • Oil, cooking - 2 1/2 Tbsp
  • Mixed greens - 5 oz

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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  1. Garlic / Onions / Bell peppers (for marinara and salad) / Thyme - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
  2. Lentils - Rinse and drain, removing as much liquid as possible. Run a knife through lentils a few times to ‘ground’ them up.


  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then garlic, onions, and green peppers to heated oil with a sprinkle of salt. Saute until softened, ~3 minutes.
  3. Add tomato paste and ketchup and saute for another 2 minutes.
  4. Fold in lentils, thyme, crushed tomatoes, basil, and oregano. Stir and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. While marinara cooks, make vinaigrette for salad by whisking together vinegar, mustard, syrup, and oil.
  6. Toss vinaigrette with red peppers and greens.
  7. Taste and season lentil-marinara sauce with more salt, pepper, spices, or tomato paste. Divide pasta onto plates and cover in sauce. Finish with parmesan. Enjoy with salad on the side.

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This meal has 47 reviews

I used carrot “noodles” from TJ’s instead of sweet potato and it was delish!

By: Aileen
Posted: Feb 01, 2019
Diet: Paleo

not sure I really can count as having made this recipe, but I made spaghetti sauce with spaghetti squash and it was tasty. I'd add a bit more water to the sauce when it simmers, used just tomato paste rather than half that and half ketchup and skipped the lentils. I'd like to try it in the future with the lentils.

By: Christine
Posted: Apr 08, 2017
Diet: Gluten-free

It was fine but needs more veggies to stop the lentil taste overwhelm.

By: Lisbeth
Posted: Feb 21, 2017
Diet: Original

4-year-old really liked this! Good vegetarian option. Didn't try the salad.

By: Karin
Posted: Dec 12, 2016
Diet: Original

The sauce was way too thick. I agree with other reviews that there should be more tomatoes to lentils.

By: Jodi
Posted: Nov 30, 2016
Diet: Original

Chunkier sauce, but really tasty! We used red peppers in the sauce instead of green since we were cooking for two and it made no sense to use 1/2 a green in the sauce and 1/2 a red in the salads.

By: Michelle
Posted: Oct 23, 2016
Diet: Original