Vegan Sloppy Joes

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Buns filled with onion slices and Simple Vegan Sloppy Joes for a hearty plant-based meal

Did your parents ever make you sloppy joes growing up?

If so, welcome to the club.

If not, I’m sorry, you poor neglected soul. (Just kidding, but also kind of not kidding).

Sloppy joes are so delicious! And I haven’t had them since my mom made them for me back in high school. My sister and I would return home from sports practice absolutely famished and we’d eat two open-faced sloppy joes with a side of mac ‘n’ cheese.

Oh, how my diet has changed since then! But my craving for this sweet, savory, smoky sandwich has not. Let’s do this!

Making simple gluten-free vegan sloppy joes in a cast-iron skillet

Origins of Sloppy Joes

You may think of Sloppy Joes as an American classic (and that may be true), but the origin story isn’t crystal clear! One theory is that the dish was created in the 1930s by a Sioux City, Iowa chef named Joe.

But another popular story is that it may have actually originated in Havana, Cuba. It’s thought that a bar owner named José García created it as a handheld modification of a Cuban dish called ropa vieja. The concept may have then been introduced by Ernest Hemmingway to a bar in Florida.

We’re not sure who deserves the credit for Sloppy Joes, but we do know we love them! The following is our plant-based take on the concept.

Vegan Sloppy Joes

This recipe comes together in roughly 30 minutes, including cooking your lentils! It’s so simple and quick that it’s sure to become a weeknight staple in your home.

The ingredients are also simple. In fact, the only thing not already in my pantry was Worcestershire sauce (I include a vegan-friendly brand recommendation below, as well as a recipe idea if you can’t find any at the store).

Easy recipes that you can make with everyday pantry items – that’s SO my thing.

Cast-iron skillet filled with Vegan Sloppy Joe "meat" for a hearty plant-based meal

I think you guys are going to LOVE these sandwiches. They’re:

Slightly spicy
Super hearty
Naturally sweetened
Fiber- + protein-rich
& Delicious

These would make the perfect meal to throw together when you need something quick and hearty to feed a crowd. One batch should generously serve four. And if you’re a solo diner, this recipe is great to have around during the week to reheat for lunches or easy, healthy dinners.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, be sure to rate it, and don’t forget to tag a picture #minimalistbaker on Instagram! Your photos always make our day. Cheers, friends!

Buns filled with Vegan Lentil Sloppy Joes for an easy gluten-free plant-based dinner

Vegan Sloppy Joes

Hearty, flavorful Vegan Sloppy Joes made with fresh, simple ingredients, naturally sweetened, and they require just 30 minutes! Savory, smoky, perfectly sweet – a delicious plant-based meal!
Author Minimalist Baker
Wood board with three buns filled with sliced onions and our Vegan Sloppy Joe recipe
4.92 from 232 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Course Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly Up to 1 month.
Does it keep? 4-5 Days



  • 2 cups water (I used half water, half vegetable broth)
  • 1 cup green lentils, well rinsed


  • 2 Tbsp olive or grape seed oil
  • 1/2 medium white or yellow onion, minced (plus more for serving)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 cloves yield ~1 Tbsp)
  • 1/2 medium red or green bell pepper, diced
  • Sea salt and black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce*
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut sugar (plus more to taste)
  • 1-2 Tbsp vegan-friendly Worcestershire sauce* (like this brand // ensure gluten-free for GF eaters)
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder (plus more to taste)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin (plus more to taste)
  • 1 pinch smoked or regular paprika (optional)

FOR SERVING optional

  • Gluten-free or whole-wheat hamburger buns*


  • To a small saucepan, add liquid (I used 1 cup water, 1 cup vegetable broth for added flavor // amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) and rinsed lentils and heat over medium-high heat.
  • Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 18 minutes, or until tender. The water should have a constant simmer (not boil). Drain off any excess liquid and set aside.
  • In the meantime, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Season with a pinch each salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  • Sautè for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the peppers and onions are tender and slightly browned.
  • Next add tomato sauce, coconut sugar, vegan worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin, and paprika (optional). Stir to combine.
  • Once the lentils are cooked, add them to the skillet as well, and stir to combine.
  • Continue cooking the mixture over medium-low heat until completely warmed through and thick, stirring occasionally – about 5-10 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more chili powder and/or cumin for smokiness, salt for saltiness, coconut sugar for sweetness, or worcestershire for depth of flavor.
  • Serve the mixture on toasted buns with sliced onion. Best when fresh, though leftover sloppy joe mixture will keep in the refrigerator up to 4-5 days, or in the freezer for 1 month. Reheat in the microwave, or on the stovetop, adding water or vegetable broth if the mixture has dried out.



*The tomato sauce I use is from Trader Joe’s and is essentially tomato puree seasoned with sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, and herbs.
*If you can’t locate vegan Worcestershire sauce at the store, try this recipe from Forks Over Knives.
*My go-to whole-wheat vegan hamburger buns are from Trader Joe’s. The best gluten-free vegan hamburger buns I’ve tried are from the brand Happy Camper (which I found at a grocery store in Portland, OR). However, if you do/can eat eggs, I think Udi’s Gluten Free Hamburger Buns are a great option.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without a bun.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 298 Carbohydrates: 44.6 g Protein: 14.4 g Fat: 8 g Saturated Fat: 1.1 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 614 mg Fiber: 17.1 g Sugar: 13.5 g

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My Rating:

  1. Katie says

    As a lifelong sloppy joe-er, this recipe has satisfied my Joe cravings many times. Today, I used Bulgar wheat instead of lentils and A1 instead of Worcestershire. Along with the bell pepper and onion, I added a TJ’s Mirepoix mix (celery, carrot, onion) and some sautéed jalapeño and I think it’s my favorite version yet! Also, pita pockets are my new favorite sloppy joe transportation device! I love yellow mustard and pickles on mine, but popular toppings in our house also include a slice of cheese And some fried onions. :)

  2. Monica Matthews says

    I had most, but not all the ingredients and it was AMAZING!!!!!! No lie!!!! I usually don’t comment, but this is extraordinary!!!! I’m not a vegan or even a vegetarian but open to try new recipes (I’m not even big on being in the kitchen but the quarantine has changed that ;-D). It didn’t take long and wasn’t hard. TOTALLY RECOMMEND!!!! I almost lost a finger eating it…if I had all the ingredients, I KNOW I would have!!

  3. Hailey says

    My husband and I are in love with this recipe. It is a big hit for our weekly rotation of vegan dinners. For a little modification, I will add some liquid smoke for more depth to the flavor, especially when I don’t have Worcestershire sauce on hand. Along with maple syrup as a substitute for coconut sugar. It has turned out amazing every time. Thank you!

  4. Maggie says

    We liked them, but only after adding A LOT of ketchup to make the sauce sloppy joe-ier. We added pickles and mustard to ours because we saw it in a suggestion and loved it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Maggie, sorry to hear it didn’t turn out as expected! It sounds like maybe there wasn’t enough sweetener or tomato flavor? We’d suggest adding more sweetener and/or trying a different brand of tomato sauce next time. Hope that helps!

  5. Mary says

    So delicious!! I highly recommend. I made my own vegan Worcestershire as I couldn’t find it in the grocery store near me. I added an extra tablespoon of Worcestershire and a tablespoon of yellow mustard. Served it on a toasted hamburger bun with raw onions. Incredible!

