Spicy Lentil Vegan Sloppy Joes

  • Author: Erin Alderson
  • Yield: 2 sandwiches 1x



  • 1/2 cup green or brown lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 medium onion, minced
  • 1/4 red or green pepper, minced
  • 1 clove garlic. minced
  • 1 ¾2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup strained tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon vegan worcestershire sauce (like Annie’s)
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes


  1. In a large skillet or pot, bring lentils and water to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and let lentils cook for 20 minutes, just until lentils are tender. You may have water leftover, that’s okay.
  2. In second skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add minced onions, pepper, and garlic. Cook until onions and peppers are soft and fragrant, 6-8 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and simmer until lentils are tender.
  3. Stir the sauce into the lentils, cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, until sauce thickens and lentils are fully tender.Taste and adjust seasonings while cooking.
  4. Serve on a bun or toasted bread.


Update: Some people are having issues with the lentils not fully cooking. I would recommend soaking the lentils overnight (like you would other legumes) before using to help soften slightly. You could also try cooking the lentils in water only until starting to get tender (20 minutes or so) then add the tomatoes, ketchup, Worcestershire, vinegar, and molasses.