Smokey lentil & walnut bolognese with crispy roast potatoes

A new and pretty delicious bolognese recipe! With red lentils, toasted walnuts, mushrooms and smokey flavours its packing a Unami punch. Lovely and deep and rich, its perfect served with crispy potatoes like I have here, but would be fab with pasta or even loaded on toast.

I drizzled with my favourite tahini dressing as I love it. I would also recommend some nut cheese or vegan cheese on top.

Some swap ideas…

  • You can use Puy lentils instead of red lentils (but simmer for about 10 minutes longer until tender).
  • No walnuts? You could use hazelnuts.
  • Veggies – Mushrooms work particularly well but you can add in whatever you have – all good.

I hope you enjoy, much love, Niki xxx

I'd love to know if you made this recipe.

Use #RebelRecipes and tag @RebelRecipes



  2-4 servings
  20 minutes preparation time
  1 hr cook time


Roast potatoes ingredients; 
  • 750g  Organic new potatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Bolognese ingredients; 

  • 1 large onion chopped 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 3 cloves garlic sliced 
  • 200g mushrooms finely chopped 
  • 1 red peppers chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds or ground 
  • 1/2 tsp thyme 
  • 1 .5 tablespoon smoked paprika 
  • 75 g walnuts toasted 
  • 1 carrot roughly chopped 
  • 4 sundried tomatoes chopped finely 
  • 1 can tomatoes 
  • 100g dried red spilt lentils rinsed 
  • 500ml water 
  • 1 tsp harissa paste 
  • 1 tbsp tamari or soy 
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar 
  • 1 tsp sea salt 
  • Twist black Pepper 
Tahini dressing; 
  • Juice 1/2 lemon 
  • 1 tbsp tahini 
  • 50 ml water 
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1/2 sea salt 
  • Twist black pepper


  • Fresh thyme
  • Sea salt 
  • Olive oil


To roast the potatoes; 
  1. Pre heat your oven to 180c 
  2. Add the potatoes to a roasting tray (I cut some of the larger ones in half) then toss to coat them on olive oil, garlic powder & salt. Roast for aprox 50- 60 minutes until crispy on the outside.

To make the bolognese;

  1. Add the olive oil & onion to a large pan and heat to a medium heat. Fry for aprox 8-10 minutes until soft and browning.
  2. Add in the garlic, spices and stir for another few minutes, then add in the chopped mushrooms and red peppers and fry for 2-3 minutes. 
  3. Add the walnuts to a pan and fry toast until lightly toasted. Allow to cool a little then add them along with the carrots and sun dried tomatoes to a food processor and blitz to a chunky crumb.
  4. Add the walnut mix to the pan, along with the tomatoes, lentils, water, harissa, balsamic and tamari. 
  5. Simmer for 25 minutes. 
  6. Season with salt, pepper
Tahini dressing; 
  1. Add all the ingredients to a jar and mix to combine


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  1. […] heart-healthy Bolognese packed with tomatoes and red onions is also a fantastic way to up your reds; a fun way to get kids […]

  2. […] heart-healthy Bolognese packed with tomatoes and red onions is also a fantastic way to up your reds; a fun way to get kids […]

  3. Jenny on November 1, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    Hi! This looks delicious but I have a family member who doesn’t like “smoky” things. Can I leave out the smoked paprika? What would you recommend instead if anything? Thanks!

    • Niki on November 11, 2020 at 8:05 am

      Hi Jenny
      I would just use sweet paprika
      Niki xx

  4. James on July 3, 2020 at 8:28 am

    Third was such a deep flavoursome meal, thank you. The tastes lingers long after you have eaten. I added about 250 gsm of Roy’s mince which added to the rich flavours and made it go further. The tahini sauce was a hit and I added some Dijon mustard and a tsp of chilli sauce. The potatoes I cubed, parboilec and fried in olive oil adding smokey paprika and cu in seeds, very cripy;) thanks again, plentl left over for lunches next week!


    • Niki on July 3, 2020 at 2:35 pm

      Fantastic! Happy you like James!
      Niki xxx

  5. Penny Braithwaite on June 15, 2020 at 8:21 pm

    I made this for dinner this evening – it went down really well. Thanks Niki!