  6. Tatiana snow says

    My favorite I always double the recipe and triple the spices. I also add Whole Foods ancho chili powder and sautéed jalapeño. And trader joe whole wheat buns since we don’t eat enriched flour over here thanks to 50 percent of the population having the MTHFR gene so no fake folic for us 😅. I’m also pregnant so this recipe is great for added folate!

  7. Melissa says

    Super simple and quick to make. I didn’t have to pre-soak my lentils and they cooked int he time recommended in this recipe. These sloppy joes have a really deliscious flavor profile. My only tweak – I didn’t have chili powder so I used Aleppo pepper and Harissa, I subbed splenda for coconut sugar, and I used regular Worsterchire. This was a hit!

  8. Katie says

    Wow. I’ve tried the black bean burgers and now the lentil sloppy joes and both have been amazing and full of flavor. I’m currently trying to lose weight so I cut the oil and just gave the pan a light spray of oil so that the onions and peppers wouldn’t stick. The taste was absolutely phenomenal and I have been eating this over a big potato every day for lunch! Thank you for your thoughtful and delicious recipes. You have made switching to a plant based diet a much easier task.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, we’re so glad you enjoyed both recipes, Katie! Thank you SO much for your kind words and lovely review! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  9. Amanda says

    This is delish and it a big hit in our house. Husband and 2yr old approved! I will be adding it to our recipe list. Thank you! 😊

  10. megan says

    Forgot to mention: i dumped water and lentils together and turned on heat, set timer for 23 minutes. still needed to let them simmer at low for 4-5 minutes beyond. So i’m doubtful about 18 minutes time. i never presoak lentils, btw. if that is your usual, maybe it works?

  11. Megan Crow says

    Yum. I wanted a burger and fries for dinner, but didn’t have the energy to do all the steps for a veggie burger. this was just right, little fuss. needed to add more sugar but i added tomato paste not tomato sauce, that may have been a difference. i also did add tiny cubed carrots in with onions and peppers to up the veg content and b/c carrots add a bit of sweetness.

  12. Lisa says

    My favourite when non-vegan people come over, always a home-run and great conversations and memories are guaranteed. High in fibre and deliciousness!
    My “modifications”: I cook French lentils (or Puy-Lentils, both of them are green lentils and stay a bit chewier than brown lentils for example) for three minutes or so in the instant pot, so I don’t have to hover over a pot. I like to add quick pickled red onion as a topping for some funk. I prefer to make it in a big pot with a heavy bottom as my cast iron tends to lend a metallic taste to acidic foods such as tomatoes.
    Thank you for the memories built around this dish, Dana!

  13. Nadia says

    These vegan sloppy joes are a staple in our house. I have made this recipe several times over and love it just a little more each time. My favorite toppings are yellow mustard (just trust me on this one!), pickles or jalepenos if I’m feeling spicy and a slice of vegan cheddar cheese on toasted buns. Mmm mmm good!

  14. Kayla Marie Wingbermuehle says

    This recipe is incredible! HUGE hit at our house. Normally I have to adjust up on spices, but this one was perfect.

    For us, the lentils didn’t cook in 18 minutes (maybe they needed to be soaked first?), so I had to let them simmer a little longer. No biggie at all.

    Thanks so much for this new staple!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad everyone enjoyed them, Kayla! Thanks so much for sharing! Yes, we’d say soak the lentils to help them cook faster or maybe give them more like 25-30 minutes?

  15. George says

    I added some chopped mushrooms to the recipe, sautéed with the onion, garlic, and pepper. They add nice texture. My favorite buns are homemade using the King Arthur flour recipe for hamburger potato buns but 50:50 whole wheat and bread flour.

  16. Alexandra Kenin says

    We bought lots of lentils at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and I was looking for ways to use them. This was perfect. I am going to eat this for lunch for the next few days. YUM! Very easy to make, which is always a help.

  17. Matt Sands says

    Followed one of the other suggestions in the comments to add dill pickles and wow. So good. I’m definitely going to be making this many, many more times.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We are so glad you enjoyed it, Lori! Thanks so much for sharing! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  18. Tara says

    One of my weekly go-to recipes now! Perfect for crowds and my family could eat it every day if I let them lol. Tastes like a vegan Manwich, which I grew up eating, so is super nostalgic too. 😉 Dill pickles are a delicious addition with the raw onion slices too. Love your site, thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, thanks so much for the lovely review, Tara! We’re so glad you enjoy this recipe! xo

  19. Jessica says

    I loved this mix aside from I probably would not have added the additional sugar. Very easy and would definitely make again with just that one change. Thanks for posting healthy recipes that don’t take all evening to make!!

  20. Meg says

    These were amazing! Made these for three carnivores and everyone was raving about the sauce- such a delicious healthy recipe thank you!

  21. Rachel says

    Guys this is so good. I didn’t have worcestire sauce so I subbed it out for soy sauce/bbq sauce mixture. I didn’t have coconut sugar so I used some agave maple syrup. Put some cheese slices in the sandwich to melt (I’m vegetarian haha) and it was a wrap. Currently trying not to devour the leftovers. I just had to review this, thank you!

    • Tori says

      SO GOOD! I didn’t have worstchire so I subbed a touch of fish sauce. Honestly probably would have been good without too. Recipe was so fast and easy I did it while working. Also used a tiny bit of white sugar instead of coconut. Versatile and will be making many more times!

  22. Regan says

    Does the serving size include the bun? Thinking about adding this to hit my macros, but am limiting bread ! This seems so simple, yet seems so tasty !

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Regan, the nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without a bun.

  23. Jacqueline says

    These are delicious! I usually make sloppy bean/joes from a recipe using kidneys beans from Nikki&David Goldbeck’s American Wholefoods Cuisine, copyright 1983 (yep, dating myself!). I liked these just as much–I did add a touch of spicy mustard and a splash of apple cider vinegar at the end, though, and I don’t have/use Worcestershire sauce, even the vegan type–I just don’t like the flavor it brings. I love your recipes…every one I’ve made is a winner!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, thanks so much for your kind words and lovely review, Jacqueline! We’re so glad you enjoy our recipes! xo

  24. Mark says

    Thank you for the recipe! I do like lentils and this sounded good and had to give it a whirl. My wife was hesitant but when she tried it she said she would eat this again and for no meat was very good. To me I will be using this recipe as it is a home run. Great flavor and healthy ingredients I used double the garlic as it cooked off. Wow Thank you for this recipe it is enjoyable.

  25. Adriana Mitchell says

    Hi – I was wondering if I could use a sauce pan for the entire recipe? Would it come out the same? I only have a small skillet. Don’t think it would fit all of the ingredients in it.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      It’s ideal to have a larger skillet so there’s more surface space to sauté the ingredients. But, in a pinch, a saucepan can work.

  26. Diana says

    I’m newly trying to follow a 70-80% vegan diet and this recipe sounds really good. The sugar alternatives (Coconut Sugar) is hard to find right now (although on my list next time I go to whole foods), can I use Splenda or does the Coconut part of the Coconut sugar add to the flavor ? I know Splenda is not healthy alternative to sugar but its the only kind I have on hand for the occasional latte and baked good.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Diana, any sweetener should be fine. We think pure maple syrup would be better if you have that available. Let us know how it goes!

