food, recipes

One Pot Creamy Tomato Basil Lentil Pasta

Follow me on instagram @tedisarah for more delicious plant-based food inspiration!

Lentil Pasta

Remember a few months back I did a post on lentil pasta? Lentil pasta is a fantastic food item to add to your cupboard because it’s high in protein, high in iron, high in fiber, full of essential vitamins, a good source of energy, gluten-free and cholesterol free.

However, I forgot to mention in my previous post that most people probably won’t love this pasta plain, without any toppings or sauce. It doesn’t taste the same as white pasta or even rice pasta which are pretty much devoid of nutrients and made only to taste good, not to be healthy. But when lentil pasta is used as the base of a pasta dish with other flavors, I think it’s fantastic. Not to mention it’s better for us and more nutrient dense than any other kind of pasta you can get out there.

So, I decided to give it a whirl as the main part of a one pot pasta dish and it turned out SO good. The way the lentils of the pasta and the other ingredients come together forms a dairy-free creamy, super flavorful sauce. This recipe is so easy and the perfect thing to whip together after a long day.

One Pot Lentil Pasta

One Pot Lentil Pasta

One Pot Creamy Tomato Basil Lentil Pasta
Recipe Type: Dinner
Author: Tedi
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
An easy, delicious and dairy-free creamy one pot pasta dish.
  • 12 ounces organic red lentil pasta
  • 4 1/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1/2 one small-medium size onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 10 leaves fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  1. In a large pot combine all ingredients except basil, salt and pepper. Stir together. Cover pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, still covered, for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
  2. Add salt, pepper and basil leaves. Stir to combine for one minute. Serve hot and enjoy.

This recipe has been inspired by and adapted from the blog Apron Strings.



166 thoughts on “One Pot Creamy Tomato Basil Lentil Pasta

  1. I was so excited to try this with the Trader Joe’s red lentil pasta but it just turned to mush. I followed this exactly and before 10 minutes were up the pasta was too far gone. I should have trusted my gut and not cooked as long, seeing as the package itself for the pasta says only cook 5-6 minutes. Sigh.

  2. Made this for the first time tonight for a ladies dinner party at my church (plus extra for my family). I used red lentil linguini since that was all I saw at walmart. Since those are 8 Oz boxes, I used 2 1/2 boxes and doubled everything else. Honestly making it I had no idea how it was going to turn creamy buy it did and I loved it! Got so many compliments on it too, even from my husband who up til a few weeks ago wouldn’t have touched pasta not made from regular noodles. I did notice the noodles stick a bit to the pan so maybe stir a bit more than regular pasta. Other than that, this was quick and easy to make. Would be easy to add some other veggies to it as well. Definitely making this again!

    1. Hi Angel. I’m glad to hear you liked the recipe – and that your husband liked it too. That’s great! Also glad to hear it turned out “creamy” the way it does when I make it. Have a great day! Thanks so much for this info!

  3. Tried this recipe exactly as written a few weeks ago and thought it was pretty good! I had never tried lentil pasta before this recipe, but I grabbed a bag while I was shopping at Trader Joe’s and it turns out it tastes just like regular pasta! I loved the creaminess of the recipe and I didn’t seem to have any issues with excess liquid, as some other people mentioned above. I did feel like it was a little lacking in spices, but that’s probably just because I like spicy food, haha. Otherwise, it was great! I will probably be making it again, shortly, with some minor tweeks! Thanks!

    1. Hi Chelsea, glad to hear you liked it! Definitely go wild with the spices if you liked spicy food. I like spicy food too! 🙂 Also glad to hear you liked the lentil pasta itself. Thanks for your comment!

  4. I loved this so much! My red lentil pasta came out a bit mushy too. I wonder if it would help if I add in the pasta a bit later.

  5. This looks delicious! I don’t have red lentil pasta on hand, but I have green lentil pasta (TOLERANT brand). Do you think substituting the green for red would make a difference since they’re both made from lentils?

  6. Hi Tedi, I just made this tonight and love it! Do you think sautéing he onion and garlic before adding the other ingredients with emphasize their flavor a bit more and work out for this recipe? I added some fresh spinach to add some more greens and it tasted great!

    1. Hi Lauren! Love the additional of the greens. Sounds delicious! I’m sure it would taste great to do the onion and garlic before. So glad you like the recipe! Thanks for letting me know. 🙂

  7. I’ve made this recipe every week since I first made it. It has so much flavor and is so creamy. I’m obsessed with the red lentil pasta now!! Thank you so much for this recipe!

