Lentil Sloppy Joes

Lentil Sloppy Joes

Ditch the store-bought can of sauce for this quick and easy Homemade Lentil Sloppy Joes without all the junk and see how much better they taste!

Forget the store-bought can of sauce! These quick and easy Homemade Lentil Sloppy Joes taste way better without the junk!

It’s not all chocolate and sweets in our house, really!  Of course, sweets are my favorite thing to make (did you see the Twix Bars?) but life is about balance, right? Although I do make a lot of desserts ( SunButter Cups anyone?) they usually end up being shared with friends so we never really eat all of them.  The majority of what I make is what you would consider real food (like these Lentil Sloppy Joes).  Most of those never make it to the blog because everyone is usually HANGRY by that time and just don’t want to wait for me to take the photos!Forget the store-bought can of sauce! These quick and easy Homemade Lentil Sloppy Joes taste way better without the junk!

This lentil sloppy joe recipe was a meal I made quite a while back but then I forgot about it until I came across my recipe binder.  I don’t know what I’d do if I lost this binder.  It is a collection of what I made, what I changed and what I want to make.  Actually, it’s grown into 3 binders full (juice & smoothies, meals, sweets and baked goods)and a few piles of recipes laying around that I MUST get to.  Regardless, I forgot all about these Lentil Sloppy Joes, but today is the day to share it with you!  I even remade it and took some better photos of it.Forget the store-bought can of sauce! These quick and easy Homemade Lentil Sloppy Joes taste way better without the junk!

Did you grow up eating sloppy joes?  If you did, then you remember it consisted of a couple ingredients…Ground beef and the tin can filled with that tomato-y goodness.   I use to just love eating those things! The more you piled on the roll, the better because it truly was sloppy as it squished out the sides and down your hands.  Not the best for eating like a lady, but we can’t all be proper 100% of the time, right?

Forget the store-bought can of sauce! These quick and easy Homemade Lentil Sloppy Joes taste way better without the junk!

where’s the beef?

Now, this recipe has more than 2 ingredients, but it’s still easy to make and filled with real, good for you foods. You won’t miss that old can or the beef.  No beef?  Yes, you read that right.  Instead, lentils are used as our protein and oh my goodness, it’s delicious.  Then we make our own sauce which just gives you something extra to brag about.  How cool is it to know you can make your own sauce from scratch?  You’re on your way to becoming a culinary genius!!!! Since we’re ditching the beef, you’ve also got to check out this Paleo Vegetarian Chili from Perry’s Plate, just ditch the egg to keep it egg-free.

Forget the store-bought can of sauce! These quick and easy Homemade Lentil Sloppy Joes taste way better without the junk!

I’m kinda having fun with you here, but seriously, most people I coach have a fear of cooking from scratch.  Our parents had so many convenience foods at their disposal so a “home-cooked” meal could mean hamburger helper, frozen lasagna with a tossed salad or maybe even a burger/hot-dog with a can of beans and jar of applesauce.  No wonder we don’t know how to cook or bake.  Thankfully, my Grandma & Mom cooked from scratch so I learned how to cook from them.

Forget the store-bought can of sauce! These quick and easy Homemade Lentil Sloppy Joes taste way better without the junk!

it’s ok to fail

So with that, I want to encourage you to cook more.  Even if you don’t know what you’re doing!  Heck, I had to relearn how to cook for my youngest’s food allergies, so you aren’t alone.  Maybe you are trying to eat cleaner and make healthier foods, maybe you are trying to learn how to cook with food allergies or restrictions, or maybe you’re just trying to cook. Whatever the reason, just be ok with it not always looking like Pinterest and not always tasting amazing.  Some nights, we pulled out the cereal because dinner was a flop!

However, these Lentil Sloppy Joes are NOT a flop!  In fact, you’ll make them and probably squeal with joy! As always, this recipe is free from dairy, eggs & nuts but it is also vegan, top 8 free & gluten-free (just use “safe” hamburger rolls).

let’s get cookin’

Lentil Sloppy Joes




Yield 6 burgers

Forget the store-bought can of sauce! These quick and easy Homemade Lentil Sloppy Joes taste way better without the junk!



  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable stock (can also use water)
  • 1/2 cup dried lentils, rinsed (brown)


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup diced, onion (used red but any will work)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled chopped fine
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 (15oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 tablespoon natural Ketchup (look for organic, no sugar added)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder (use Dijon mustard if you do not have)
  • 1-2 tsp. cayenne pepper

6 Burger buns


Spread out lentils on a flat surface and remove any small pebbles or stones. Rinse lentils in colander.

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat veggie stock to boiling. Add lentils and reduce heat.  Cover and simmer approximately 20 minutes, or until tender. 
  2. While the lentils are cooking, in a medium sauté pan, heat oil on medium and sauté onion, bell pepper and carrot until tender.  Season with a pinch of salt & pepper. 
  3. Stir in the tomato sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, dry mustard, and cayenne pepper (optional). Stir to combine.
  4. Once the lentils are cooked, drain them and save a little liquid from the pot.  Add lentils to the skillet with sauce and veggies.  Stir to combine.
  5. Continue cooking the mixture over medium-low heat until completely warmed through and thick, approx 5 minutes. Add a little bit of lentil water if too thick. 
  6. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more chili powder if you want more smokiness, salt for saltiness, brown sugar for sweetness, or cayenne for heat. 
  7. Serve on top of buns of choice or even works wonderfully on a bed of rice. 

Courses Dinner

Cuisine top 8 free, vegan, meatless monday

Did you make this recipe?

Share your cooking fun with us by tagging @allergylicious and hashtag it #allergylicious so we are sure to see it.

want to try more with lentils?