  27. Patti says

    This is another tasty recipe! It is so quick, easy & flavorful! My hubby & I like it spicy, so we added some jalapeno’s for garnish- yum! Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Patti! Thanks so much for the lovely review!

  28. Meg says

    This recipe is SOOO dang delicious! I’ve made it to a T once before. I didn’t have enough tomato sauce this time, so I made some with tomato paste and vegetable broth and a few spices (garlic, salt and onion powder) and I also added some coco aminos for a sweeter savory flavor. I cooked the lentils about 5 more minutes to make them softer because last time I felt like they were a little chewy, and I like it softer. It turned out wonderfully both times! This might be my favorite way to eat lentils! Toddler and omnivorous husband approved!!

  29. Jaimie says

    Delicious. Only changes I made were to sub a block of tempeh, crumbled, for the lentils and increase the smoked paprika to 1/2 teaspoon.

  30. Frank Hoelen says

    6 months ago a female colleague of mine (we both work on voice over/animation) said I absolutely had to try your Sloppy Joe, she sent me the link, yesterday I suddenly remembered and oh my, it was delicious, I served it with naanbread and some melted spinach and a big spoon of corn curry, my wife kept making these strange noises and murmuring “Restaurant food baby, absolutely restaurant food,” haha we were both in food heaven, thank you for your inspiring recipes, warm greetings from Westerlo Belgium, Frank & Nada

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you both enjoyed it, Frank! Thanks so much for the lovely review!

  31. Kathy Cooke says

    Wonderful! Tastes just like the sloppy joes from the highschool cafeteria. I’ve tried these both vegan as written and again using a pound of ground beef instead of the lentils, and both versions were excellent! I used the upper amounts of sugar and spices and added a little extra worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper, and it was tangy and delicious. I subbed grated zucchini for the bell pepper, as I’m allergic. Served with snipped chives on a homemade, keto burger bun. Thanks for taking me to way-back land. I thought I’d never have a sloppy joe again after high school.

  32. May says

    Excellent recipe. Fast, filling, delicious, and makes a lot.
    Used crushed tomatoes instead of sauce… looked just like sauce to me! Through in a minced jalapeño that was looking lonely in the veggie bin by itself. I think the leftover lentils would be great on pasta, on toast, or even nachos- yum!

  33. Heather says

    I made this with Boca veggie crumbles and it was delicious! The sauce is where it’s at- I can see how it’d be great with lentils too. My 8 year old helped cook, and everyone in my family loved this meal. It reminded me of my childhood, and will be in my regular meal rotation now.

  34. Rhonda Mangrum says

    I just tried this recipe: I used all unsalted vegetable stock rather than water to cook the lentils because once I’ve opened a carton I like to use it up as soon as possible; I also used both red and green bell pepper and used the rest of them for another recipe, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly as written. This is delicious! I will probably get 5 days or more of meal-prep lunches from this since I will be eating it in a wrap rather than on a bun. I love that there is very little sugar in it and it fits within my low-sodium (mostly plant-based) diet.

    • Terry says

      Really excited to try these sloppy joes! Every MB recipe we’ve made has been great!

      If I wanted to replace the lentils with another bean, what would you recommend?


  35. Kristin says

    This recipe was great! We are looking to minimize meat in our diets and this gave us the perfect sloppy joe experience and flavor. I used brown sugar instead of coconut and no paprika (didn’t have any) and the flavor was great.
    I’m planning on modifying the seasonings to make some ‘taco meat’ for tacos next time.

  36. Anissa says

    This always comes out perfectly! I made it multiple times and also gave the recipe to other people who loved it. I do not use Worcestershire sauce and chili powder, but find that it has a lot of flavour without it. I serve it with bread, tortilla’s, naan or even rice, everything goes well with it!

  37. Ambrea says

    My husband and I have been wanting to eat a more plant based diet. I joined FOK on Facebook and someone posted this recipe. My husband loves sloppy joes so I was super curious how this would go over. He absolutely loved it! As did I! I didn’t go full out vegan with it because cheese is a weakness in our house and I’m not versed enough to make vegan versions of some of our favorite dairy items yet. We ate these on onion rolls from a local grocery store with mayo, shredded cheese and a cheddar sauce. I didn’t go strictly by the recipe because I’m not a good recipe follower. I cooked my lentils longer but they were still a little al dente so I mashed them a bit to adjust texture and it worked well. It had a very meaty texture to it and we thoroughly enjoyed these. Thanks so much for the excellent recipe! Can’t wait to try some others on the site!

  38. Emy says

    I’m making this recipe this week and I only have canned lentils on hand. Do you think that will be an okay substitution? Can’t wait to try these! I’ve heard they’re incredible!!

  39. JoAnn Cullis says

    This is keeper! It was delicious and filling. I had it on a gluten free roll the first night. For lunch the next day I added non-dairy shredded cheese.
    Wonderful recipe and easy to make.

  40. Diana A. says

    This was awesome! My brother and SIL are vegan so I’ve been trying to expand my vegan cooking knowledge. Thought the recipe was great- I added some soy sauce and some balsamic just for some saltier, deeper notes. Overall, delish!

    • Kristen says

      I have green split pea lentils. Would this work for this recipe? I have everything else needed so I was going to try this tonight.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hmm, we haven’t tried split peas in this and aren’t sure they would work. Let us know if you try it!

  41. Megan says

    Wow! Both my husband and toddler loved this recipe!! The flavor is on point. It reminds me of my childhood, too. Or the lunch lady from Billy Madison…

    Anyways, this recipe is a perfect example of how creative you can be with traditional meat recipes and not eat overly processed foods. We will make this often. Thanks again!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Megan. We are so glad you all enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  42. Jeremy Sprinkle says

    I’ve made this twice now, and it’s come out perfectly and been a big hit both times. The second time I added a little chipotle in adobo sauce that I had leftover from another recipe, which punched up the smokiness and heat nicely. I’ve served these with sliced cheese, fresh onions, and pickle chips. Tastes great on Hawaiian rolls if you’re making sliders!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Jeremy. We are so glad you enjoy this recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  43. Regina K. says

    This recipe was delicious!! I doubled it so we would have leftovers for later in the week. I used one can of tomatoes sauce and one jar of pizza sauce. I also didn’t use any sugar because I had about 1/3c of homemade caramelized onions left from the weekend, and onions are so sweet once they cook down you don’t need sugar :) and I did sub Bragg’s Amino acids for the Worcester sauce since it has anchovies.

    My son (who is vegan) LOVED them, and my husband who is a carnivore loved them too. Thank you for a wonderful recipe and I definitely will keep in the rotation.

    • Teresa Bortoluzzi says

      Hi – the only lentils I have have to be soaked beforehand…. would this recipe still work without soaking ?

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Teresa, we aren’t familiar with lentils that require soaking, so we think it should be fine. But soaking is best for improved digestibility.

  44. Caroline F says

    Love this recipe! I doubled it, and now have a few containers in the freezer for leftovers this week. My veggie broth was unsalted so I made sure to salt the water to give the lentils extra flavor, and I made a quick DIY Worcestershire with 1tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1tbsp soy sauce, and extra spices. I also added a package of Lightlife Smart Ground crumbles for the last five minutes of cooking. Found the TJ’s buns, and topped with fresh kale, sliced onion, and a cashew lime crema I had left over from taco night.