  8. I found the PERFECT solution for those that cannot find, don’t like, or don’t have on hand red lentil pasta. I used one can of white beans, liquid included, and pureed it with my emulsion blender and one cup of the broth. Then I dumped all of that in the pot and cooked as directed with regular pasta. I cooked the whole pot for 20 minutes and added the pasta for the last 15. This was AMAZING!

      1. It really was great! I had been eyeing this recipe for a while and had all the ingredients, except the pasta. I’m so glad I read all the comments because you said that what makes it creamy is the starch from the lentils. Decided to take a chance and try the starchy beans and it worked like a charm. All the flavors you put in the recipe were delicious! I actually doubled everything because I have a large family. Surprisingly, all the picky eaters devoured it and requested that it be placed on rotation. Clean-up was a breeze, which is a big deal in a family of 6!

        1. Hi Heather! I am so so glad to hear that that your whole family liked it!! That makes me really happy. 🙂 Awesome tip about the beans. Thank you for sharing and for visiting my blog!

  9. Just made this to the tee, only adding the spinach & some nutritional yeast, as some suggested. I used Tru Roots brand of the red lentil penne pasta (sedanini pasta), found in Kroger. Although it’s only a 10oz box, I still added all the liquids. and cooked for the 20 minutes. It did not fall apart, was creamy, and ohhhh SOOO delicious!!!!! Will be a new staple in our household. Next time though, I will double the recipe! Thank you Tedi Sarah 🙂

    1. Hi Cindy!! Your comment made me so happy! I’m so glad that you like it and I so appreciate you taking the time to let me know. Great to hear that the Tru Roots brand lends itself well to this recipe too. Thanks again for taking the time to share this with me! Have a great night. 🙂 (P.S. Don’t worry I was able to get rid of the second comment. 😉 )

  10. I just made this and it is absolutely delicious! I only had 10 oz box of lentil noodles so I only did 4 cups of the broth and it turned out perfectly!

  11. I found that this recipe works better with rotini than it does with penne. It also came out good when I used Trader Joe’s red lentil sedanini. For some odd reason the Tolerant brand red lentil penne falls apart. Still tasty though.

  12. Hi there- was a bit disappointed by the result of this recipe. Followed it exactly and thought to myself “this seems like a lot of liquid” and sure enough it ended up like a weird pot of spaghetti-o’s (albeit tasty ones, flavor was still nice). I used fusilli like a couple other folks did and mine also broke apart every time I stirred, so penne might be the better way to go. I think it was probably unsuccessful because there must have been a difference in starch content of the type of red lentil pasta I used. Was really looking forward to this because my bf is allergic to gluten/ dairy, so next time I’ll probably just add liquid mix as I go until it achieves the right texture, as you would with with a risotto. Hope it will work out next time!

    1. This happened to me too, I just made it and am now eating thick lentil soup 😉 But it still tastes good! Thanks for the recipe Tedi. I’ll try what you said Olivia and next time add the liquid mix as I go until I reach the right texture.

  13. Hi there! So I read one of the comments where they used nutritional yeast and I like that idea however I have never used it before. Would you add it in while it cooks or afterward like a topping and how much would you use?
    Thank you so much for the help 😊

    1. Hi Brittany! So when I use nutritional yeast I use it as a topping, like parmesan cheese would be used. I just sprinkle it on top once it’s already done being cooked and ready to be served. Hope that helps. Thanks for stopping by!

  14. First off, thank you for this recipe. I finally got around to making it. I love Trader Joe’s lentil pasta, but if you don’t dress it up, it can be a little unsatisfying in terms of texture. Well, not anymore! Mine turned out so creamy and the pasta tasted like real pasta (the bad, yet addictive wheat kind). The only thing I added was a little nutritional yeast in the bowl like Parmesan. That made it even yummier! I also spiced it up a tad with red chili flakes.

    I have left overs for tomorrow and I’ve decided to skip the basil leaves and add green peas. The basil I bought is overpowering and, quite truthfully, it distracts from the creaminess of the dish (IMO). Next time I make it, I will use dry basil.

    Really delicious!

    1. Hi Mary. Thank you for your comment! So glad you liked this recipe. Nutritional yeast is always a delicious addition on pasta – good thinking! I’ll add that next time too. 🙂

  15. I was a little hesitant to make this because of the comments about it not being creamy, but whoa. I followed the recipe and it turned out perfectly. It’s super creamy! Love it! Thank you!!

