Made with simple ingredients and easy to prepare, this rice cooker vegan lentil bolognese sauce recipe offers a pleasing meaty texture without the meat!
What is "Bolognese"?
The term “Bolognese” is used to describe a meat-based pasta sauce. So vegan Bolognese is a bit of a misnomer. But it accurately describes the meaty texture of this Rice Cooker Vegan Lentil Bolognese recipe.
I have to confess. I’m usually a jarred pasta sauce kind of gal. You can’t beat the convenience, but the health benefits can be questionable. Even before I went plant-based I avoided jarred meat sauce. Instead I would brown ground turkey, drain the fat, and mix the meat with a simple jarred marina.
Now I typically add dark leafy greens and other veggies to jarred pasta sauce. But lately I’ve been hankering for a meatier texture. I decided lentils would be a good substitute. Instead of simply adding cooked lentils to jarred sauce, I decided to work from scratch.
Why Use a Rice Cooker?
This Rice Cooker Vegan Lentil Bolognese recipe isn’t particularly quick, but it is easy to prepare. It takes about 2-3 hours to cook down to a good consistency. You can prepare it on your stovetop, but I recommend using a rice cooker. The rice cooker allows you to walk away and the beeping at the end of each cycle reminds you to give the sauce a stir.
The lentils provide a satisfying meaty texture while the peppers, onions, garlic and spices meld to create a pleasing flavor.
Rice Cooker Vegan Lentil Bolognese
- 28 oz canned whole peeled plum tomatoes – no salt added
- 1 cup green or brown lentils rinsed and sorted
- 8 oz frozen peppers and onions ½ of a 16 oz bag – or use the whole bag for extra veggies
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 26 oz Pomi strained tomatoes
- 6 cloves garlic granules large, crushed
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp. dried basil
- ½ Tbsp. dried parsley
- 2 tsp. fine sea salt
- ½ tsp. garlic granules or garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- Add can of whole tomatoes to rice cooker. Use the edge of a long handled spoon to break the tomatoes apart into chunks.
- Add remaining ingredients to rice cooker in the order they are listed and stir to mix well.
- Close rice cooker lid and select white rice setting. Depending on your rice cooker model you will likely need to repeat the cook cycle 2-3 times to cook the ingredients down to a sauce consistency. (I run the white rice cycle 3 times on my Aroma rice cooker. About 20 minutes into the first cycle, I carefully open the lid and stir the ingredients and then continue cooking. When the cooker beeps at the end of the first cycle, I carefully stir the contents and select the white rice cook setting again. When the cooker beeps at the end of the second cycle, I carefully stir the contents and select the white rice cook setting a final time. When the cooker beeps at the end of the third cycle I give the contents another stir and leave the cooker on “keep warm” until ready to serve.)The sauce is done when the lentils are tender and the liquid achieves a thick consistency.
- Serve over cooked pasta, rice or quinoa.