  45. Cathy says

    Great recipe. My husband, the carnivore, liked it too! I used brown sugar and I mashed some of the lentils which resulted in a thicker “meat mixture”. I did make the mistake of adding too much red pepper…(I thought it needed a bit of heat)… time I might add more cumin instead of red pepper flakes. I will make this again for sure!! Thank you for a delicious Friday night in Lent dinner recipe!

  46. Cindy says

    I haven’t had a sloppy Joe for at least 40 years because of the meat. This recipe is outstanding! Even my meat loving husband wants me to make it again. And it is quick and easy! The only change I made was substituting molasses for the sugar.

  47. Valerie says

    Ugh these are soooo addicting!! I’ve been vegan for 8 years now and this is the first sloppy joe recipe that has been a success! My husband loved them and he’s picky with his liking of sloppy joes, my 1 year old also devoured Hers! I omitted the Worcestershire sauce as it’s a tad too much for our toddler. I served this on your easy vegan rolls (drooling just thinking of my just eaten dinner) lol added some vegan mayo, corn and red cabbage! Definitely making this a regular for dinners and summer lunches :)

  48. Andrew says

    I’ve made these multiple times for my family and we love them. I add in a teaspoon of cayenne powder for some extra zip and they’re fantastic. The half water half vegetable broth is worth the extra step too.

  49. Danielle says

    This recipe was delicious! My husband and I are trying to cut back on our meat consumption and I didn’t even miss it in this meal! Usually when I have a vegetarian meal I never feel satisfied afterwards and find myself hungry not long after. But I’m completely full after this meal and don’t even feel bloated like I normally do after a meal with meat.
    I followed most of the recipe with a few exceptions. I doubled all the seasoning suggestions and “Worcestershire” sauce, used a whole bell pepper, and 5 cloves of garlic. This was super flavorful and delicious!
    Thank you for the recipe! It’ll be added to oor rotation for sure!

  50. Patti Fitzgibbons says

    Wow! This recipe is amazing!! I’m trying to go plant based & love the challenges of all your flavorful recipes. My husband, the meat eater, now needs to go plant based after gallbladder surgery per doctors orders. He tasted this recipe for vegan sloppy joes & he thought it was very good!!!! I mashed the lentils and added chopped mushrooms to make it “meaty-er”. He could not tell there was no meat in it. A sneaky way to get veggies & no meat protein. I served it with Cole slaw using homemade low fat avocado ranch dressing & whole grain buns. Great job!! Keep those recipes coming!!! Patti. ♥️

  51. Patty says

    I made this for a Super Bowl party. It is so full of flavor and didn’t take much longer than opening that can of processed sauce from the store. I will make this a million times more to add to bowls, baked potatoes, pizza, everything! Thanks for another winner, Dana!

  52. Suzanne says

    I was struck with the urge to have sloppy joes, did a vegan search, and found your recipe. I had everything on hand, so I gave it a go. I love my beef sloppy joes, but I will tell you, these did the trick! I thought they were delicious! I am going to take some with me to have for lunch at work. Thank you! I can see making these quite regularly and having them over a baked potato as well as in a bun.

  53. Lindley Rust says

    So incredibly delicious! This has been a staple for me & my husband for about 6 months now & we are impressed by it every single time.
    I have a ton of extra chia powder on hand at the moment, so decided to add some as an extra binding/thickening agent & it worked wonderfully. I added about 2 tbsp when I added the lentils to the sauce & it was perfect! You could probably even add 3 tbsps to make it even thicker & it’d be great.

  54. Patricia says

    Also – I didn’t have Worcestershire sauce so my substitute was a 1 Tbs mix of apple cider vinegar, soy sauce and hot sauce

  55. Patricia says

    Amazingly easy, healthy and most of all delicious! I cooked my lentils in the instant pot first and transferred to pan but now that I think about it this recipe could probably all be done in the instant pot. I also undercooked the vegetables for extra nutrition and crunchiness. This one will go in the regular rotation. I actually like way better than regular burgers or sloppy joes.

  56. Madeline says

    This was delicious! We are not vegan but are trying to eat more plant based. My husband said he is happy to have this meal anytime and doesn’t miss the traditional sloppy joes!

  57. Bryan says

    I made this and just used the ingredients and steps as listed. it turned out really great! keep in mind they are very sloppy Joe’s so a little hard to eat without making a mess but very tasty.

  58. Allyson Nolle says

    I thought this was delicious! My kids complained it was too spicy even though I only used less than a teaspoon of chili powder. I tried to balance it with a little more sweetness (splash of maple syrup), but i think that made it too sweet for my husband. Can’t please them all! Next time I might separate and make spicy and not spicy pots. Served it with roasted potatoes, peas, and kale salad with white cheddar and figs. Yum.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Allyson. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Traci. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  59. Courtney Quinn says

    I made this recipe for my family (who are not vegan) about 6 months ago for dinner, and I got great feedback. The best compliment in the world was when my little brother requested I make the recipe for his birthday dinner today! We had a great celebration with the family and he loved it. Amazing recipe

  60. Therese says

    This was delicious! I made it with French green lentils I had previously cooked and frozen, so it came together really quickly! I used regular sugar instead of coconut sugar, and it seemed to work just the same.

  61. Hayley says

    Amazing recipe. This will definitely be a new staple for dinner! I used maple syrup instead of coconut sugar and a spicy marinara sauce instead of tomato sauce. I also added chopped carrot, mushrooms, and a full red pepper for some more veggies. On my toasted bun I added melted chao ‘cheese’, sliced onion, and some ketchup and honey mustard. Turned out amazing.

  62. Ann says

    I grew up eating sloppy joes, and I haven’t had them since becoming a vegetarian over 10 years ago. This recipe has blown my socks off.. It brings back the childhood memory of the comfort meal on cool fall/ winter nights AND is more delicious the the meat version. Thank you for creating and sharing this! It will be a new staple in our house for sure.

  63. Deborah Moore says

    Any suggestions for a substitution for the coconut sugar? I can’t have any sort of sugar/sweetener unless it comes in the form of fruit or stevia.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Deborah, you could try adding additional tomato sauce and/or some balsamic vinegar, perhaps? Let us know if you give it a try!

    • Molly says

      Can you eat dates? I’m not sure what a good amount is since they’re so sweet, but I think the flavor would be delicious in here. If you mince it, it would blend in nicely with the other ingredients.

  64. michaluna says

    These look FAB! We love your recipes! What a great idea to use lentils. (Husband often requests sloppy joes, but we’ve been out of luck since Fantastic Foods discontinued their Veg Sloppy Joe mix, which was my old standby…) Question: any suggestions of what to swap in for the bell pepper? DD rejects anything with bell peppers, no matter how small I chop them, even if I use the red pepper.

  65. Alex says

    I’ve been craving something hot and comforting, and this totally did the trick. I did max measurements of everything and ended up needing an extra glug of worchestershire and a few pinches of salt (because I somehow managed to buy salt-free tomato sauce). I also added a small jalapeno because I had a spare one floating around.

    I ate it out of a coffee mug because I was fresh out of therapy and felt like a ratty, wet towel. I bet it’d be awesome on a baked sweet potato with pickled jalapenos or maybe on a toasted slice of fresh sourdough with an egg on top!