  16. Hi! I just loved how simple and wonderful this recipe was! I had a question about how to make it creamy, is there another ingredient I forgot about? Mine was still very liquidy and not as flavorful as I was hoping for. Thank you!

    1. Hi Laura! What makes it creamy is the starch from the lentil pasta mixing with the other ingredients. My suggestion would be trying to cook it a little longer if the liquid and starch weren’t making a creamy texture. Otherwise I’m not quite sure what happened there. Thanks for trying it out!

  17. This looks so delicious. I love the way it is one pot. I’ll have to go and get some lentil pasta, so much more nutritious which is a bonus. I would eat pasta every day if I let myself, so a healthier option is good. Thanks for sharing.

  18. My son selected this to try for dinner and helped me cook. We made a few changes to fit in with our WFPB diet and to help feed a teenage boy. We added a couple more ounces of pasta, omitted the oil, used 2 cans of diced tomatoes with basil and oregano (adjusting the basil and oregano already called for), and added fresh spinach and red pepper flakes. I was surprised at how creamy this turned out. We all enjoyed it and will be putting it our in regular rotation of meals.

    1. Hi Angela! So glad to hear you were able to adjust the recipe to meet your needs and that it still turned out creamy. And I’m so glad to hear you all enjoyed it! Puts a smile on my face. 🙂 Thanks so much for visiting my blog and for taking the time to leave this comment!

  19. […] One pot pasta (avec des pâtes de lentilles corail à la tomate) (la recette est en anglais, donc si vous ne lisez pas l’anglais, vous pouvez retrouvez la liste des ingrédients en français ci-dessous ; et même si vous lisez l’anglais, toutes les quantités sont exprimées en « ounces » et « cups » dans la recette, donc j’ai également converti les quantités en grammes) : […]

  20. Hi Tedi, I made this recipe tonight and it was really good! I love spicy dishes so I was wondering what you’d recommend to spice this up?

    1. Hi Annie! Thanks for reaching out and trying this recipe! I’m so glad you like it. I love spicy food too but haven’t tried to spice up this recipe before. My first idea would be to try crushed red peppers! If you do let me know how it turns out. xo, Tedi

  21. I made this recipe tonight and it was so easy and great tasting! My husband and I have been looking for higher protein meals and this totally hit the mark. So many types of “pasta” these days! I’m also thankful for reading the post that said it becomes creamy as I would’ve been very concerned otherwise! Thx Tedi!

    1. Hi Julie! I haven’t tried it in a crock pot, so I’m not sure. My only concern would be the noodles becoming too soggy, but it may be worth a try. If you do try it in a crock pot please let us know how it turns out!

  22. So good! I made this tonight. It was very easy however I was not able to find red lentil pasta so I used quinoa pasta instead. I also added a splash of almond milk and some broccoli. Thank you for sharing.

  23. I was not expecting my recipe to be thick and creamy like the picture, but it absolutely was!!! I added mushrooms, spinach and a touch of nutritional yeast and it was amazing! Thank you so much for this recipe, it is a keeper according to my husband!

  24. Love love love this recipe! My toddler loves pasta. This was a great way to sneak some veggies (legumes?) into her tummy. She gobbled it up, as did my husband and I. Thank you so much!

  25. Tastes delicious!
    Only thing is my noodles were very soggy, didn’t turn out like your picture. I used red lentil penne pasta. I only let it simmer for 15 minutes before noticing the noodles looked way over done. Next time I’ll only let it simmer for less time.

      1. Hello Tedi,

        Just wondering if I used a gluten free penne pasta instead, do you think itd still get creamy? I read other comments and know the creaminess comes from the starch in the lentil, but i just have the gluten free penne on hand instead.

        Thanks in advance!

        1. Hi Vanessa, I’m not sure how it would turn out in terms of creaminess. But it should taste good either way, even if it doesn’t seem as creamy as it would. Sometimes other types of gf pasta break up really easy when being cooked, so depending on what your pasta is made out of that might happen. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I hope you like the recipe. 🙂

    1. Hi Sandra, I’m not sure if it will be enough to achieve the same texture, but I’m sure it’ll taste great nonetheless. I’ve made other one pot pasta recipes using regular pasta and it was great!

  26. I love this recipe. A new go-to in my house. Quick, easy, one-pot…will be using a lot when school starts. My husband did not even realize I had used lentil pasta. And it was truly creamy. Delicious.

