Easy Lentil Sloppy Joes are a filling, protein-packed meatless dinner option for your family. These vegan sloppy joes are easy to make and use mainly pantry ingredients that you likely have on hand!
Dried brown lentils are simmered in a homemade sloppy joe sauce and served on hamburger bun.
This meatless sloppy joe recipe has all of the flavors found in traditional sloppy joes but made without the beef.
This dish happens is also be vegan since we are using lentils in place of ground beef. Even though this recipe is meatless, meat lovers will still enjoy this lentil based sloppy joe recipe.
what type of lentils to use
Dried brown lentils are my favorite lentil to cook with. I really like the texture of them when they cook.
To save time, you could use canned lentils or cooked lentils sold at some grocery stores.
Why you should make these sloppy joes
- Budget friendly and affordable to make. It won't break the bank making this plant-based recipe.
- A filling and satisfying dinner. Lentils are packed with protein which help to create a filling and satisfying vegan dinner.
- The sloppy joe filling makes great leftovers. I love have extra leftovers the next day. Sometimes I'll serve the lentil sloppy joe filling over a baked sweet potato the next day. It is so good!
how to make sloppy joes
For the complete printable recipe with measurements, you'll find the recipe card below.
- First you'll want to cook the dried lentils. You can even do this part the day before. Place the lentils in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and saute until the onions are translucent and the pepper is tender, 7 to 8 minutes.
- Add the garlic, chili powder and green chiles and cook about 1 more minute.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, ketchup, Dijon, maple syrup, vegan Worcestershire, vinegar, salt and pepper.
- Mix well, then add the lentils. Reduce the heat to low; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes
- Serve sloppy joes on toasted buns with pickle slices.
- 1 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed and sorted
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- One 4-ounce can chopped green chiles
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 8 ounce tomato sauce
- ½ cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup water
- 4 tablespoons vegan butter, at room temperature
- 8 hamburger buns
- pickle chips, for serving
- Place the lentils in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside until needed.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and saute until the onions are translucent and the pepper is tender, 7 to 8 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in the chili powder and green chiles and cook about 1 more minute.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, ketchup, Dijon, maple syrup, Worcestershire, black pepper, remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ½ cup water.
- Stir and then add the lentils. Reduce the heat to low; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
- Butter both sides of the hamburger buns. Toast on a hot cast-iron griddle or skillet until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Serve sloppy joes on toasted buns, topped with pickles.
You can cook the brown lentil ahead of time. Store the cooked lentils in an airtight container in the fridge. You can also use canned or precooked lentils.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 274Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1019mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 4gSugar: 11gProtein: 8g
Nutrition information is just an estimate per serving.