  66. Kayla says

    These turned out absolutely delicious!!! Had a side of fresh tator tots with our Sloppy Joe’s, and boy did we enjoy it! I did not have cumin or coconut sugar on hand, so I used some turmeric and good ol’ brown sugar, which worked out great. Always enjoy your recipes — sharing this one with all of my friends! Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Natalie, that should work, though the red lentils will be more mushy and cook faster. Hope that helps!

  67. Alana says

    I did this in my instant pot. 10 minutes under pressure and 10 minutes slow release. It’s very tasty and everyone liked it. Doubled the recipe too so I could freeze some for later. Thanks for the recipe!

  68. Maggie says

    This was amazing! I did add one extra spice about 2-3 tsp of steak seasoning like Montreal. Thank you for an amazing dinner!

  69. Renae says

    Absolutely delicious. I used tomato paste, because it’s what I had on hand. I subbed vegetable stock to make up for the missing moisture that would have been in the tomato sauce.

    The only thing I will say is I wish I would have cooked the lentils longer. Cooking them for 18 minutes wasn’t long enough to make them as soft as I would have liked them.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Wonderful! Thanks for sharing, Renae! Yes, lentil cook time will vary depending on size, type, freshness, and whether they’ve been soaked prior to cooking.

  70. Anastasia Hummerich says

    So delicious my partner and I make this frequently. I use wedges instead of hamburger buns and it turns out so well

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Anastasia. We are so glad you both enjoy it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  71. Bre says

    My kids were hesitant because they had never had anything like it. My husband and I loved these though. I have never liked sloppy joes before (Ketchup is the one food that I hate) and I could eat a lot more of these. I used prepackaged lentils and made my own worchestershire sauce because my son has a soy intolerance. My kids warmed up to them by the end and will probably love them next time

  72. Marcy says

    Great recipe. I made exactly as written with the higher amount of spices (ie. 2 tsp chili powder, 2 tbsp sugar). Everyone in my family ate without complaint. Served on a bun for kids, and in a pita pocket for me. I served it with cooked zucchini and yellow squash that had just been sauteed in veggie broth. I found that as an alternative it was fantastic served on top of these vegetables. Will become one of my standby recipes for sure since it was so easy to make.

  73. April says

    I just made this vegan lentil sloppy joes recipe and loved it! Sooo tasty. I’ve tried other recipes and missed the ketchup, but this was so rich and tangy with a touch of sweet ~ I was completely satisfied. Thank you!!

  74. Lori P says

    This was simple to make, easy clean up and produced good flavor. I had mine over gluten free rotini instead of on a bun and will also try it with rice. I had no GF Bread handy and did not miss it with this one. I followed the recipe using a plain organic can of tomato sauce and felt all the flavor was still there. I will use a little less sugar next time I make it (I opted for 1 1/2 Tbsp). That is just my preference. I am never disappointed with the recipes on this website. Sometimes I don’t like the combination of flavors but it is never because the recipe wasn’t spot on. This site is the main reason I have been able to succeed as a vegan (my 3 year anniversary coming up)! Thank you!

  75. Kathy Chouinard says

    I love this recipe. I let my boyfriend try it and he commented about the lentils not being completely soft. Are they supposed to be? Every time I’ve made them in the past they were not completely soft. Thanks.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yeah! But if you’d rather you could cook them until they still have a little bite so it has more texture!

  76. Maureen says

    I enjoyed this recipe as it was but felt it needed more flavour so added more of everything except sugar and lentils and added Dijon mustard. Very filling. Because I am gluten-free I scooped it up with tortilla chips. Made enough to freeze. Thank you so much for posting this. I appreciate the effort it takes!

  77. theresa gill says

    I modified this. You do not need the sugar. I put 1/4 cup of red wine instead and added red pepper flakes. Also, I used crushed tomatoes.

  78. JT says

    Meh. Didn’t wow us. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing special. Definitely not sloppy joe flavoring, more like a chili. These vegetarians will be looking elsewhere next time.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi JT, sorry to hear this one wasn’t for you! Just wanted to make sure your spices were fresh? It sounds like the chili powder could have been stronger than the other spices. Or did you make any modifications?

  79. Kathy says

    Can you let me know why these are not freezer friendly? What would happen if.i did freeze them? I am moving to a plant based diet. Your recipes are practical and easy. I have a vaccum sealer, and want to try recipes that i can vacuum seal and freeze because it is just me at home.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Great question! I do think the filling would freeze well up to 1 month! We can modify that in the instructions. Just thaw before use and reheat on the stovetop or microwave, adding more water or vegetable broth as needed if dry.

  80. Michelle says

    Another awesome recipe Dana! Well done and thank you. My family devoured this! My 3 year old said it was the “bestest dinner ever” and my 1 year old ate FAR more than I expected her to eat! Lentils and veggies… whooda thunk?

  81. Becca says

    I literally never comment on online recipes, but this one… it was a huge hit! My 5 year old ate two and my seven year old ate THREE! I will definitely add this to the rotation.

  82. Angela L says

    Wow! I thought these were good day one, but the flavors meld and it gets better after being in the fridge for a day or two! I followed the recipe, but didn’t have veg broth so I just used water for the lentils. I like cumin and I prefer more heat, so I upped the cumin and chili powder. Instead of traditional serving suggestions, I used corn tortilla chips. The little bit of added salt and the crunch from the chips made this somewhat addictive! I cook for one and decided to share this with a friend. They loved it as well! I’m not vegan, but have been incorporating more animal free dishes into my weekly rotations. This recipe is a keeper!

  83. Sandi Rivers says

    This was delicious! I used some lentils I made in the instant pot the night before instead of dried lentils. I’m sure the texture would have been perfect if I had followed directions exactly! I did use regular paprika and added a few drops of liquid smoke. I also substituted dark brown sugar for coconut sugar. It’s what I had on hand. I will definitely make these again!

  84. Scott says

    I made this over the Fourth, just five days ago. It was super easy, and it completely and utterly rocks. It’s just as tasty cold. My wife keeps asking me to make it again. I will. I see this being a staple for future lunches and dinners. I so do like vegan sloppy joes. I’d eat them again. I’d eat them with a hen. I’d eat them at my desk, in a car or in a bar. I’d eat them here, there or anywhere.

  85. Brandi says

    Perfect recipe for a carry-in! Super easy recipe to follow. I didn’t have green lentils on hand so I sub-ed with red lentils and chana dal (chickpeas split). That modification worked nicely. I also added some liquid smoke to the dish for an extra kick. 10/10 would make again!

  86. Macie says

    Made these tonight with some added spice from cayenne and Louisiana hot sauce. Served in a pita pocket to help decrease the messiness from spillage. They were amazing!!!

  87. Lindsay says

    The boyfriend and I really enjoyed this recipe. We don’t even like lentils all that much but loved everything about this. I used red lentils which worked just fine but turned out a bit mushy. I think next time i’ll try it with green or black lentils and I like the idea of adding in some back eyed peas or kidney beans! Flavor and everything was fantastic and super easy. I might even use the whole red pepper next time. My boyfriend doesn’t like onions but he’s okay with scallions so I chopped up the bottom white part of the scallions and used that instead. I also used onion salt instead of regular to get more of that onion flavor without actually having them in there! It worked out great and no complaints from him!

    Can’t wait to have our leftovers tonight!