  27. Great flavor. My pasta started sticking to the bottom of pan immediately. Next time I will bring to boil first , then add pasta. I had to stir frequently, but thats fine. I added mushrooms and zucchini to make it a one dish dinner. I had a bit extra sauce but my pasta box was only 8 ozs, and added extra tomatoes, so I expected that. Overall, great recipe. Will make again. Thanks!

  28. I have a very restricted diet, low fat for my gallbladder, vegetarian, and now my body has zero tolerance for dairy. This was exactly what I have been craving! It came out more like soup, but I did not use the right noodles. The flavors were great, I will be adding this one to my new recipe book thank you!

  29. I have been staring at this recipe for ages (my fiancé MUST have meat in his meals) so its taken me a while to figure out how to incorporate this as a dinner for us.
    Fiancee finally suggested that we make the pasta as a side and eat with steaks and veggies, so we are giving it a try tonight.
    I couldn’t find exactly red lentil pasta so I am going to try organic and GF Lentil & Quinoa super grain pasta. I am allergic to dairy so I am hoping it will still give me that creamy texture! I will be back to let you (and the other comment readers like me) how it turned out!

    1. Hi Alix, I hope it worked out with the lentil and quinoa pasta! I know some comments have said that with other pastas it doesn’t turn out as “creamy” but I’m hoping yours did. And no matter what pasta is used it seems to taste good, no matter what the texture is. 🙂

  30. This looks amazing! I am always looking for dairy free creamy cheese-like recipes. Can I use regular gluten-filled pasta like penne from barilla or bowtie pasta? I am guessing the cooktime for the pastas are probably the same.


  31. I’m wanting to make this recipe for a family party tomorrow and I was wondering if the pasta had to be boiled first then go in with the other ingredients or do you just put the hard pasta in with the other ingredients ?

  32. I loved the flavor of this recipe! I just had one question, I just made this pasta and alot of the pieces came out really delicious but some of the peices kinda smushed together and became very hard, I was just wondering if maybe I cooked it too long or didn’t stir enough or something? I did cook it an extra 3 minutes because there was still too much liquid. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Tess! Interesting – I’ve never had that happen before. I wonder if it was the extra few minutes you cooked it. I know often for me it looks like it’s too liquidy but then once I take it out of the pot it’s not. So maybe try only one minute more if it looks too liquidy still. Hope that helps! Thanks for trying it out.

  33. just stumbled across this recipe today. I must admit i’m so excited to try this 🙂 I decided to try vegan a few months back for my mental health but couldn’t find many appertising recipes. This looks great. Cant wait to try it!

    1. Hi Tiffany. Were you able to find lentil pasta for the recipe? It seems from other people’s comments that the other types of pasta don’t make the creamy consistency that lentil pasta does.

  34. If I wanted to make this a one serving type of deal how would I go about it. I am the only one in my six person family thinking about going vegan and I don’t think they will try it. Easier to just make enough for myself.

    1. Hey Mackenzie! Awesome to hear you’re thinking about going vegan. If you just want it for one meal for yourself I would say half it, and you’ll have some left over. It’s good the next day too. And who knows- your family will want to try some too. 🙂

  35. I loved this recipe–delicious and so simple to make. I’m contemplating switching to a vegan diet and with recipes like this, it should be a breeze! Thank you.

    1. Hi Molly. My blog is actually all about promoting a plant-based (vegan) diet. So I personally wouldn’t recommend bone broth. If you’re interested in learning more about a plant-based diet some of my recommendations are “Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition” by Dr. T Colin Campbell, “My Beef With Meat” by Rip Esselstyn or the documentary “Forks Over Knives.”

      Thanks for stopping by my blog!

      1. I have the Forks Over Knives cookbook, and their recipes are free of fats like olive oil, margarine, etc. Your recipe looks so good it probably doesn’t need olive oil.

  36. found this recipe on pinterest whilst searching for vegan recipes so thought I would finally give it a try!
    couldn’t find lentil pasta (in australia) so used spelt pasta instead, i halved the recipe and added about a tablespoon of red lentils.
    i just want to say a massive thank you for this recipe!!!!! easily the best pasta i have ever made!

  37. Hello! I accidentally bought the 8oz box of pasta and wanted to make this for dinner tomorrow. How much should I cut the liquid do you think?
    Looks so yummy can’t wait to try!!

