Vegan Italian Tomato Pasta Sauce with Whole-Foods Plant-Based Protein and No-Oil

Cover your Spaghetti and other favourite pastas with my family’s best healthy vegan fat-free marinara sauce.  Lentils and chickpeas make it thick, and full of iron, fibre and phytonutrients.  Add some spinach (fresh or frozen) to get a darker color, and more nutrition.

Oregano, basil, garlic and onion, are a beautiful Italian combination that has lasted centuries.  Modernize your greasy sauces of the past with this oil-free, meatless version of a marinara sauce, and fill your belly with fibre and taste at the same time.

Jump to Recipe

School is out here, and I just fed this sauce as leftovers for lunch to my daughters and their friend.  The friend made a point of complementing me about how tasty the sauce is.  Thanks for the feedback kid!  Now I share it with the internet…

This is a great whole-foods plant-based wfpb recipe for kids!

Please enjoy!

FOLLOW and SUBSCRIBE to on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook!

Get FREE healthy vegan information and recipes!



Vegan Healthy Marinara Sauce on Spaghetti

Meatless Marinara With Protein - No-Oil, Vegan, Tomato Sauce and Pasta

Course: Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 354 kcal
Author: Jeanette Whitten

With lentils and chickpeas this no-oil vegan Italian tomato based spaghetti sauce recipe replaces a traditional meat based pasta sauce, with bold flavour!   I've tested it on many non-vegans and they don't even realize, except wonder why it is so fat-free and lean.  

Use this simple recipe as a dependable base and add additional items if you like, such as mushrooms or green peppers.


  • 375 g whole grain pasta whole wheat spaghetti is our favourite for this sauce
  • 540 ml can chickpeas drained
  • 540 ml can lentils drained
  • 2 garlic cloves medium
  • 796 ml can diced tomatoes with juice, or whole fresh tomatoes
  • 1 tsp oregano dried
  • 2 tsp basil dried
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 sweet onion white, medium, in chunks
  • 130 g frozen spinach thawed, nuggets work great
  • 156 ml tomato paste can


  1. Put a large pot of pasta water on to boil.  No salt or oil are necessary.  No oil cooking, go!  Read more here about why we cook with no-oil.

  2. Drain canned lentils and chickpeas.  Consider reserving the juice (called aqua faba) in the fridge as an egg replacement for future baking - like for my amazing chocolate birthday cake recipe.

  3. In a food processor - add drained chickpeas, drained lentils, garlic cloves, canned diced tomatoes (with juice), oregano, basil, onion powder, salt, onion chunks, and thawed spinach nuggets.  Blend on high until beans are no longer recognizable.

  4. I like to use frozen spinach nuggets, so I can easily portion out a little if I want - I always have some on hand in my freezer, like these ones.  I got them a Wal-mart.

    Frozen Spinach Nuggets
  5. Empty sauce into a medium sized pot on medium heat.  This sauce will splatter once it starts to bubble, so be prepared to cover it to protect your stove and yourself.  

    Blended lentils and chickpeas in vegan no-oil tomato sauce.
  6. Once the sauce is bubbling, reduce heat to low, stir, cover and let simmer for 5 more minutes so that the onion is cooked through.  

  7. In the meantime, add whole grain spaghetti to the boiling pasta water.  Set timer to cook according to directions, usually about 10 minutes.

  8. Once the the 5 min on the sauce is up, while the pasta is cooking, stir the tomato paste into the sauce.  The tomato paste makes the sauce thicker, so there is no excess liquid.  It also adds a lovely rich red color and taste.  Simmer a few more minutes or until pasta is ready.  

  9. Drain pasta and serve piled with generous portions of this delicious sauce!

    Plates of spaghetti with meatless vegan healthy tomato sauce.

Recipe Notes

Serving Ideas

Sprinkle with vegan parmesan cheese.

Vegetable side suggestions: steamed frozen peas and corn, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts.
Salad suggestion: spinach salad and balsamic dressing.