  88. John says

    The first time I made this recipe I was full of excitement and anticipation with a touch of skepticism. I didn’t have any Coconut sugar so the only substitution I made was to use some morena sugar I had on hand. I wasn’t disappointed. This is great and packs a good flavourful punch. I made it again tonight although I cheated and used a can of organic lentils. In addition, this time I added half a red pepper and used 3 cloves of garlic. It was a little more saucey than I prefer and I used 2 tsp of masa harina to thicken it. Oh, and still no coconut sugar so I used demerara sugar. Once again I was delighted with the result. I was considering adding either a bay leaf of two or a little achiote, but, I didn’t want to stray too far in one go. This recipe is great as it is but it’s also a wonderful platform upon which to experiment. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I look forward to trying more of your creations.

  89. Rebecca says

    So good! I used black lentils as I had some pre-cooked portions in my freezer. I didn’t defrost enough so ended up adding a bit of canned kidney beans I had on hand as well to thicken things up. Also added from fresh parsley and dill. I legit cannot stop thinking about how good this is, I ate it for lunch and will probably have again for dinner! Thanks for a fab recipe :D

  90. Rebecca Wall says

    I have precooked lentils in my freezer, how many cups of cooked lentils would you say you need? Not sure how much 1 cup dry equals in terms of cooked lentils, thx!

  91. Joyce says

    Made these for supper! Yum. They really were very quick and easy, plus full of flavor. I had a friend in college who used to make lentil sloppy joes for us–they called them “snobby joes”–so it brings back fond memories.

  92. Caroline says

    As closely resembles a sloppy joe as you’ll get and much healthier than the packaged stuff I remember eating as a kid. I increased chili powder, cumin, and salt and my husband requested I cook the lentils a bit longer next time and there will be a next time. My 2 yo even ate it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      So glad to hear it, Caroline! Thanks for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications!

  93. Alexa says

    I made this for my family who is vegan and a few non vegan people and it was a HIT! The depth of flavor was perfect and it was super simple to make. I added extra onion because… well more onion is never a bad decision lol. It also was great reheated the following day! If I were to do anything differently I would have cooked my lentils a little longer so they were a little more tender. I have absolutely loved every vegan recipe I have made by Minimalist Baker. One of my favorite things about her directions is how she explains what to add for sweetness, depth, smokiness, saltiness, ect. Love all the detail ?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Alexa! We are so glad you enjoy our recipes! xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Deborah, we haven’t tried freezing it and aren’t sure whether it would work. A couple readers have mentioned they have done so successfully though. Let us know if you give it a try!

  94. Joyce says

    I’ve made this recipe 3 times in 2 weeks , my family loves it. I increased the cumin and chili powder to 2 TBS . So good and filling and healthy.

  95. Justine says

    I loved the flavor of this recipe, but once it went in the bun I couldn’t taste it. Any suggestions?

  96. Tina Marie says

    It’s like eating a clean manwich! I was definitely surprised by how closely these tasted to the sloppy joes of my childhood. Delish and my husband even loved them. I omitted the oil and just cooked in a few tablespoons of oil instead.

  97. Pes says

    This was excellent! My entire family enjoyed including the 8, 6, 3 and 1 year old. Only change I would make is to leave out the sugar.

  98. Cassie says

    This recipe is fantastic. I made this tonight and even my meat eating hubby approved! I made just a couple of changes: added a can of pink beans, 1/2 the lentils, sub light brown sugar for coconut sugar, squeeze of ketchup, apple cider vinegar, and played around with the spices like the recipe instructions suggested. We ate these on brioche burger buns. So yummy!!!

  99. Shannon Leta says

    This has become one of our favorites at home! My meat loving husband does not miss the beef at all and regularly requests lentil based meals now (Ive made lentil shepherd’s pie, lentil stroganoff & lentil Swedish meatballs *drool*)
    Thank you for this fantastic recipe!! Tonight will be the umpteenth time I’ve made these hehe ???

  100. Rob says

    Super easy.
    Served over baked potato.
    I used molasses instead of sugar.
    The lentils were pre-cooked from Trader Joe’s.
    The “slop” was done before the potatoes, so I added a little veggie broth to keep it moist.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  101. Kristin says

    I made this today and everyone loved it!! We ate it on baked white sweet potatoes with shredded red cabbage and avocado on top and it was incredible!! Thank you for the delicious recipe.

  102. Susan says

    I’ve made this recipe a couple of times and it is always delicious! Thank you for always providing us with such wonderful recipes! ?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried that, but another reader has and reported success. Hope that helps!

  103. Amy says

    I’ve made this twice, and it’s been a big hit. My picky kids devour it! I don’t have coconut sugar, so I use pure maple syrup. It tastes great as leftovers too!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review. We are so glad your family enjoys these! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  104. Maggie says

    Just an fyi for anyone who doesn’t know, neither gluten-free and whole wheat hamburger buns are vegan.

  105. Julia says

    Followed the recipe as written and it turned out amazing. I have never had an sloppy joe before but this exceeded all my expectations. Definitely seeing many more sloppy joe in my near future. Thank you for this great recipe :)

  106. Tia Francis says

    I’ve made this a few times… it’s so simple and yummy! A great way to sneak some veggies in for my toddler. Today I’m sick and needed something super simple. I already have some lentils in the fridge so I just dumped the tomato sauce and seasonings into a pan and added the lentils. It was extra easy and still yummy!!!

  107. Angie M says

    This recipe was so delicious that I cannot imagine meat ever being in sloppy joes again! Only change was added a bit more of the seasoning.

  108. Kim says

    The perfect sloppy joe recipe!
    I’m a smoked paprika nut, so I add a healthy tablespoon of that, but that’s my only alteration.

    • Amy says

      Made as written. Easy, fast and delicious. (My 4 year old even tried and liked it!!) Will make again! Thank you!

  109. Siena says

    This is one of my favorite Minimalist Baker recipes. I make it all the time for myself, and for my family when they’re feeling open to a vegan meal. I was able to find a small bottle of vegan Worcestershire from Whole Foods and it’s lasted me through many uses of this recipe. It’s the perfect warm-you-up dinner and so fun! I’ve also made this in my college dorm and it was totally easy to prepare. Although the recipe doesn’t say anything about freezing the leftover lentil mixture, I’ve had success doing this in the past. It’s great for a healthier comfort food dinner!

  110. Sierra says

    I substituted the can of tomato sauce and coconut sugar with ketchup, and it turned out great!! Love this recipe.

  111. Sierra says

    I have seen sloppy joe recipes that use ketchup. Could I replace the tomato sauce+ coconut sugar with ketchup?

  112. 5 minutes please says

    I don’t believe this takes 5 minutes to prep. Have you seen any real human’s kitchen? First you gotta find all the measuring cups scattered around the hellscape that is the drawers, dishwasher, and drying rack, and weed out the ones you don’t need. Then you have 3 plants to cut, an onion, garlic, and pepper, THREE!!!! We aren’t machines, it takes time to dice and mince them. We aren’t instagram chefs who have everything already laid out in front of them in pretty little bowls. Not to mention we probably need to clean the kitchen from last night just to have clean stuff to cook with now. Also, it took me 5 minutes just to scroll past your life story just to get to the freaking recipe. I know what sloppy joes are. I know what lentils are. Just tell me how to cook them. I’m not trying to become your friend here, I just want you to tell me how to make food good.

  113. Alexandra June Palamari says

    These are wonderful! My husband and son love them. I have made them twice in the last 3 weeks. Great vegan comfort food!

