Tomato Lentil Spaghetti

Tomato Lentil Spaghetti

This kid-friendly dinner is made from pantry staples, like canned diced tomatoes, tomato paste, lentils, and whole wheat spaghetti. Smoked paprika and ground cumin create a smoky, flavorful sauce that pairs perfectly with rich, earthy tomatoes and are an unexpected twist from usual oregano and basil.

Prep Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans petite diced tomatoes, with juice*
  • 1 cup dried green or brown lentils, rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 16 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)


    1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until vegetables have softened.

    2. Add the paprika and cumin, and cook for 30 seconds until just fragrant. Then add the tomato paste and cook another minute, stirring.

    3. Add the canned tomatoes with juice, lentils, and water then reduce heat to low. Cook for 30 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until lentils are cooked through. Stir in the salt.

    4. While the sauce is simmering, bring another large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta, and cook until just al dente according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.

    5. Add the cooked pasta to the lentil sauce along with ¼ cup of pasta water. Toss, coating the pasta with sauce until well mixed. If needed, add in more pasta water, 2 tablespoons at a time until achieve desired consistency.

    6. If desired, sprinkle on parmesan cheese right before serving.


*If you can’t find canned petite diced tomatoes, regular canned diced tomatoes will work.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

2½ cups

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 474Total Fat: 7.6gSaturated Fat: 1.1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 439mgCarbohydrates: 88.5gFiber: 13.3gSugar: 9.0gProtein: 20.2g

Recipe by Alexandra Caspero MA, RD, author, chef and owner of Delish Knowledge and co-founder of Plant-Based Juniors.

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