Lentil sprouts are amazing to add to salads, soups and sandwiches.  Just follow these easy steps.

See, they were HANGRY below!  No time for a good photo but this Lentil Soup with shells is still worth making.

let’s get pinning

Save this for later and share with your friends.  THEN, when you make this recipe, please come back and let us know how it worked out for you.

Forget the store-bought can of sauce! These quick and easy Homemade Lentil Sloppy Joes taste way better without the junk!

Craving more?  Follow Allergylicious on Facebook and invite your friends! Find me on Instagram and Tag #allergylicious with your awesome remakes!  You can also find me on Pinterest sharing the newest, delicious, allergy-friendly foods.  So many wonderful ways to share with others and build a community of support.

But wait, there's more

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  • Mary Ellen @ VNutrition
    Posted at 10:05h, 21 February Reply

    You know, I’ve never had sloppy Joe’s in my life – is that weird? Anyway yours look delicious and I love lentils so I’m going to have to give this a try!

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 11:11h, 21 February Reply

      Really? You won’t be able to compare this to the original but since you love healthy eating, it’s a great vegan, hot sandwich.

  • Becky Striepe
    Posted at 10:34h, 21 February Reply

    These look so good, Nicole! I need to make them for my guys. I think they’ll be a hit!

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 11:08h, 21 February Reply

      They were in our house, even non-vegan approved (a.k.a. My Boys)

  • Dianne's Vegan Kitchen
    Posted at 12:51h, 21 February Reply

    I haven’t had sloppy joes in forever, but this recipe is making me want to change that soon!

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 13:27h, 24 February Reply

      It seems to be more popular in different areas, but it’s just so good. I love the vegan version so much more than I ever did the original recipe.

  • Sophia | Veggies Don't Bite
    Posted at 13:42h, 21 February Reply

    I was never a sloppy joe fan before, just looked a little weird to me the way the meat was all piled sloppily in a sandwich, lol. But I love all the vegan versions I have tried and made myself! Lentils are one of my faves!

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 13:26h, 24 February Reply

      That’s funny Sophia! I guess its because as a kid, you finally have permission to be messy at the table 🙂 . I do love being able to eat a vegan version of this once in a while now and letting my kids be the mess (I use a fork now).

  • Jenn
    Posted at 16:15h, 21 February Reply

    These look delicious! I make Lentil Sloppy Joe’s too – they are a family favorite around here! The messier, the better, right?!

  • Uma Srinivas
    Posted at 17:48h, 21 February Reply

    I never had sloppy joe’s before. Because it has always meat. Now I came to know how to do it! Thanks 🙂

  • Mel | A Virtual Vegan
    Posted at 18:39h, 21 February Reply

    They look so good! I have never eaten a sloppy joe but I think I need to change that!

  • Linda @ Veganosity
    Posted at 18:42h, 21 February Reply

    I haven’t had sloppy Joe’s in so long. This looks so good, perfect for the hangries!

  • Amy Katz from Veggies Save The Day
    Posted at 23:22h, 21 February Reply

    I never liked the traditional Sloppy Joe growing up, but yours looks really delicious!

  • Donna
    Posted at 21:55h, 22 February Reply

    YUM!! I have never actually tried sloppy joes, but now I am excited to 🙂

  • Kelly @ TastingPage
    Posted at 23:34h, 22 February Reply

    It doesn’t look like you miss the beef at all in this delicious “meaty” recipe. Love it!

  • Greg
    Posted at 08:57h, 24 February Reply

    Love this one! Lentils are so good and so easy and this is a perfect way to enjoy LOTS of them! 🙂

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 13:21h, 24 February Reply

      Thanks Greg! You are right, I can’t imagine not eating them, they are just so good and good for you.

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 10:15h, 27 February Reply

      Thanks Greg! I also love lentils and its a great way to get the kids to eat them.

  • Alisa Fleming
    Posted at 09:55h, 25 February Reply

    I had forgotten that they sell Sloppy Joe in a can! This definitely looks WAY better in terms of taste, nutrition, and freshness. I noticed you mentioned sprouting lentils – do you ever sprout before cooking them? I wasn’t sure if that aided in digestion or if just soaking them would.

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 10:02h, 27 February Reply

      Hi Alisa! Yes, it is a healthier option for sure. As for sprouting, usually soaking before helps with the digestion but I don’t sprout them first when making this meal. Another food I have to soak before roasting or cooking is brussel sprouts. If you add some salt to the water, it helps break down that outer layer even quicker.

  • Ceara
    Posted at 13:01h, 25 February Reply

    This is such a delicious family friendly recipe! I love lentils and what you’ve done with them in this recipe. 🙂

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 09:57h, 27 February Reply

      Thank you Ceara! I could happily just eat a bowl of veggies and lentils but to make it family friendly, thats where this comes in.

  • Sina @Vegan Heaven
    Posted at 10:39h, 27 February Reply

    Yummy! This looks like the perfect comfort food! 🙂

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 11:39h, 28 February Reply

      It sure is Sina! Comfort food and healthy for you.

  • Calico Beans - a hearty vegetarian dish - Vegetarian Mamma
    Posted at 13:14h, 10 May Reply

    […] you love beans, you might love lentils! This Lentil Sloppy Joe recipe from Allergylicious looks simply amazing and would be perfect to pair with these calico […]

  • Natalie
    Posted at 23:24h, 24 September Reply

    Hi! Thanks for linking up! There’s actually no cream in my Paleo Vegetarian Chili. 🙂

    • nicoleanndawson
      Posted at 13:50h, 25 September Reply

      I’m glad you responded so I could make that change to remove the poached egg per your suggestion to keep it vegan. Guess I just had dairy on the brain!

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