Instant Pot Lentil Bolognese Sauce

This Lentil Bolognese Sauce can be made in no time with the help of your Instant Pot.

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Instant Pot Lentil Bolognese Sauce can be made in no time with the help of your electric pressure cooker. Plus, it’s vegetarian and packed with protein & fiber.

Instant Pot Lentil Bolognese Sauce can be made in no time with the help of your electric pressure cooker. It's vegetarian and packed with protein & fiber. I’m always on the lookout for ways to eat more pasta while still keeping my nutrition a bit on track too… That’s because I could seriously eat pasta every single day of my life…

I recently passed by a question on Facebook where someone asked: “If you could only eat three foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?”

I started off on the right foot:

  1. Poke
  2. Ceviche

And then, my carb-loving, half Italian-blooded self came through:

3.   Pasta 

Seriously, I think I lived my entire high-school life eating pasta every day… My nana lived next door, and every day after school she would walk us over some of her pasta with sauce. So it’s only habit…

Here’s a pasta recipe that makes me feel a little better about things. It’s vegetarian, packed with fiber and nutrients, and even the pasta is gluten free. And, I made it all with the help of my Instant Pot. It seems whenever I’m cooking bean-based dishes lately, I always use the Instant Pot – It saves so much time, and I love how hands-free it makes the cooking process.

Instant Pot Lentil Bolognese Sauce can be made in no time with the help of your electric pressure cooker. It's vegetarian and packed with protein & fiber.

This Instant Pot Lentil Bolognese is loaded with veggies – Crimini mushrooms, carrots, celery, and tomatoes… And of course, I had to a glug or two of red wine…

Even though the Instant Pot makes things quicker, this lentil bolognese sauce will still take about 40 minutes from start to finish… Leaving you plenty of time to drink remaining red wine and start your pasta…

I cooked up a box of Barilla Gluten Free Penne for this recipe. It’s very similar in taste and texture to “regular” pasta and is make with non-GMO corn and rice. It’s a hearty pasta that stands up well to the lentil bolognese.

Instant Pot Lentil Bolognese Sauce can be made in no time with the help of your electric pressure cooker. It's vegetarian and packed with protein & fiber.

I like to serve this Instant Pot Lentil Bolognese over the pasta in big bowls topped with plenty of fresh grated Pecorino Romano cheese and a sprinkling of fresh basil. Highly suggested for not only Meatless Monday, but any day of the week..

This Lentil Bolognese Sauce can be made in no time with the help of your Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Lentil Bolognese Sauce

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 400 kcal
Author: Erin

This Lentil Bolognese Sauce can be made in no time with the help of your Instant Pot.

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Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 stalk celery finely chopped
  • 2 carrots finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped Crimini mushrooms
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 1 cup dried lentils rinsed
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • Dash red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Coarse salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound Barilla Gluten Free Penne cooked
  • Pecorino Romano cheese grated or shaved
  • Fresh basil chopped (optional)

Instructions

  1. Press the Sauté function key on your Instant Pot and heat the olive oil. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Keep the lid off and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the onions are clear and the vegetables are soft.
  2. Add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft and have released some liquid and the garlic is fragrant. Add the tomato paste and stir to incorporate, let brown for 2-3 minutes. Add the red wine and stir, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, let evaporate.
  3. Add the lentils, tomatoes, water, and spices to the Instant Pot, close the steam release knob and set to manual for 20 minutes. Now is a good time to cook your pasta. When the Lentil Bolognese sauce is done cooking, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve over cooked pasta and top with grated cheese and fresh basil.

Wine Pairings for Instant Pot Lentil Bolognese Sauce: 

  • Try an authentic Italian red wine with this hearty lentil bolognese –  Chianti, Barolo and Teroldego are all great options.

Instant Pot Lentil Bolognese Sauce can be made in no time with the help of your electric pressure cooker. It's vegetarian and packed with protein & fiber.

Look for Barilla Gluten Free Pasta at your local Kroger store. And, be sure to click here for a coupon.

This Lentil Bolognese Sauce can be made in no time with the help of your Instant Pot.

Looking for more Instant Pot recipes? Be sure to try these too:

INSTANT POT SALSA CHICKEN TACO LETTUCE WRAPS

Instant Pot Salsa Chicken Taco Lettuce Wraps can be made in just 20 minutes with the help of your electric pressure cooker and five simple ingredients. | platingsandpairings.com

INSTANT POT CHEESY SOUTHWESTERN LENTILS & BROWN RICE

This Instant Pot recipe for Cheesy Southwestern Lentils & Brown Rice is the perfect quick vegetarian weeknight dinner recipe that's perfect for Meatless Monday! Hearty lentils and brown rice combine with southwestern spices, tomatoes, peppers & plenty of melty cheese! | platingsandpairings.com

INSTANT POT RED BEANS & RICE

Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice is a traditional New Orleans recipe made with smoked sausage, red beans and cajun seasoning. Plus, with the help of your pressure cooker there's no soaking the beans, meaning that this delicious dinner can be on your table in under an hour! | platingsandpairings.com

INSTANT POT CHICKEN PHO

This Instant Pot Chicken Pho makes the traditional Vietnamese chicken noodle soup easy to make at home in around 30 minutes with the help of your pressure cooker. | platingsandpairings.com

 

13 comments

  1. Catherine @ Ten Thousand Hour Mama

    As a mostly vegetarian, I like lentils, though 95% of the time I use them in soup. I should mix it up and try this – sounds like a delicious sauce!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks Catherine – I’m a huge fan of lentils and have noticed that this blog is become overwhelmed with all the lentil recipes lately!!! Do you have any favorite soup recipes that you enjoy with them?

      Reply

  2. Meg

    This makes me want to get an Instant Pot! Love the idea of a bolognese made with lentils – such a great vegetarian option. I’m going to keep this in mind for the future.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I absolutely LOVE my Instant Pot and find myself using it so much more than I thought I would.

      Reply

  3. Renee @ The Good Hearted Woman

    It is finally starting to cool off, and I’m ready to pull my Instant Pot off the pantry shelf again. This looks delicious, Erin,

    Reply

  4. Jasmine

    I don’t have an instant pot, so I made this recipe on the stove. The flavor was right on, but for some reason, my lentils never became fully tender ( I bought the lentils today and ended up simmering the sauce for an hour). When I make this recipe again, I will increase the amount of mushrooms and minimize or eliminate the lentils.. I enjoyed the excuse to open a bottle of wine when the recipe only called for 1/3 cup 😉

    Reply

  5. Catherine

    This looks amazing! I was curious if you had any suggestions for a mushroom substitute? Thank you!

    Reply

  6. PATRICIA GROVENGER

    As a Weight Watchers, I seem to love all the recipes, but wish you had nutritional counter menu..

    Reply

  7. Christina

    I was very disappointed, I took all the time to prepare the meal and then got the “burn” error message on my instant pot. Thought maybe it was b/c I didn’t quite scrape everything off the bottom initially. Scraped it, added 1 cup broth to make sure there was enough liquid, tried again, and got the “burn” error message again. What a waste of 90 minutes.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I’m so sorry to hear that Christina! I’ve never gotten a “burn” message on my Instant Pot… I’ve heard of others having this problem too though. No idea what might be causing it… I’m going to do some research!

      Reply

  8. Vicki

    Delicioso! I didn’t have any celery, tomato paste or basil (used dried oregano), but this still turned out very well. (No burning. I have the impression that Instant Pots may not all be calibrated equally.) I will certainly check out your other IP recipes.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      So happy to hear that Vicki! I’m in love with my IP!

      Reply

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