    • Niki on June 17, 2020 at 9:06 am

      Hi Penny
      Thats fantastic! So happy you like xxx

  6. Adrian Scorer on June 12, 2020 at 7:09 pm

    Made it twice now lovely. Had celeriac chips with it.. Thanks for the recipes

    • Niki on June 14, 2020 at 11:20 am

      oh love that!
      So happy you like

  7. […] This Smokey Lentil and Walnut Bolognese with Crispy Roast Potatoes is the perfect combination of comfort and delight. […]

  8. […] how about a brand-new recipe – Smokey Lentil and Walnut Bolognese with Crispy Roast Potatoesthe perfect combination of rich, comfort and […]

  9. Caroline Lewis on May 10, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    I LOVED this recipe. So full of flavour, really delicious x

    • Niki on May 11, 2020 at 7:01 pm

      Hi Caroline
      Fantastic! So happy to hear

      Niki xxx

  10. Helene on May 4, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    Loved this recipe – whole family ate it as bolognese on top of pasta. I might not pulse the mushrooms so much next time as it ended up blending too much in the sauce and I would like a bit more chunks but it was a definite keeper. Thank you!

    • Niki on May 5, 2020 at 9:33 am

      Hi Helene
      Brilliant, so happy you liked it.

      Much love, Niki xxx

  11. Tammi Cummings on May 2, 2020 at 12:27 am

    I had all these ingredients at the bottom of the fridge, ( including the walnuts)and I must say, it went down a storm! The flavours are Spanish and the potatoes like patatas bravas-really, really delicious. Next time, I might use the bolognese to make a lasagne ( I have some red lentil dried ‘lasagne’ sheets).
    What I especially like about this fish is how nutritious it is, omega 3’s from the walnuts and complete proteins-FAB!

    • Niki on May 2, 2020 at 8:34 am

      Hi Tammi
      Fantastic, so happy to hear you liked it.
      Love your lasagne idea!
      Niki xxx

  12. Graham Webb on April 30, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    This was really good. As it’s vegetarian can I say treemendous?

    • Niki on May 1, 2020 at 7:57 am

      Thanks Graham
      Niki xx

  13. h t on April 26, 2020 at 4:56 pm

    the dressing is not white, how come the pic has a white dressing please?

    • Niki on April 27, 2020 at 8:54 am

      Mine is very light brown/ white.
      Are you using very dark tahini?
      Niki xxx

  14. Paula on April 23, 2020 at 8:52 pm

    Hi Niki, I just made the bolognese and used it to stuff some aubergines. It was delicious! I’ll have the leftovers with pasta tomorrow. Thank you for all the ideas 🙂

    • Niki on April 24, 2020 at 9:54 am

      That sounds amazing xxx

    • Myriam D on June 12, 2020 at 10:59 pm

      Amazing idea!!

  15. angelique on April 20, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    Looks delicious! Could I leave out the harissa, or is there a nonspicy substitute for my 2yo (who doesn’t like spice)? Thank you!

    • Niki on April 20, 2020 at 8:44 pm

      Of course, will be great without:)
      Niki xxx

  16. Michelle on April 19, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    How big are your cans of tomatoes? They come in different sizes in the US and I’m wondering what size to use. Thanks!

    • Niki on April 20, 2020 at 8:44 pm

      Of course! Its 400g
      Niki xxx

      • Kim on November 7, 2020 at 3:30 pm

        Hi Niki. Another American here. Wondering if the tin of tomatoes are whole, diced, pureed, crushed? We have a lot of choices here and want to check first. Thank you!

        • Niki on November 11, 2020 at 8:06 am

          I used crushed
          Much love, Niki xxx

  17. Tayah on April 18, 2020 at 8:09 pm

    Are the red lentils cooked or dried?

    • Niki on April 19, 2020 at 8:16 am

      Hi Tayah
      They are red dried split lentils xxxx

      • Cat on December 15, 2020 at 5:16 am

        we love this in our house. I have trialled roasting the red pepper capsicum first to see if it adds more flavour. Hopefully just as good if not better!

        • Niki on December 16, 2020 at 9:31 am

          So happy you love it! xxx

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