Lentil & Barley Bolognese

What better way to bond with mom than in the kitchen? This lentil and barley bolognese is a hearty and flavourful dish that is easy to toss together, it also just so happens to be vegan. Bursting with flavour and chock-full of vegetables, for one very satisfying meal. Perfect to warm up a chilly winters day.

Lentil & Barley Bolognese

Serves 4


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 medium carrots grated
  • 125g brown mushrooms
  • 1 ½tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 x 400g tin crushed tomatoes
  • 1tbsp soya sauce
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • 40ml walnuts, crushed finely
  • ½ cup lentils
  • ½ cup pearl barley
  • 400g Happy Earth People Red Lentil Pasta
  • Nutritional yeast


  1. Cook the lentils and barley in 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 – 25 minutes until soft.
  2. Add olive oil into a large pot and sauté the onion on medium-high heat until the onion becomes soft and translucent, about 2min.
  3. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.
  4. Add the carrots and mushrooms and cook for 12min, stirring frequently – closing the lid of the pot.
  5. Add the thyme, oregano, salt and pepper and cook for 1min.
  6. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2min, stirring frequently until dark in colour.
  7. Pour in the stock and add in the soya sauce, lentil and barley mixture, walnuts, and crushed tomatoes and simmer for 20-25min or until the lentil and barley mixture is soft  but still al dente and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  8. While the Bolognese is cooking boil the pasta until al dente and drain.
  9. Top pasta with Bolognese and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.



About the authors:

Hi! We are Zané and Lara Rossouw, a mother and daughter duo from Stellenbosch with a passion for all things active and creating healthy, wholesome, plant-based recipes. We are both serious runners and therefore love fuelling our runs with superfoods. We started our plant-based food journey, feeling so inspired to share lots of healthy plant-based recipes, both sweet and savoury, perfect for fuelling an active lifestyle.

For more delicious plant-powered recipes like these visit Real Food Runners on Instagram.