  114. Kathleen says

    This one is definitely a winner. Everyone in the family loved it and leftovers were great for a quick lunch. Thank you for another great recipe.

  115. Mairby says

    I made the Vegan Sloppy Joe’s except I replaced the oil with 2 Tbsp of Veg broth. The most exciting thing is my husband doesn’t eat vegan but he did tonight and he had two toasted Vegan Sloppy Joe’s. I am excited that there was enough left over for couple lunches for me tomorrow and Friday. This was very tasty. I used the Happy Herbivore Vegan Worcestershire Recipe from her light and lean book. I made up and have some of it left over for another day, I labeled my jar so I would not forget what it is in the refrig. Thanks for the great recipe!

  116. Rachel says

    Holy hell. THIS IS AMAZING. I am in love. Another staple, woo! I ended up making my own Worcestershire sauce: 6 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp tamari soy sauce, 2 tsp yellow mustard, 1/4 tsp ginger powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp of garlic powder, dash of cinnamon, 1 tbsp coconut sugar, dash of cayenne. I got the recipe for that from the Happy Herbivore. This recipe is so amazing though- I haven’t had sloppy joes in like 10 years and this is so good and is so healthy!! Thanks again for another kick A recipe, Dana!

  117. Jasmin says

    I made this for a Super Bowl potluck and it was a big hit. I’m the type of person that likes to tinker with recipes and couldn’t find a way to modify this one because it was perfect as is. I just pulled some of the leftovers from the freezer a few weeks later and they kept really well in freezer safe Ziploc bags.

  118. Robyn says

    This a delicious recipe! I think I should have cooked the lentils a little longer but still very tasty! I added mushrooms and a bit of Harissa spice. Wish Hawaii had a Trader Joe’s! Thank you for all your amazing recipes! xox

  119. Taniya says

    This recipe has become a frequent to our dining table. It’s very satisfying and delicious. I’d like to share that adding ground roasted cumin (I pound pan-roasted cumin seeds on a mortar-pestle) at the end makes a significant enhancement to the taste and aroma. Note, that it’s different from store bought cumin powder. I also like to garnish it with some chopped shallots. Yumm!

  120. Kate says

    My family really likes this! We make a double batch and freeze half of the filling for a future dinner. When we’re ready to eat it we thaw the lentil sloppy joe mix and then reheat it in a pot on the stove or in the microwave. So yummy, easy, and healthy!

  121. Diane M. says

    I made this for dinner and loved the rich flavor! It was super easy to make and didn’t take much time. I love that the “meat” is a vegetable source. I felt the recipe was perfect as it is, so I made no modifications. Will definitely be making this again.

  122. Christine Passo says

    I’ve been following you for a while and this is the 2nd dish I’ve made from your recipes. We loved it!! I love quick and easy dishes, especially for dinner and you always seem to nail it! Thank you!!
    I loved how easily one can adjust the spice and flavors in the sloppy Joe’s…this was not only fun to prepare but so fun to eat!

  123. Chris says

    Delicious. Subbed black-eyed peas for lentils and it has made it into my list of everyday recipes. Wholly recommend with lentil or black-eyed peas, but for my taste the sauce pairs better with the latter.

  124. Emma says

    This recipe is probably the closest you can get to “real” sloppy joes without using fake soy meat. My boyfriend and I (neither of us vegan, but we try to eat plant-based as often as possible) loved it!

  125. Rebekah says

    Made these tonight and they were delicious! The lentils were still hard after 18min and there was no liquid left. I added more water/broth as the lentils cooked…at least 30min total. We topped them with pickles and onions. Definitely adding these to my “make again” folder. :)

  126. Caterina says

    I started out following the directions, but the sauce just tasted like straight tomato sauce and I didn’t like it one bit. I ended up adding a cup and a half of water, more sugar (I used brown sugar), and kick of this west indian hot sauce I use, and like 2-3 tbsp of honey barbecue sauce. I also ended up covering the beans because after 18 minutes + drying out twice on a low simmer, them bad boys were still as hard as a rock. Came out pretty bomb though with my additions :)

  127. Nancy says

    This was so easy and delicious. I used a whole red pepper and topped my sandwich with vegan coleslaw and picked red onions. When I ran out of buns, I just ate it as a bowl!

  128. Valerie says

    I made this for lunch. I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to following recipes especially when I try one for the first time. I didn’t have tomato sauce so I subbed it for ketchup. Two of us ate the entire lot of it in one sitting, lol. Really enjoyed making, serving and eating this. It’s going to be in my meal rotation now. Thanks for the recipe.

  129. Philo Vance says

    Love this recipe. Only modification was to substitute black-eyed peas for lentils. Have recommended to both vegans and non and will make this again, for sure.

  130. Meghan Macko says

    Just made these and they were delish!!! Pretty easy to make and even my meat-eating (veg-friendly) husband and my picky 8 year old liked it! I subbed red onions, served open face in toasted ciabatta rolls slathered with butter.

  131. Kalli says

    I made this with a few additions! I also stuffed this mixture into bell peppers (3 total cut in half 6 – pieces) and it turned out great! I added some liquid smoke to the lentil cooking liquid and to the sauce before adding the lentils. I also added a sprinkle of dried oregano to the sauce and a dash of coconut aminos. I topped the stuffed peppers with panko breadcrumbs before baking.

  132. Mike Madsen says

    I love how quick and easy this recipe is to make. Even quicker when you cook the lentils in a pressure cooker. My family loves this served over whole wheat bread .

  133. Lisa says

    Dana, I’ve been reading your blog for several months now, and I have to say I’m fascinated by your talents. I’m not a vegan, not even a vegetarian – just someone who wants to eat more real food. Your recipes are amazing and your photography is just stunning. Thank you for the hard work and effort you put into your posts, especially the careful instructions and visuals.
    This recipe is FABULOUS! These are everything I want in a sloppy joe — savory, saucy, spicy and a little sweet. I played around a bit with the spices and used a combo of date paste and maple syrup to sweeten. I found that to achieve the consistency and taste to my own preference, it was necessary to add water after all the ingredients were incorporated and simmer for about 30 minutes. I also added about 1/3 of a bag of shredded carrots, chopped. I ate it on a homemade burger bun topped with coleslaw – PERFECTION.
    On my first go-around with this recipe, my son ate most of the leftovers on me, so I made it again this week, increasing the volume and then froze half for later. Sloppy joes are one of my absolute favorite all-time comfort foods. I had absolutely no reason to omit the meat, personally – your beautiful photos and detailed description convinced me to try, and you’ve made a believer out of me. Thanks so much!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you so much for the kind note, Lisa! We are so glad that you’re finding the site helpful :) Thanks for sharing your recipe changes on this one!

  134. Alicia says

    These are soooo delish!!! Easy to throw together and so full of flavour!!! Definitely making a double batch next time!!! I did not stray from the recipe and they came out perfect!!! The whole family loves them!!! Thanks for the recipe!!!

  135. Heather says

    This has become a regular dinner at our house. It’s super yummy. I don’t have any vegan Worcestershire, so I used nutritional yeast instead and it works great. I also use red lentils. Sometimes I’ll use this mix as a sauce over noodles. Thanks for a great recipe!

