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*
Fat 2g3%
Sodium 650mg28%
Potassium 941mg27%
Carbohydrates 69g23%
Fiber 11g46%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 18g36%
Vitamin A 2330IU47%
Vitamin C 17.7mg21%
Calcium 130mg13%
Iron 6.9mg38%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.