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Cauliflower Bolognese with Lentils

Cauliflower Bolognese

A rich, hearty and flavorful easy Cauliflower Bolognese. Feeds a crowd and makes excellent leftovers. The Clever Carrot's Cauliflower Bolognese from The Clever Cookbook. vegetarian or vegan + optionally gluten free. 
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword Cauliflower Bolognese, Healthy Bolognese, Vegetarian Bolognese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 5 -6 Servings
Calories 512kcal
Author Emilie Raffia | Reprinted with Permission by Vanilla And Bean


  • 1 Small Head of Cauliflower
  • 2 Tbs Unsalted Butter sub vegan butter
  • 1 C Diced Onions 160g
  • 1 Clove Garlic grated
  • 2, 28 oz Cans of Whole Plum Tomatoes in thick puree, [794g]
  • 1/2 C Red Lentils uncooked 96g
  • Coarse Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 lb Thin Spaghetti Gluten Free if needed 454g
  • Drizzle of Olive Oil
  • Leaves Handful of Fresh Basil
  • Wedge of Parmesan Cheese for grating


  • Slice the cauliflower in half, removing the thick center core. Cut into large chunks. Add to a food processor, break up the cauliflower into florets. Do not dump all of the cauliflower at once. You'll need to process in batches to create uniform pieces. Pulse the cauliflower, only 1-2 times. It will look crumbly with small florets through-this is perfect. Dump the mixture into a large bowl and repeat this step until you've processed all of the cauliflower.
  • In a large heavy-bottomed pot, warm the butter over low heat. Add the onions and saute' until soft, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the cauliflower to the pot. Increase the heat to medium and continue to cook stirring occasionally until the cauliflower begins to lose its shape and takes on a light golden color, about 5-6 minutes. Grate in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the tomatoes and red lentils. Mix until well combined.
  • Place the lid on top and bring the sauce to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer (covered), for about 30 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for an additional 15 minutes or so, until the cauliflower is tender and the lentils are broken down. The sauce should look thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (See Note)
  • When you're about ready to eat, bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain* (See Note) and return to the pot. Drizzle with olive oil to coat.
  • Portion your hearty cauliflower sauce over the pasta and top with basil leaves and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve.


*I added about 1/2 a cup of pasta water to loosen the sauce a bit. Adjust to taste.
Recipe reprinted with permission from The Clever Cookbook by Emilie Raffa


Calories: 512kcal | Carbohydrates: 94g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 51mg | Potassium: 1141mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1464IU | Vitamin C: 81mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 4mg