red lentil sloppy joes

Easy Red Lentil Sloppy Joe Recipe

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This red lentil sloppy joe recipe has quickly become our favorite plant based dinner and it will become yours too!

Sloppy joe’s are kid approved and have been a staple of family dinners for years! Okay, so I admit, I didn’t really have them growing up but I always thought that we should.

When my oldest son decided he would join me on my plant based eating mission, I knew I would need to step it up and make some easy kid-friendly meals because while my kids are pretty good with exploring new foods – well, they are still kids! I am happy to say that my son LOVES this red lentil sloppy joe recipe!

Ingredients in Red Lentil Sloppy Joes

This recipe calls for red lentils as they softer when cooked – making them perfect for a plant based lentil sloppy joe. The lentils are mixed with a soybean meat crumble, tossed with a tangy tomato sauce and some spices for an outstanding sloppy joe taste!

This easy sloppy joe lentil recipe is vegan and a kid – friendly recipe. Here are the ingredients you will need:

I know this ingredients list with spices seems long, but it is well worth it for the delicious authentic taste of these sloppy joes sandwiches (or power bowl)!


How to Make Plant Based Red Lentil Sloppy Joes

I soaked my lentils overnight to aid in easier digestion, reduce cooking time and ease any bloating from fibrous lentils. I recommend soaking lentils at least 30 minutes but I have been known to soak them up to 24 hours!

After the soaking period, these plant based sloppy Joes come together relatively quickly! I recommend having all your spices lined up on the counter and ready to go to speed along the process.

First you will want to water sauté your green pepper and onion. Then start adding in the remaining ingredients! It really is that easy to make this vegan dinner.

I like to have extra vegetable broth or water handy, as your sloppy joe’s continue to cook on the stovetop you made need to add extra liquid to keep them from sticking to the pan.

How to Serve and Store Vegan Sloppy Joe’s

My son loves to customize his lentil sloppy joe with vegan cheese and pickles while I prefer mine in a bowl with fresh salad greens and gluten free croutons! I often serve these lentil sloppy joes with the Core and Rind recipe for Red Lentil Cheeseburger Cups.

Vegan lentil sloppy joes are easily customizable to your taste! If you prefer spicier sloppy joes, increase your cayenne pepper. Avoiding onion and garlic? Omit them! You could also swap the green pepper for red pepper or grated carrots. No vegan Worcestershire sauce? You can use an equal amount of balsamic vinegar and molasses.

These vegan red lentil slopppy joes are a great vegan freezer friendly meal! I love to meal prep a large batch of this lentil recipe on the weekend and store in the freezer in small batches for easy plant based lunches or fast dinners.

red lentil sloppy joes

Save time on busy nights, avoid the drive through and have a hearty meal on the table by doubling the recipe and storing them in a freezer safe containers.

Looking for other kid friendly vegan recipes? We created the recipes below specifically with our kids in mind!

If you make these Easy Red Lentil Sloppy Joes we would love to know! Tag @badtothebowl on social media.

red lentil sloppy joes
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Easy Red Lentil Sloppy Joe Recipe

Kid friendly main dish that comes together quickly in the skillet!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Main
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 300kcal


  • 2 cups , soaked for 1 hours or more
  • 12 oz (340 g) of meatless crumbles**
  • 1 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tblsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3-4 Tblsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup (this is the brand I use, it is the best)
  • 2 Tblsp (or powder made into sauce that equals 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup
  • 1 tsp


  • Soak red lentils for 30 minutes or overnight. Rinse.
  • In large skillet on medium heat, water sauté your diced onion, green pepper and minced garlic for 3 – 5 minutes or until onion is translucent.
  • Add meatless crumbles and cook for another 3 – 5 minutes.
  • Add lentils, spices and tomato paste. Stir well.
  • Stir in vegetable stock, ketchup, liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Serve with buns, vegan cheese and pickles!
  • Store in fridge or freezer.


  • *I soak mine overnight, you might not need to do this. Please rinse well though.
  • **my go to brand is Morningstar Meatless Crumbles. Most supermarkets carry these in the freezer section.
  • ***you could sub equal parts balsamic vinegar and molasses (1 Tblsp of each)
  • ****find this in the BBQ sauce / ketchup aisle
  • Nutrition

    Calories: 300kcal

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