Vegan Sloppy Joes

vegan sloppy joes on a blue plate with potato chips and a glass of red wine

Easy vegan sloppy joes with lentils instead of beef and a flavorful, smoky tomato sauce.



  1. Add water and lentils to medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Bring to a low boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 18 minutes, or until tender. When tender, drain excess liquid and set aside.
  2. While lentils are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil, onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Season with a healthy pinch of salt and pepper. Sautè for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the peppers and onions are tender.
  3. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin, and paprika. Stir until evenly distributed.
  4. Add cooked, drained lentils to the skillet and stir until evenly coated in the tomato sauce.
  5. Continue cooking over medium-low heat until sauce begins to thicken, stirring occasionally – about 10 minutes. Throughout this cooking period, taste and adjust flavor as needed. I added more chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, and salt.
  6. Serve the mixture on toasted buns with sliced onion, pickles, and hot sauce (all optional).
  7. Store leftover sloppy joe mixture in the refrigerator up to 3 days.


*Recipe is a guide. Adapt as desired.

Keywords: vegan sloppy joe, sloppy joe with lentils, lentil sloppy joe