BBQ Lentil Sloppy Joes

This post may contain affiliate links.

Vegan BBQ Lentil Sloppy Joes are an easy new spin on classic comfort food that can be on your table in under 45 minutes.

I created this recipe for my client, GO VEGGIE.  Thank you for supporting the brands that make Healthy Delicious possible.BBQ Lentil Sloppy Joes Recipe - Vegan

March is always a stressful time for me at the office. Combine that with the fact that winter finally decided to show up (at this rate, we’ll have snow on the ground until June) and I’m craving comfort food like crazy. Creamy macaroni and cheese, roast chicken, pasta – I’ll take it all!

I was thinking about making a pot of my lentil and pumpkin chili, when I had the idea of using the lentils for sloppy joes instead. Lentils are a great alternative to meat in recipes like this. They’re hearty and full of fiber, protein, and iron but their flavor is relatively mild. Paired with a quick homemade barbecue sauce and piled on top of a soft burger bun, these barbecue lentil sloppy joes will take you straight back to childhood.

BBQ Lentil Sloppy Joes Recipe - VeganCheese isn’t a traditional component of sloppy joes, but what isn’t better with a slice of cheddar? GO VEGGIE’s cheddar singles complement the barbecue flavor of these sloppy joe’s perfectly. I used their vegan cheddar singles for these sloppy joes, which kept the whole recipe vegan-friendly, but you can also use the lactose free version. Either way, you can’t go wrong! I love how these singles melt, and the vegan version has 65% less fat and half the calories of ordinary cheese.

You can use your favorite store bought barbecue sauce for these lentil sloppy joes, but it’s definitely worth it to take a few minutes to make your own. The flavor can’t be matched and it’s made with standard pantry items. I start with a combination of ketchup, mustard, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce – just like mom used when I was a kid – but I sweeten it with maple syrup instead of brown sugar and add a good pinch of cayenne pepper. The result is subtly sweet, tangy, and a little spicy. If you prefer a sweeter sauce, omit the cayenne and add more maple syrup to taste.

BBQ Lentil Sloppy Joes Recipe - Vegan

BBQ Lentil Sloppy Joes Recipe - Vegan

BBQ Lentil Sloppy Joes

Quick homemade barbecue sauce gives these lentil sloppy joes a ton of flavor. You can also substitute 1 1/2 cups of your favorite bottled barbecue sauce plus 1/4 cup water.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Save
Servings: 4


  • 1 cup green or brown lentils
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce*
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 4 slices GO VEGGIE Vegan Cheddar Flavor Singles


  • Add the lentils and two cups of water to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook 25 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the lentils begin to soften.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in another pan. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until softened. add the ketchup, vinegar, water, syrup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
  • Add the partially cooked lentils to the sauce and simmer 10 minutes, or until soft. Adjust cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste.
  • Divide the lentils among the rolls; top each with a GO VEGGIE cheddar single.


*Traditional Worcestershire sauce has anchovies in it, so be sure to look for a vegan version if that's important to you. I use this one.
Tried this recipe?Mention @HealthyDelish or tag #HealthyDelish!

Hi, I'm Lauren!

I'm a certified plant-based cook and enthusiastic omnivore who loves looking for creative ways to make weeknight meals more nutritious. I'm the author of Heathy Eating One Pot Cookbook and Healthy Meal Prep Slow Cooker Cookbook. I also blog at The Busy Foodie. Read more...


Get My Quickstart Guide to Reclaiming Your Weeknights.

Better Meals. Fewer Dishes. 

Thanks! Keep an eye on your inbox for updates.

1 thought on “BBQ Lentil Sloppy Joes”

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! And what a hearty, healthy and inexpensive way to feed my family. We ate this on buns with a dollop of coleslaw on top. Messy but yummy. Served with some oven fries and fresh fruit on the side. Even the teen boy says this is a definite keeper!


Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating (Optional)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.