15-Minute Lentil Tomato Pasta

15-minute lentil tomato pasta. A quick, easy and nutritious weeknight dinner recipe made with 3 ingredients. All you need is pasta, canned lentils and your favorite store-bought pasta sauce. The lentils add fiber and protein, plus make the sauce hearty and filling.

lentil tomato pasta on a plate

A quick and easy recipe that’s perfect for busy weeknights. This is one of my go-to meals when I don’t feel like cooking and need something on the table in 15 minutes. This is less of a recipe and more of an idea. You can make it your own by using your favorite pasta and pasta sauce. Adjust the amount of sauce to your liking and serve it with your favorite toppings.

All you need for the base of this recipe is 3 ingredients and 15 minutes (or the time that it takes to cook your pasta). It can also be made into a one-pot meal!

Tomato Lentil Pasta Ingredients:

  • Pasta: Use your favorite pasta. I love using whole wheat pasta or white pasta with added fiber, but regular white pasta is great as well. You could also use chickpea or lentil pasta for extra fiber and protein.
  • Tomato Sauce: I always use big jars of pasta sauce from Costco. If you’re using smaller jars, make sure to use less pasta or use two jars. You can easily adjust the amount of sauce and pasta to make this recipe more or less saucy.
  • Lentils: This recipe is made with canned lentils for a convenient option. If you want to use dried lentils, check out the FAQ section below.

Suggested Toppings and Add-Ins:

  • For a cheesy topping: I love serving this pasta with nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan. You can use your favorite cheese or cheese alternative.
  • For added vegetables: You can add spinach and cook it with the sauce. If you don’t mind the extra step, you can also cook some vegetables in a saucepan with a bit of oil, then stir them into the sauce. I love using mushrooms, but zucchini and bell peppers would work great too. Fresh herbs, like chopped basil or thyme are also delicious when added to the sauce.

How to Make a Quick Tomato Lentil Pasta Dish:

Here are the simple steps that you need to make this 15-minute tomato lentil pasta recipe.

  1. Cook the Pasta

    Start by cooking the pasta according to the package’s instructions.

  2. Prepare the Other Ingredients

    While the pasta is cooking, open a jar of your favorite pasta sauce and a can of lentils. Drain and rinse the lentils.

  3. Assemble the Ingredients

    Once the pasta is done, drain and return to the pot. Add the pasta sauce and lentils. Stir together and place over medium heat until heated through. Serve with your toppings of choice.

pasta sauce in a jar, plus pasta and lentils in bowls

Lentil Tomato Pasta FAQ:

Can I Use Dry Lentils Instead of Canned?

I don’t recommend using dried lentils in this recipe. These would need to be cooked into the sauce, which wouldn’t have enough liquid. That being said, if it’s all you have and you don’t mind the extra work, you could cook the lentils in another pot with water, following the package’s instructions, then add them to the pasta sauce. Make sure to cook the lentils until soft. And keep in mind that split red lentils don’t hold their shape when cooked, unlike brown or green lentils. Use what you prefer.

Can I Make This Recipe Gluten-Free?

Yes! You can easily make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta.

More Easy Pasta Recipes:

lentil tomato pasta on a plate from the top
hand sprinkling vegan parmesan on lentil tomato pasta

15-Minute Lentil Tomato Pasta

15-minute lentil tomato pasta. A quick, easy and nutritious weeknight dinner recipe made with 3 ingredients. All you need is pasta, canned lentils and your favorite store-bought pasta sauce. The lentils add fiber and protein, plus make the sauce hearty and filling. Keep it simple or add some vegetables and extra toppings!
Course dinner
Cuisine vegan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pack (375g) pasta of choice
  • 1 jar (880ml/30oz) store-bought tomato pasta sauce of choice (see notes)
  • 1 can (540ml/19oz) lentils, drained and rinsed
  • Pepper, to taste (optional)

Instructions

  • Start by cooking the pasta according to the package's instructions.
  • Meanwhile, open the jar of pasta sauce and can of lentils. Drain and rinse the lentils.
  • When the pasta is done cooking, drain and return to the pot. Stir in the sauce and lentils. Place the pot over medium heat and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Alternatively, you can heat the pasta and lentils together in another small pot while the pasta is cooking, then add it to the cooked pasta. This will save you 5 minutes, but will take an extra pot.
  • Serve with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

Notes

I always get the large pasta sauce jars from Costco, which are 880ml. If you use smaller jars (typically around 400ml), use half a box of pasta or use two jars of pasta sauce (or what it takes to get around 880ml). You can easily adjust the sauce and pasta amounts to make it more or less saucy, depending on your preference.
I use a simple tomato basil pasta sauce. Feel free to use your favorite tomato pasta sauce.
This is a basic recipe, but you can easily take it to the next level by adding vegetables. You can keep it simple and stir in some baby spinach and heat it with the pasta until cooked. I also love cooking mushrooms with a bit of oil in a saucepan, then mixing them with the pasta sauce. This would work with other vegetables, such as zucchini, bell peppers and more.
I love topping this pasta with nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan. You can use your favorite cheese or cheese alternative.
For a gluten-free option, use your favorite gluten-free pasta.

If you make this lentil tomato pasta, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love to hear from you guys. And of course, if you try this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram!

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WELCOME!

Nourished by Caroline

I’m Caroline, a registered dietitian located in Kelowna, British Columbia. I focus on plant-based nutrition and intuitive eating. I believe in living a balanced life, while eating the food you love. Learn more about my practice here or book an appointment today!

 

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