Italian Pasta with Lentils

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1 tbsp Olive oil plus more for drizzling
1 Onion small, diced
2 cloves Garlic minced
⅓ cup Diced tomatoes or 8 cherry tomatoes, cut in halves, or 1 extra tbsp tomato paste
2 Bay leaf
1 ¼ cups Lentils dried brown, or green, rinsed
¼ tsp Cumin ground
1 tbsp Tomato paste
5 cups Vegetable broth plus more if needed
⅛ tsp Black pepper plus more to taste
Fine Salt to taste
1 ¼ cups Pasta short pasta shapes, ditalini, elbows, orecchiette, mezzi rigatoni
Optional toppings:
Chili flakes to taste
Parsley to taste chopped

Nutritional information

  • Optional toppings:

Italian Pasta with Lentils


Italian Pasta with Lentils is a staple of Neapolitan cuisine. Naples is famous all over the world for its exquisite cuisine, and this recipe showcases the combination of pasta and lentils better than any other. This deeply satisfying Italian pasta is brimming with flavor. It is flavored with bay leaves, black pepper, and cumin. Cumin is a classic addition to Mediterranean dishes, and I find adding a pinch offers a flavor that people enjoy but can’t distinctly identify. Not to mention, this recipe uses only vegan ingredients, and you need only one pot to make it.

The best part, though? This vegan recipe is beyond simple. First, you slightly cook onions, garlic, and tomatoes. And then you just add in all of the ingredients by following the steps below, including the uncooked pasta, and cook until the pasta is al dente. In doing so, the starch from pasta is released into the cooking liquid and creates a creamy and rich sauce. Actually, the sauce is so creamy you won’t believe there is no butter in this recipe.

To make the Italian Pasta with Lentils, you will need the following ingredients:

Ingridiens for Italian Pasta with Lentils

Steps to make Italian Pasta with Lentils


Sauté onion


In a large pot over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and add 1 diced onion. Sauté for 3 minutes.


Add garlic, tomatoes, and bay leaves


Add 2 minced cloves garlic, 8 halved cherry tomatoes, and 2 bay leaves and cook for 1 minute more. If using canned tomatoes add them along with the ingredients listed in the step below.


Add lentils, cumin, tomato paste, broth, and pepper


Add in 1 ¼ cups dried lentils, ¼ teaspoon ground cumin, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 5 cups vegetable broth, and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper.




Increase the heat and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are soft.


Add in pasta and salt


Taste and adjust salt if needed. Add in 1 ¼ cups pasta and cook gently, stirring frequently, until al dente. If it seems too thick, add a touch of water or broth to thin to desired consistency. Taste and adjust more seasoning if needed.



Serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil, chopped parsley, freshly ground black pepper, or chili flakes and enjoy!

Travel around the world without leaving your kitchen with this Italian Pasta with Lentils recipe! It is packed with nutrients and flavor. Made it? Let us know in the comments below!

Nina dreams of gender equality and for women all over the world to feel empowered and enjoy the same freedom she has. She’s a careful consumer, believing that by being more conscious about the way we live we can make the world a better place! Already a vegetarian, she uses animal products sparingly and tries to produce as little waste as possible. Most of her recipes are vegan as a result!

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I love Italian comfort food. Thanks for sharing!

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