Bon Appetit!


Nutrition Facts
Meatless Marinara With Protein - No-Oil, Vegan, Tomato Sauce and Pasta
Amount Per Serving (1 / 8th of recipe with whole grain pasta)
Calories 354 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Sodium 650mg 27%
Potassium 941mg 27%
Total Carbohydrates 69g 23%
Dietary Fiber 11g 44%
Sugars 8g
Protein 18g 36%
Vitamin A 46.6%
Vitamin C 21.4%
Calcium 13%
Iron 38.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


JOIN the Community Facebook Group

Click here to EXPLORE

Get surrounded by vegan LOVE.  

Vegan meme: Government recommends reducing consumption of meat to avoid cancer continues to subsidize meat industry.

More Healthy Vegan Recipes


Bok Choy Silken Tofu Noodle Soup (Source of Calcium!)

Bok choy, tofu, carrots, spaghettini noodles, and ginger combined, make an easy, quick, simple, and healthy hearty vegan soup recipe for dinner.

Cool as a Cucumber Vegan Tzatziki – Fat-Free

Use Tofu and apple cider vinegar as a YOGURT SUBSTITUTE to make a dairy-free, no-oil, fat-free, healthy vegan dill and cucumber Greek Tzatziki dip that is refreshing and delicious.

Satisfying Split-Pea Soup

With PERFECT SEASONINGS, potatoes, barley, and carrots it’s a SO GOOD, fat-free VEGAN SPLIT-PEA SOUP. Better than what you ate as a child! Full of IRON AND VITAMIN A, HEALTHY WHOLE-FOOD PLANT-BASED recipe, LOSE WEIGHT, feel and LOOK FANTASTIC.

Vegan Asparagus Black Bean and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad – No Oil, 30 Minute Dinner

Ready in 30 minutes, this colourful, healthy, vegan dinner salad has roasted sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, asparagus, black beans and a tangy lemon, dijon, green onion, dill dressing. It is a complete meal and will leave you and your loved ones feeling satisfied and full of energy to be your healthy best.

Epicure Healthy Tofu Pad Thai (Whole Foods Vegan)

Dinner in 20 minutes. A fast oil free, whole foods vegan Pad Thai recipe with tofu, noodles, and a homemade sriracha sauce, using Epicure Spice mixes. Easy healthy plant-based fat free meal.

Italian Cornmeal Zucchini Polenta – 20 minutes

Mmmmmm, a bag of cornmeal, a zucchini, oregano, rosemary, and salt and pepper turn into a filling, stick to your ribs, healthy vegan comfort food, tasty polenta plant-based, no-oil, side-dish, so fast, quick, and easy, and tastes wonderful. Best fast vegan dinner side-dish idea!

Whole Weekend Waffles

It’s EASY to make VEGAN WAFFLES from a box mix. Follow these simple steps to healthy whole grain dairy-free and egg-free waffles.

Sweet Zing Orange Thyme Dressing

Healthy OIL-FREE vegan dressing with a SWEET ZING from green onions, apples, and dried cranberries. AWESOME on quinoa and lentils pilaff, and is delicious on BRUSSELS SPROUTS.

Creamy Tofu Pasta Sauce with Garlic, Zucchini & Tomato

FAST, CREAMY, DAIRY-FREE tofu pasta sauce recipe, with soft silken tofu as a milk substitute to make a high protein, nut free, low fat and tasty zucchini, tomato penne pasta sauce.

Creamy Coleslaw Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

This dairy-free no-oil healthy dressing will make your vegan coleslaw shine!  With dates, tofu, rice vinegar, lemon and pecans it is also going to keep you from getting hungry.

Zesty Caesar Salad With Croutons – No Oil

HEALTHY FAT-FREE EASY VEGAN CAESAR SALAD with croutons. The ZESTY garlic, and BRIGHT lemon FLAVOURS SHINE in this RECIPE, that is what makes Caesar dressing taste awesome.  GARLIC AND LEMON!