  38. The closest I found in my Neighbourhood market is whole meal pasta. I ended up with a pot of pasta soup but it tasted good. I am still hoping to achieve the creamy sauce in your recipe and I must get my hands on lentil pasta. It really looks sooo good!

  39. Love your blog. Quick question – I plan to make this recipe this weekend (looks so, so good!). Do you think I could use my pressure cooker and just cut the time in half? I’m not trying to be lazy, it’s just that I love the PC & cutting down on time, no matter how little, always appeals to me. Thank you in advance for any suggestion you might have.

    1. Hi Mary! Thank you for your positive feedback. I’m not sure how it would turn out in the pressure cooker as I’ve never used one before. If you do try it, let us know how it turns out. Have a great day! Tedi

  40. just made this last night and my husband and i agree that it literally was one of the best pasta dishes i’ve ever had! i love that it was so quick and easy to make. the only thing i changed was i used brown rice pasta in place of the lentil (my store ran out) and it still was AMAZING! thanks 🙂

  41. Hi I just have a question. I recently used the black bean version of this pasta- by Tolerant- in a similar type of dish. It didn’t cook nearly for 20 minutes but turned completely to mush. I followed cooking directions on package, so I’m not sure what went wrong. So when cooking this pasta for 20 minutes- it turned out okay? Thanks

    1. Hi Mary, that’s interesting! I wonder if part of that has to do with the amount of starch in the lentils versus the black beans. Just a guess but I am not sure. Luckily, the lentil pasta definitely holds up and does not turn to mush!

  42. Just made this for dinner tonight- turned out great! I could not find the red lentil pasta at my local grocery store so I used brown rice penne (gluten-free) pasta and then added ground turkey to it for added protein. My fiancé is rather picky but he enjoyed it as well! So easy, will definitely make this again! Next time I will try to order the lentil pasta online.

    1. Hi Tamara! Thank you for the positive feedback! I’m glad to hear you and your fiancé liked it. Especially given that you said he can be rather picky. 🙂 I’m also glad to hear it worked with the brown rice penne. Thank you for the info and for stopping by my site!

  43. Hello! This recipe looks amazing! Would alfredo sauce work with red lentil pasta as well? I have never used lentil pasta before and I have some of my cauliflower alfredo sauce leftover, I’m wondering if I can combine the two! Thanks!

  44. I’m trying this this week, I’m so excited! I’m so new to cooking so fingers crossed. I have petite diced tomatoes here, do you think that will work or should I get regular diced tomatoes?

    1. Hi Gracey! Sorry for the delayed response! Thanks so much for checking out the recipe. It’s a pretty good recipe for a new chef! 🙂 The petite diced tomatoes will work just fine. Hope you enjoy!

    1. Hey Keshia! I haven’t tried it with garbanzo pasta but I’m sure it will turn out tasty, even if not exactly the same. Let me know if you try it…I’m curious to know how it turns out with the garbanzo pasta. And you can always use normal pasta if you want, too! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      1. I just tried this with garbanzo pasta. I had to use half the amount of broth, and it doesn’t get creamy like I imagine the lentil pasta would, but still very tasty!

        1. Hi Lisa, so glad to hear it was tasty even if it turned out a little different with the garbanzo pasta. The commenter right before you (Barbara) said she tried it with quinoa pasta and it didn’t turn out the same either…but still tasted good. This is all good information for me to know as I’ve only ever made it with the lentil pasta. Thank you for your feedback and for checking out my blog!

          1. Thanks for the recipe. I tried this tonight with some modifications including subbing in garbanzo pasta. The dish wasn’t exactly creamy, but the broth was thick and tasty. The olive oil is really important for the sauce–I’d even recommend adding a bit more to each bowl as it’s served. Fats like olive oil are so important for good health!

  45. Thank you thank you thank you… My picky toddlers just ate 3 helpings! I feel so good about them eating this meal. All
    Organic and not overly processed! 😘

  46. I need to get my hands on some lentil pasta, I’ve been hearing wonderful things about it. Then I’ll have to try this… I love one-pot pasta dishes:). Maybe it’s my browser, but your pictures aren’t displaying properly for me.

        1. Hi Amanda,

          The dish is low fat since it is made completely of legumes, vegetables and herbs. The only high fat per calorie ingredient is the olive oil, but the recipe only requires a little bit. I am not sure about the calories as with a plant-based diet all calories come from nutrient dense foods, so calorie counts don’t matter. It is definitely a very healthy alternative for pasta. I hope you enjoy it if you end up trying it! Be well. -Tedi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *