Tomato sauce is good. But it is so much better when it’s loaded with Lentils and lots of veggies! This sauce served over some Zucchini Zoodles is to Live for!

Before transitioning to a Whole Food Plant-based lifestyle, I never imagined eating tomato sauce without pasta. But little did I know how much I was missing out on until I tried Zucchini Zoodles. What better way to replace pasta than with whole food that is free from flour and added salt.

This sauce is full of veggies making it perfect for sneaking veggies to those who may not like veggies as much.  My kiddos never know that they are eating onions, garlic, and mushrooms.  I like to call it “sneaking veggies by any means”. 

Herbs and spices are truly the spice of life!  Cooking oil-free and salt-free does not mean that the food has to be bland.  It is all about the blend of herbs and spices!

This delicious sauce was inspired and adapted from Dreena Burton’s book Plant-Powered Families.  It has become one of our family’s main staples to have on hand for a tasty and filling meal.

This Lentil Tomato Sauce is delicious over Zoodles, but it is also just as delicious over your favorite noodles, potatoes, rice, or even greens.  So what are you waiting for?  Make this delicious sauce and it will sure to please even the pickiest veggie eater.  Enjoy!

Watch “How To” Video

Lentil Tomato Sauce with Zoodles

Lentil Tomato Sauce loaded with lots of veggies and flavor!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Servings 8 servings


Ingredients for Blender (Tomato Sauce Base)

  • 3 oz Smoked Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • 14 oz can Canned Petite Diced Tomatoes, Unsalted
  • 1 oz Garlic Cloves (about 8 cloves)
  • 1 cup Julienne Carrots
  • 1 large Onion (quartered)
  • 1 cup White Button Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke, Mesquite

Remainder Ingredients for Instant Pot

  • 2 cups Red Lentil, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbsp Italian Herbs
  • 1 Tbsp Oregano, dried
  • 2 Tbsp Onion Powder, unsalted
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic Powder, unsalted
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle Blend
  • 2 Tbsp Chilli Powder, Unsalted
  • 1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/3 cup Quick "Steel-Cut" Oats
  • 5 cups Water
  • Tomato Sauce Base from above

Simmer Ingredients


  • large Zucchini, uncooked (3-4) depending on how many being served
  • Sprializer

Optional Garnishments

  • to taste Basil Leaves, Fresh
  • to taste Italian Parm Link below in "Recipe Notes"


  • To a blender add the Smoked Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Diced Tomatoes, Onions, Mushrooms, Garlic, Carrots, Liquid Smoke, Fennel Seeds, and Water. Blend until smooth and set aside.
  • Rinse and drain thoroughly the Red Lentils and transfer to the Instant Pot. Add the remaining herbs and spices, along with the Steel Cut Oats, additional Water, and the Tomato Sauce from the blender to the Instant Pot (IP). DO NOT ADD THE Balsamic Vinegar and Nutritional Yeast at this point. Give the pot a quick stir thru. Engage the lid and ensure the valve is sealed. Cook for 20 minutes on the "Manual/Pressure Cook" mode.
  • Allow the IP to release the pressure naturally for 10 minutes. Afterward, remove the lid and add the Balsamic Vinegar and Nutritional Yeast. Stir until all of the ingredients are thoroughly mixed well. Return the lid back to the pot and allow the sauce to simmer another 20 minutes. This will allow all of the flavors to blend and the sauce to thicken.
  • While the sauce is simmering, spiralize the desired amount of Zoodles. Rinse and dry the Zucchini. Trim both of the ends off. Then cut them into about 4-5 inch pieces. Spiralize the amount desired and plate. I prefer to allow the heat of the sauce to warm the Zoodles. But if desired they can be microwaved for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the desired amount of Lentil Tomato Sauce to the Zoodles. Garnish with the Italian Parm and Basil if desired. Enjoy!


Click here for Italian Parm link 
Storage:  The Lentil Tomato Sauce will keep in tightly sealed glass jars in the fridge for 5-7 days.    I am sure that it will freeze well too, but it never lasts that long around my house.  🙂
STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS:  Blend all of the Tomato Sauce ingredients in a blender and set aside.   Add the lentils, spices, steel-cut oats, additional water, and blended tomato sauce to a large pot. Give a quick stir thru. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring frequently until the lentils are soft. Then stir in the Balsamic Vinegar and the Nutritional Yeast thoroughly. Allow the sauce to simmer on low heat for an additional 15 minutes. Serve and Enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Rebecca says:

    Thank you so much! This receipt is delicious! I love all the spices and the fact that it makes so much. I didn’t have any instant steel cut oats, so I subbed rolled oats that I had on hand and it turned out great. This will be on regular rotation 🙂

    1. Faith Scott says:

      Hey Rebecca,
      So glad to hear you enjoyed the Lentil Tomato Sauce w. Zoodles! Yes, this recipe is perfect for batch prepping.
      Thanks for stopping by have a super plant-powered day!

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