Green Vegetable Medley Pasta Soup (Dad’s Soup)

Our family’s FAVOURITE VEGAN green vegetable medley DINNER SOUP with PASTA, a wonderful meal soup – combination of green peppers, zucchini, SPINACH, corn and black beans, with basil and oregano, in a hearty, whole foods, no oil, vegetarian dinner soup. Fat free.

Green Bean Casserole

Turn a classic Thanksgiving green beans side dish, into a delicious low-fat dairy-free whole-foods vegan dish, with lentil gravy, crispy homemade croutons and perfectly cooked green beans.

Gorgeous Vegan Gravy

This smooth, brown, fast, fat-free lentil based vegan gravy reminds us of Thanksgiving dinners, stuffing, and good times at family gatherings. A traditional brown gravy colour, with savoury flavour. Ready in 10 minutes, in the microwave.

Vegan Lasagna – Tofu & Spinach, Whole Foods Plant Based

Healthy simple vegan whole-foods plant-based lasagna that kids and families love, with no-oil, it uses tofu and spinach as a quick and easy ricotta cheese substitute.

Indian Palak Paneer (Spinach, Tofu and Eggplant) Side Dish

15 min easy AWESOME healthy Indian SPINACH side dish recipe using FROZEN OR FRESH, fast FAT-FREE vegan dinner idea, DAIRY-FREE, tofu paneer substitute/replacement, cook eggplant, tasty onion, fresh tomato, garlic, ginger, SPICES. Serve meal with rice or potatoes.

Easy Vegan Chocolate Bean Brownies (Oil Free with Dates)

Easy, moist, fudgy, VEGAN, whole-foods, gluten-free, BEAN brownies. Use white beans, cocoa powder, blended oats, dates, and fruit, in a food-processor, for perfect, chocolate, healthy, rich, brownies everyone will love. FAT-FREE, HIGH FIBER, HEALTHY, DAIRY-FREE, EGG-FREE, AWESOME!

Fiery Maple Sweet Potato Bowl, No Oil

COLORFUL sweet potatoes, MAPLE CHIPOTLE chickpeas or tofu, EARTHY mushrooms, VIBRANT greens, CREAMY avocado and a FIERY sauce makes for a SPICY and HEALTHFUL VEGAN MEAL BOWL IDEA!

Cream of Cauliflower and Potato Soup (with Tofu)

EASY, DAIRY-FREE CREAM OF CAULIFLOWER soup WITH SILKEN TOFU AND POTATOES. Make in 45 MIN. Healthy vegan dinner, without oil. Whole foods, plant based, so nutritious!

Chocolate Banana Green Smoothie

DELICIOUS, vegan, HEALTHY, sugar-free, DAIRY-FREE, smoothie recipe with COCOA POWDER, banana, dates, spinach, pineapple and soy milk or almond milk or other non-dairy milk. Cocoa powder is full of antioxidants and is iron rich.

Lazy Vegan Frittata with Spinach, Tofu, Potatoes, and Chickpeas

HEALTHY VEGAN COMFORT FOOD. Vegan Lazy Frittata – Potatoes, Chickpeas, Tofu, Spinach, Peas, Mushrooms – combined in a OIL-FREE creamy mess that is satisfying, NUTRITIOUS, and delicious. FAST vegan meal – dinner recipe is 30 minutes to make.

Healthy Aqua Faba Vegan Chocolate Birthday Cake: Fat-Free, Whole Wheat

PLANT-BASED WHOLE-FOODS! Tall, light and fluffy, awesome and delicious, oil-free, CHOCOLATE layer cake, with a vegan frosting filling. Uses whole-wheat flour and zucchini, low-fat, dairy-free, perfect for birthdays, KIDS LOVE THIS CAKE, tasty and moist. wfpb

Fiery Vegan Mayo Sauce, No Oil

DELICIOUS VEGANSAUCE. SPICY CHIPOTLE OIL-FREE VEGAN MAYO! Spicy, smoky, dairy-free, eggless, egg-free, chipotle, HEALTHY, fat-free vegan mayo recipe.

