red lentil sloppy joes

Easy Red Lentil Sloppy Joe Recipe

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Sloppy joe’s are a staple of family dinner tables. Okay, so 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!


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.

I soaked my lentils overnight to aid in easier digestion and bloating. If you don’t have either of those issues, you will not need to soak them! Please remember to rinse the red lentils really well though!

My son loves to customize his lentil sloppy joe with vegan cheese and pickles while I prefer mine in a bowl atop fresh salad greens and gluten free croutons! 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.

red lentil sloppy joes

This recipe freezes well and can be made ahead of time making these a perfect vegan freezer friendly recipe! 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.

Easy Red Lentil Sloppy Joe Recipe

Recipe by Sarah HayesCourse: Main

Kid friendly main dish that comes together quickly in the skillet!


  • 2 cups dry red lentils*

  • 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 vegetable stock

  • 2 Tblsp vegan worcestshire sauce***

  • 1/2 cup ketchup

  • 1 tsp liquid smoke****


  • 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

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