Lentil Sloppy Joes {vegan and gluten-free}

We need to have a talk about pickles real quick.

By the way, I’m not pregnant. I’ve heard a lot of pregnant women have a thing for pickles so I wanted to clear that up. Moving on…

Lentil Sloppy Joes {vegan and gluten-free}

I’m always trying to think of new ways to use lentils because a. I love them b. they’re nutritious and c. they’re cheap, so I got pretty excited when lentil Sloppy Joes came to mind.

More often than not, I will Google a recipe before I make it to see how many times it’s been done and if there is a method or version that might be worth trying. Turns out lentil Sloppy Joes have been done more than a few times but there was one recipe in particular that I came across and could not get out of my head.

Lentil Sloppy Joes {vegan and gluten-free}

Okay, everything Ashley makes looks awesome so I shouldn’t be surprised that this one stuck with me, but the idea of adding pickles to a Sloppy Joe {haha- I accidentally hit H instead of J just now} really intrigued me.

Lentil Sloppy Joes {vegan and gluten-free}

Let me just say…holy deliciousness. I’m not so sure a real Sloppy Joe would be as good with pickles but they are aaahhhmazing with the lentil version.

The tangy crunch paired with savory, tender lentils makes one great combination. This was one of those recipes where I couldn’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch the next day…and the day after.

Lentil Sloppy Joes

The lentils take a little while to cook and you have to chop a few veggies but for the most part, they come together in a reasonable amount of time. Plus, you could probably stretch it further than six sandwiches if you really wanted to.

I made a few changes from the original recipe to create a more southern flavor using Worcestershire, mustard powder and ketchup, but you could always use all tomato paste if you are a ketchup-hater. Brandon is a ketchup-hater but he didn’t even notice it in this recipe. It’s funny what you can get away with when you don’t tell them  what’s in it…

Lentil Sloppy Joes {vegan and gluten-free}

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6

Lentil Sloppy Joes {vegan and gluten-free}


1 cup dry green lentils, soaked overnight and rinsed*

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)

2 medium-size carrots, peeled and chopped (about 3/4 cup)

1 green bell pepper, cored and diced (about 3/4 cup)

3 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)

1 (15 ounce) can fire roasted crushed tomatoes

2 tablespoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon mustard powder (or 1 tablespoon yellow mustard)

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/8 cup tomato paste + 1/8 cup ketchup (or 1/4 cup ketchup or tomato paste)

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for five minutes, until soft.
  2. Add the carrot and the bell pepper along with the minced garlic, paprika, chili powder, mustard powder, and salt & pepper. Continue to cook for another five minutes.
  3. Next, add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, ketchup, crushed red pepper, Worcestershire, apple cider vinegar and maple syrup then stir to combine. Pour in 1/2 cup vegetable broth and bring pot to a low boil.
  4. Stir in the lentils then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 35-40 minutes over low heat until they are tender and have absorbed most of the liquid.
  5. Top the bottom of each hamburger bun with pickles then scoop the lentil mixture on top. Serve warm and be ready to get sloppy! ;)


*soaking lentils is optional but helps to reduce cooking time

Be sure to use certified gluten-free products if you have a gluten allergy.

Adapted from Edible Perspective

 Lentil Sloppy Joes {vegan and gluten-free}

Looking for another lentil recipe? Check out my Lentil Barley Stew, a warm and comforting meal that’s perfect for a chilly day.


Have you ever had a Sloppy Joe?