Super Summer-Time Pasta Salad

Fast HEALTHY best vegan fat-free PASTA SALAD with BLACK BEANS, corn, green onions, tomatoes, frozen peas and BLACK OLIVES. Low calorie, high vitamin C, HIGH IRON, so GOOD FOR YOU! Families and KIDS love to eat this whole-foods plant-based (wfpb) quick meal.

FAST No-Rise Healthy Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (oil-free vegan)

Make FAST, FAT-FREE, WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, HEALTHY, NO-RISE, VEGAN PIZZA DOUGH, in your food processor. Perfect, crispy and soft. Roll out, place toppings, and bake in 10 minutes. Fat-free, healthy, moist, no-oil, THE BEST. KIDS LOVE THIS CRUST!

Ginger Pear Fruit Crisp – Whole-Foods Plant-Based

Pears make a delicious healthy vegan fruit crumble when baked with oats, almond flour and ground cashews. Try this TASTY whole-foods plant-based kid friendly fat-free no-oil recipe with a ginger lemon twist!


This SMOKY VEGAN CHILI recipe LOOKS LIKE IT HAS MEAT, but tastes even better. TAKE THIS TO A PARTY, it is so good, with the best chili spices recipe.

Garam Masala Baked Acorn Squash – Stuffed With Cranberry Rice

Deliciously complex, tasty, healthy baked, stuffed acorn squash. Cranberry rice and spinach stuffing, Garam Masala East Indian dessert peppery spice. UNIQUE!

Lovely Lentil and Brown Rice Soup

Vegan lentil and brown rice soup with tomatoes, basil, oregano, onion, garlic, thyme, and zucchini. So easy to make, and clean up, a one pot meal. Aromatic and delicious blend of complex flavours in a hearty and satisfying comforting soup.

Meatless Marinara Sauce With Protein

Healthy Vegan Italian Tomato Pasta Sauce with Whole-Foods Plant-Based Protein and No-Oil. Modernize your marinara by using lentils and chickpeas in a no-oil meatless version that replaces traditional spaghetti sauce.

Green Tomatoes Chickpea Avocado Edamame Rice Salad

Mix Avocado, Fresh Green Tomatoes, Chickpeas, and Edamame Beans for a Creamy Vegan Spread, or Rice Quinoa Salad Bowl. Whole-foods plant-based green goddess recipe. No-oil needed, it’s fat-free but full of natural omega fats to keep your body glowing.

Tahini Roasted Broccoli – Whole-Foods Plant-Based

Toss broccoli in a vegan and gluten-free mixture of tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic, soy sauce, and pepper, then bake for 10 minutes.  
It’s crispy and creamy at the same time.  

Anti-Inflammation Smoothie – Ginger and Turmeric

Ginger and turmeric have demonstrated significant impacts on reducing pain and inflammation in multiple studies, try them in a vegan green smoothie!

Easy Crustless Tofu Quiche (Whole Foods Vegan)

REAL VEGANS EAT QUICHE! EASY eggless, dairy-free, baked, vegan brunch, breakfast or dinner casserole. Firm tofu as a vegan egg substitute, best healthy no crust, oil-free, egg-free, whole foods quiche, smells and looks and tastes wonderful.

Butternut Squash Apple Galette – Whole-Foods Plant-Based

Whole-foods plant-based Butternut Squash Galette with no-oil. Whole-wheat pastry made with almond flour. Delicious creamy tofu filling with sage, fennel, and apple.

Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies

PERFECT LITTLE CROWD PLEASERS, vegan and gluten free oat cookies, but packed with BIG PEANUT BUTTER FLAVOUR! Healthy, no-oil, fat-free, whole-foods plant-based easy fast coconut sugar.

