Comforting Red Lentil Penne With Sautéed White Onion & Portobello Mushrooms In A Kale Tomato Basil Sauce a.k.a. Who Knew Vegan & Gluten-Free Pasta Could Be THIS Good (& “Cheesy”)?

Comforting Red Lentil Penne With Sautéed White Onion & Portobello Mushrooms In A Kale Tomato Basil Sauce a.k.a. Who Knew Vegan & Gluten-Free Pasta Could Be THIS Good (& “Cheesy”)?



Kay so, as you guys know, last night was the LAST SUPPER before Yom Kippur & GIRL DESERVED A HEART PLATE OF PASTA, okay? I’ve been craving pasta for like a week now & last night was finally the RIGHT OCCASION to whip up a delicious, hearty, HUGE (YES I KNOW), satisfying, nutritious bowl of pasta & SO I DID!

This isn’t just ANY pasta though! It’s RED LENTIL PASTA! And no, I didn’t make it from scratch (that would’ve taken hours & y’all know I had to eat dinner at like 5pm yesterday to make it in time for the fast to begin!). BUT, just because I didn’t make it from scratch, it doesn’t mean it’s unhealthy, processed or contains bad for you stuff.

Basically, Explore Cuisine makes an organic red lentil penne that’s gluten-free & vegan! The only ingredients in it: organic red lentil flour & organic brown rice flour! THAT’S IT, THAT’S ALL. But that’s not the only good part! Every serving of pasta contains ZERO SODIUM or CHOLESTEROL, 3 whole grams of fibre, less than 1g of sugar & 11 HEAPING GRAMS OF PROTEIN!

This is JUST FOR THE PASTA. But then, there’s the pasta sauce, full of vitamin E & C, antioxidants, iron, manganese, heart, brain & bone healthy!

AND WAIT FOR IT, the veggies!

  • Onions contain contain phytochemicals, vitamin C & chromium, so they help improve immunity, regulate blood sugar & have been used to reduce inflammation & heal infections!
  • Mushrooms are a great source of selenium, an antioxidant  mineral, as well as copper, niacin, potassium & phosphorus! They also provide protein, vitamin C & iron! (P.S. Because their cell waters are indigestible unless exposed to heat, you must cook mushrooms to get their nutritional benefits to be released! – & Let’s be honest, cooked mushrooms are SO MUCH MORE DELISH when they’re raw!)

NOW, let’s just discuss how freaking amazing this bowl of pasta is.

It’s all things:

  • Comforting!
  • Satisfying!
  • Full of protein & fibre!
  • Garlicky & savoury!
  • CHEESY but without the cheese!
  • Packed with vitamins & minerals, especially B12!
  • Warm!

And now, without further ado, let’s get to the nitty-gritty!

For two hearty plates of penne (& trust me, you’ll thank me later), My loves, YOU WILL NEED:

  • Red lentil penne (or any other gluten-free penne of your choosing!), BOILED ACCORDING TO PACKAGE DIRECTIONS (I boiled mine for 8 minutes & it was perfectly al denté, which BTW, iS the ONLY way to eat pasta, okay?).
    • I used the one by Explore Cuisine & I LOVE IT! You would never know you weren’t eating gluten-ridden pasta & PLUS, you’re getting SO MUCH MORE FIBRE & PROTEIN than you would from regular pasta!
  • Any store-bought gluten-free/vegan organic pasta sauce (You won’t use the entire jar because they are relatively big, so feel free to check out some more of my pasta recipes on the blog, which I will link down at the end of this post so you can use it up this week!);
    • I used the Kale Tomato Basil by Organico Bello. It’s absolutely delicious, has no added sugars, preservatives or paste & the ingredients are SUPER CLEAN & are all ingredients I could stand by & trust! All that’s in it? Imported organic Italian tomatoes, organic fresh kale, organic onions, organic extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, organic basil, organic white pepper & organic black pepper. YES, that’s it!
  • Coconut oil cooking spray (you can use avocado oil, if you prefer!);
  • 1 sweet white onion, HALVED & SLICED LENGTHWISE;
  • 1 package of Cremini, portobello or white mushrooms, SLICED;
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, MINCED;
  • 2 tbsp. of nutritional yeast;
    • I used the one by Bob’s Red Mill!
  • 1 tsp. of garlic powder;
  • 1/2 tsp. of smoked paprika;
  • 1/4 tsp. of black pepper;
  • Sea salt for seasoning;
  • LOADS of fresh cilantro, CHOPPED;
  • OPTIONAL: A dash of extra-virgin olive oil for some added texture & richer flavour &/OR some red pepper chilli flakes or Srirach for some added spice!

NOW, for that HOW-TO?

  • First things first, bring a MEDIUM pot of water to a boil!
  • While your water is boiling, heat a MEDIUM skillet over medium-high heat & spray it with some coconut oil cooking spray.
  • Once heated, add your garlic, onion & mushrooms to the skillet, season with the spices & the nutritional yeast & sauté over MEDIUM-HIGH heat for 5-7 minutes, until browned, fragrant, softened, translucent & cooked through


  • Once your water is boiled, lower the heat, add your penne to the pot & let simmer for 8 minutes, until AL DENTÉ.
  • Once your veggies are ready, remove them from the heat.


  • At the 8-minute mark, remove your pasta from the heat, drain &  rinse with some cold water for a few seconds!
  • NOW, add your pasta back to the pot that you boiled the penne in & throw in the onions, mushrooms, pasta sauce, chopped cilantro & add in a bit more of the spices! Using a wooden spoon, toss all the ingredients until all the pasta is evenly coated in the sauce & veggies & warm this beautifulness over low heat for a few minutes!
    • If you’re adding in some olive oil, red pepper chilli flakes or Sriracha, add it to the mix STAT.


  • Remove the pot from the heat, plate this deliciousness & DEVOUR!



  • ENJOY!

P.S. For more of my yummy pasta recipes, GET INSPIRED BY THESE!

There’s definitely a lot more where these came from but these are just a few!!


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