Lentil & Mushroom Ragu


This is a lovely meat-free Monday meal or a comforting, warming dish for a cosy night in. It is quick to make with simple ingredients and results in a complete, nourishing meal.

serves 6


tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
250g chestnut mushrooms
150g puy lentils (see tip)
400g can tinned tomatoes
150g cherry tomatoes, halved
60ml red wine
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp mixed dried herbs
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1 square good quality dark chocolate, chopped (optional)


Preheat oven to 150ºC

Heat the oil in a large oven proof casserole dish and cook the onion, carrot and celery over a low heat until soft and translucent, this will take around 10-15 minutes.  Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for a further 4-5 minutes.

Add the lentils, then tip in the tinned tomatoes. Fill the tin with water and add to the pan along with another half tin of water. Add the cherry tomatoes, red wine, tomato puree, dried herbs and bay leaf then season well.

Bring to the boil over a medium heat then turn down and simmer for 5 minutes. Put the lid on and cook for 2 hours in the oven then remove the lid, add the chocolate (if using) and cook for a further 30 minutes.

To cook in a slow cooker:

Add all ingredients, except the chocolate, to your slow cooker along with 800ml water. Cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Stir in the chocolate and cook for a further 20-30 minutes.



If you can’t get hold of puy lentils, green lentils will also work. 

If the ragu seems too watery once cooked in the slow cooker, mix 1 tbsp corn flour with a splash of water and add to the ragu, stir and cook for a few minutes more until thickened. 

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