Slow Cooker Lentil Bolognese with Creamy Polenta

You can veganise a bolognese with almost any veggies given the right sauce and seasonings. But if you want to Aussify it as well, best grab your Vegemite.

Preparation time Prep: 20 mins
cook 50 mins
cook 8 hours

You will need:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ onion, finely diced
  • 1 large stick celery, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 zucchini, finely diced
  • 200 g mushrooms, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 700 g tomato passata
  • 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons Vegemite, dissolved in 1 cup water
  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs
  • 250 g instant polenta
  • 2 cups plant-based milk (e.g. soy or almond)
  • 2 cups water or vegetable stock
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
Photography: Chris Middleton


  • 1Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook onion, celery, carrot, zucchini, mushrooms and garlic for 3-4 minutes or until soft. Add red wine and cook until most of the liquid evaporates.
  • 2Transfer to slow cooker and add all other ingredients.
  • 3Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until lentils are soft (add more water if required).
  • 4To make polenta, bring almond milk and water to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Gradually whisk in polenta and salt. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until mixture thickens and polenta is soft (i.e. no longer has a grainy texture). Stir through nutritional yeast, if using.
  • 5Divide polenta among bowls and top with bolognese. Garnish with parsley and serve.
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