Everyone needs an easy marinara sauce recipe in their repertoire. This one is plant-based, gluten-free, and gets a boost of fiber from red lentils.
This vegan marinara sauce is a great substitute for meat-based sauces and is subject to endless variations. You can switch up the seasonings or, if you like things spicy, add some red pepper flakes or replace the green bell pepper with a hotter variety.
How to Serve Marinara Sauce with Red Lentils
Here are just a few ways to use this marinara sauce, but I’m sure you’ll come up with other ideas:
- On top of zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash
- In Shakshuka with Swiss Chard
- As a topping for homemade Cauliflower Pizza Crust or pre-made Cali’flour Foods Cauliflower Crusts (affiliate link)
- As the pasta sauce in Acorn Squash Stuffed with Pasta and Turkey Italian Sausage
You’ll find this recipe and others like it in The Diabetes Cookbook for Electric Pressure Cookers.
Marinara Sauce with Red Lentils (Instant Pot)
Vegan, gluten-free marinara that offers a boost of fiber from red lentils
- 1/2 cup red lentils
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper chopped
- 1 cup low-sodium store-bought vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (28-ounce) carton or can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (14.5-ounce) carton or can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
Pick over the lentils and remove any stones or shriveled lentils. Rinse the lentils in a fine-mesh strainer and drain well.
Set the electric pressure cooker to the Sauté setting. When the pot is hot, pour in the avocado oil.
Add the onion and green pepper to the pot and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften. Hit Cancel.
Add the broth to the pot and scrape up any brown bits. Stir in the tomato paste.
Add the lentils, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes and their juices, bay leaf, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and brown sugar. Stir well.
Close and lock the lid. Turn the pressure valve to sealing.
Cook on high pressure for 13 minutes.
When the cooking is complete, hit Cancel. Allow the pressure to release naturally.
Once the pin drops, unlock and remove the lid.
Season with salt and pepper and stir well.
If the sauce is too thin for your liking, you can either use an immersion blender to blend it to the desired consistency or turn the pot back to Sauté/Less and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens.
Ingredient tip: Lentils come in many different varieties. Red lentils tend to be more delicate than green or brown ones, and they pretty much disintegrate when cooked. This makes them perfect for thickening sauces, soups, and stews.
Serving suggestions: Try this marinara sauce on top of spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles. You can also use it as the pasta sauce in Acorn Squash Stuffed with Pasta and Turkey Italian Sausage or as a topping for Cauliflower Pizza Crust.
Nutrition facts per serving (0.5 cup)