Protein-Packed Marinara Sauce

  • Author: Beth Hornback | Pass the Plants
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Cuisine: Italian


Get your veggies and protein all in one tasty and healthy sauce! 30 minutes or less to make this protein-packed marinara sauce.



  • 2 28 ounce cans cans crushed tomatoes (I love the Muir Glen brand with basil)
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (about 2 cups )
  • ½ cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed in a fine mesh strainer
  • 23 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (optional)
  • 2 1/2 cups water


  1. Heat 4 quart (or larger) saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Sauté the garlic and salt in olive oil for 30 seconds or so, just to wake up the garlic flavor.
  3. Add the oregano, if using.
  4. Stir in the sweet potato and lentils, and cook for a minute or so.
  5. Add water, then bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.
  6. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until lentils are soft.
  7. Add in crushed tomatoes, and simmer for another 5 minutes to let the sauce come together.
  8. Serve as desired.


This recipe can easily be doubled in an 6 quart saucepan or larger. Extra portions freeze well for later use.