Vegan Lentils with Spicy Tomato Sauce

Simple but delicious vegan lentils with spicy tomato sauce. This is a recipe we make multiple times a week. It’s the best healthy, vegan, satisfying dinner! 

Lentils 1

Happy Thursday – how’s your week going? We had some staff work days this week at school which was great – I got tons of stuff done and feel totally prepared for summer school to start Monday! It’s just for three weeks in June and only in the morning, so I knew it’d be just enough to keep me busy but not stress me out before the wedding is finally here. Part of me is really sad the regular school year is over because my best friend I met at work this year is moving and won’t be at our school next year. There’s just something about making friends at work and seeing them daily, especially doing something like teaching, it develops a very close bond so I’m super upset she’s leaving. She’s such a kind, genuine, caring person and I feel like we were definitely meant to meet and become great friends. We met too late for her to be a bridesmaid, but she’ll actually be doing a reading during our wedding ceremony! Luckily we’ve got our millions of choices as far as technology to stay in touch in the meantime, so I’m just trying to stay grateful/appreciative of that. I’m also really blessed to work with a ton of great people, so I won’t be without good company still!! Change is hard, but one thing that won’t change is my love for these vegan lentils with spicy tomato sauce.

It’s the first week of a new month so I’ve got another savory recipe for you! These simple lentils have great hearty, earthy flavor and are a great satisfying, vegan dinner. I am totally addicted to spicy food and have a super high spice tolerance, so we love ours with a spicy tomato sauce that doesn’t even have to be cooked! Told you it was easy.

Lentils 4

Lentils are one of our favorite bases for dinners, because they’re so easy to make and don’t take a really long time. Lentils are fantastic for your health – they have a lot of fiber which is great for digestion/if you have any bowel trouble (lolz), are great for heart health, and pack a lot of iron even in small servings. You can eat a ton for not very many calories, and they’re a great blank slate, a pretty neutral flavor to customize with whatever strong flavors you like! Today we’re going spicy. Plus, they’re super inexpensive! If you’ve never had them before, they’re a legume, like beans, and are smaller than a bean but larger than quinoa. When cooked they tend to thicken up and take on a great hearty and thick texture.

The ratio we use (to make two LARGE portions) is 1 and 1/2 cups dry lentils to about 3 and 1/2 cups of water, and you just bring it to a boil with the lid on, then reduce to medium heat and cook it uncovered for about 30 minutes, until the water is almost completely absorbed and the lentils are nice and thick. We cook ours with a whole chopped onion and a lot of garlic added, but again add as much of each of those as you like, too. This recipe is very forgiving, so feel free to play around with amounts! While the lentils are cooking we make our giant side of broccoli, which we have every night regardless of what main dish we’re having. Then on to the sauce!

Lentils 2

This spicy tomato sauce is seriously one of my favorite things we make, and we make it all the time. We tend to go crazy with it because Joe loves hot food too, but like I said start slowly if you’re a little more sensitive to the heat. The sauce is simply crushed tomatoes (read the ingredients on the can! Make sure there’s no added ingredients/sweetener), spices to your taste, and some water to thin it out. We always add a stevia packet and it takes it over the top, making the sauce spicy with just a hint of sweetness – it’s seriously too good. AND the sauce doesn’t have to be cooked! Hooray for fewer pans/dishes, always.

Once the lentils are cooked and ready, top them with the sauce and dig in. We typically put nutritional yeast on top too, like on this favorite of ours, and that little bit of cheesy-ness really puts the flavors over the top.

Lentils 3

These vegan lentils with spicy tomato sauce are the perfect quick, easy dinner that’ll definitely satisfy and keep you full! Not to mention all the health benefits involved, which is of course a necessity but just a plus for the amazing flavor of these lentils. We eat this exact recipe like, 3 times a week, so you can trust that they’re legit.

If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes/what you think! Take a picture and tag me @beamingbanana on Instagram. Happy baking!

Vegan Lentils with Spicy Tomato Sauce

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 2 bowls


  • Lentils:
  • 1 1/2 c dry lentils
  • 3 1/2 c water
  • 1 chopped red onion
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • Spicy tomato sauce:
  • Half a can of unsweetened, crushed tomatoes (we get a 28 oz. can and use half for one night of sauce)
  • Pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Garlic powder
  • Stevia
  • Water


  1. Add lentils to a saucepan with 4 c water, chopped onion, and garlic. Bring to a boil with the lid on, then reduce to medium heat and cook uncovered for bout 30 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed.
  2. While the lentils are cooking, mix up the tomato sauce. Pour half of the can of crushed tomatoes into a bowl and add spices to your taste. We like it extra spicy so we use a special Korean red pepper powder, but red pepper flakes do just fine too!
  3. Once the spices are added, add some water to thin the sauce just a little bit until you like the consistency.
  4. When the lentils are ready, serve with tomato sauce and top with nutritional yeast and a big old side of broccoli! That's how we do it at least 🙂