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Fast and easy delicious vegan parmesan cheese replacement uses nuts, garlic, and nutritional yeast. It is the best dairy-free, and lactose-free cheese sprinkle substitute I have found.

Wonderful White Bean and Walnut Sauce with Linguine and Asparagus

If you would like to have a DAIRY-FREE VEGAN WHITE SAUCE for your PASTA, or maybe you are trying to LOSE WEIGHT – here is a WHITE BEAN PESTO SAUCE, it’s a HEALTHY WHOLE-FOOD PLANT-BASED, CREAMY, FAT-FREE recipe.

Cranberry Apple Coleslaw

Apples, carrots, celery, cranberries, and cabbage are beautiful to look at and are a wonderful combination as well. Making coleslaw in the food processor is so fast and easy.

*Sweet* Sweet Potato Fries – wfpb no-oil

People think you need to coat OVEN FRIES in oil, but THEY DON’T KNOW… try this recipe and you will learn better.  Moist heat escapes and ACTIVATES the seasonings, your fries will be CRISPY, oil-free and full of HEALTHY LOW CALORIE FLAVOUR.

Learn About the VeganEnvy Diet


Eating Whole Foods Plant-Based Vegan With IBS

Fix, cure, and treat IBS with a whole-foods plant-based vegan diet, what to do if you still have IBS and you are vegan, or a vegan diet makes IBS worse, eat a low-FODMAP vegan diet to successfully treat IBS.

Great Tofu Recipe Ideas For Dinner

Looking for fast, simple, easy, and the best tofu recipe ideas for dinner? Here is a list of healthy, family friendly tofu recipes with soft, silken, medium, firm and extra firm tofu options that taste delicious, and are great healthy, no oil, vegan meals.
Eating these tofu recipes will make you and your loved ones lose weight and fight disease – guaranteed.

Why No Oil on a Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet?

We haven’t used oil in our kitchen since 2013 and I recommend you don’t either, starting now. This post outlines the reasons.

That Meat is Not Giving You Muscle

Getting protein from animal products isn't as satisfying as you think Many people struggle to quit eating meat because...

What You Need to Know About Seaweed and Iodine for Vegan Nutrition

Iodine – how much do you need and how should you get it? Everyone needs iodine, but it’s especially important for vegans. Find out how much iodine you need daily to prevent goiter/goitre and the best sources in foods.

How to Judge the Healthiness of Grain Products

Trying to decide what kind of bread is healthiest to buy?  What granola bar, cookie, snack food, or what pancake mix is best? Use these 2 tips to increase your resistance to diseases like cancer. Learn what to look for on the nutrition label.

Mission Statement for VeganEnvy

I created VeganEnvy to be a fun, relevant, engaging, social and helpful place for you to belong.

How to Eat Vegan for Energy and Weight Loss – For Adults and Kids

RECOMMENDED PRINCIPLES of the VeganEnvy DIET AND LIFESTYLE – how to eat whole foods plant based healthy vegan without oil TO LOSE WEIGHT, stay skinny, have great skin, and be FULL OF ENERGY, and how to move to STOP BACK PAIN and keep your ENTIRE body feeling great.

What my IBS Symptoms Were Like – Before I Went Vegan

As an omnivore, my IBS symptoms included alternating diarrhea and constipation, acid indigestion, doctor’s tests, depression, stomach and intestinal pain, fatigue and weight loss.

What Is Tofu? | All About Tofu, Nutrition, Benefits, Protein, Types, Ingredients, Health

ALL YOUR TOFU QUESTIONS ANSWERED – learn about tofu taste, nutrition, what tofu is made of, protein content, fiber, benefits, controversy, GMO, soybeans, calories, fat, and is tofu healthy. Plus how to choose, buy, press, and prepare soft, silken, and firm tofu.

How to Stir, Use, and Store Natural Peanut Butter – and Why It is SO MUCH BETTER


Healthy Vegan is Trending!

Please, help others, and our planet – share this content on social media!

Pin It on Pinterest