  136. Andrea Tamburri says

    This recipe is delicious! I’ve made it twice now. I am not a vegetarian but my daughter wanted to try to be and so I was looking for healthy, nutritious, appealing to a teenager, recipes. This is my favorite sloppy joe recipe! I did add some partially mashed chick peas (about 1 can) to give it the appearance of a meat sloppy joe. I plan to try this recipe with ground turkey.

  137. Susan says

    Fabulous, Dana. Another amazing dish. This one had me fooled for meat. All those spices masked the lentils just enough. I will make this one again!

  138. Heather says

    This recipe was great and had me feeling so nostalgic! I definitely recommend the addition of the smoked paprika. I added more of the spices than the recipe called for, but that’s a matter of personal taste. Next time I think I will add in some chopped spinach because you can never have too many greens! It also reheats well for leftovers. I will definitely be making this again!

  139. Meghan Potasse says

    Just made this for dinner. didn’t have Worcestershire sauce though. Subbed out half the pepper so I could add mushrooms. Its delicious !! I think I added more spices too (dont have proper measuring tools) . So good, as are all your recipes. Thank you so much !

  140. Alyssa says

    I’ve made this recipe a handful of times now. And I’m making it again for dinner tonight, as per my husbands request!! These vegan sloppy joes have so much flavour. It’s definitely a staple, a go to when we want comfort food! The only thing I add is a creamy coleslaw on top!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Coleslaw is the perfect pair with these Sloppy Joes! Glad you and your husband enjoyed them, Alyssa!

  141. Emily says

    This is SO delicious! I make it all the time and everyone loves it. Even the carnivores. Today I ran out of bell pepper and used a mild pasilla pepper. Yummy!

  142. Tanya M says

    I love, love, love this recipe! It has become a staple in our home. 90% of our meals in our home are plant based so it’s nice to find recipes like this one. My 12 yr old son request this often. It’s so easy and the homemade sauce is perfection!

  143. Erin D says

    This was so easy, tasty, and comforting. I didn’t have tomato sauce, so I blended a can of diced tomatoes with all the spices and a squeeze of ketchup. I ate mine open faced over half a bun, and my husband had his on a bun, which wasn’t as messy as I had anticipated. I also served it to my 21 month old, who quickly abandoned her spoon and just ate it by the handful, so you know it was good!

  144. Risa Gruberger says

    These were unreal! Made them last night and they went over remarkably. I used organic canned lentils (2 cans) just to make it easier on me :)
    SOOOOO great, and even better the next day!

  145. Alissa says

    I made it and enjoyed it. This is a good recipe for people who are vegan or just enjoy the odd vegan meal. If you are a meat and potatoes person, this is not for you. I modified it a bit. I used 2 cans of lentils. A larger can of Hunts spicy tomato sauce, a few extra cloves of garlic, and I omitted the cumin. It was good on a bun with chopped up onion. Thank you for the recipe. I will make it again.

  146. Winder says

    This was amazing!!! I only did 1/2 cup lentils and added 1tsp paprika and 1 Tbsp Worcestershire, we had it over toast. I will definitely make again, thank you for the recipe.

  147. Jennifer says

    This was delicious! I think it’s more flavorful and even better than meat sloppy joes. I used half lentils & half veggie ground round and that was delicious as well. Thanks for showing the world how easy it is to not eat meat!

  148. Ren says

    Just made this for supper! Whips up in no time at all and was delicious. I didn’t have any worcestershire sauce so I used harissa instead which worked really well. This is definitely going to be a regular rotation meal.

  149. Kate says

    This is great and really versatile. I used Trader Joe’s steamed lentils and didn’t have quite enough, so I added some cooked quinoa and chia seeds. My husband made homemade onion burger buns and we’re having the SJs with tater tots. Thanks for the great recipe!

    Also, for whomever suggested it, I love the idea of smothering sweet potatoes with this yumminess!

  150. KRISTEN says

    This is so good. A childhood comfort food made refined a little. I didn’t use bell pepper but added shredded carrots. I also omitted the sugar and added 1 tbsp of red wine vinegar. Excellent!!

  151. Kendall Swan says

    About a week ago I was looking for something to make one evening and stumbled across this recipe. I more recently made this for a crowd of 8 men, and 2 women, so I doubled the recipe. Of our 10 guests, only four were vegetarian or vegan. The night started and we enjoyed the evening with drinks and games. When everyone had become a bit inebriated and on consensus craved a down home, “my parents made the best…” type meal. I offered to make this recipe since I knew Sloppy Joe’s would be a rather easy meal to make that most people view with nostalgia. It was a HUGE hit. Everyone enjoyed it. Even the meat esters in our group said it was a hearty meal and might even suggest it as an alternative to a greasier traditional sloppy Joe. 10/10 will recommend.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We are so glad to hear that this recipe was a hit, Kendall! Thanks for sharing :D

  152. Dakota says

    This recipe was delicious! I am not vegan or a very good cook, but this was easy and so filling! Thanks for the recipe!

  153. Meg says

    Thank you, this recipe came right when I needed it. I had made polenta burning a whole in my fridge with no where to go! I found this recipe and added some mixed veggies, put it in a baking dish and topped with polenta circles. The sauce was smoky and sweet just like I remember. In it’s final form I called it sloppy joe pie. Even my mother-in-law had seconds!

  154. Claudia says

    Tasted great! Will be replacing my previous sloppy joe recipe with this one. My previous one had way to many ingredients. This one is so quick and easy and doesn’t sacrifice taste.

    • Breann says

      I made the lentils in the instant pot with 1c veg broth and 3/4c water on high for 11 min and let it naturally vent for 10 min before venting it with the knob. Then I put them into a bowl and put that to the side while I did everything in the pot on sauté function – normal according to the recipe instruction. Once I added the lentils back in, I stirred it up and then turned sauté to low until it was done. Turned out great!

  155. Audrey says

    I’ve been wanting to make this for months, but kept forgetting to get a vegan worcestershire sauce. Finally I just used 1/2 bbq sauce and 1/2 soy sauce instead (and maple syrup instead of coconut sugar), and it was absolutely fantastic! I can’t wait to have the leftovers.

  156. Erin P. says

    Fantastic recipe! This is a family favorite! We’ve made it multiple times…Tip: If you are going to make this, do not alter the recipe the first time you make it…you will find that it is perfect the way it is!

  157. Danielle Lints says

    I absolutely love this recipe! It was so easy to make and quick. I am slowly becoming more of a vegan/vegetarian and have a nice collection of recipes. This will top the list! I made regular Sloppy Joe’s for my family so we could eat the “same” dinner.

  158. Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness says

    Oooh yum, these Sloppy Joes sound delicious! I became a vegetarian at age 10, but I can remember eating traditional Sloppy Joes as a young kiddo. I haven’t had any kind of Sloppy Joes since then & I love lentils, so I’ll have to make these soon!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Becca! No, 1/4 of the recipe means if you divided the recipe into 4 servings. Hope this helps!

  159. Laura James says

    Worcestershire is not vegan. It contains the juice of cooked down anchovie paste. This is an important note for those looking to cook vegan and not vegetarian. I replaced the Worcestershire with Annies. It’s a product line that is vegan. Or you can make your own vegan Worcestershire sauce from vegan recipes for your pantry. Thank you so much for this recipe. It’s highly nutritious and tasty. I give it five stars.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing, Laura. I shared in the ingredients that it needs to be vegan-friendly and suggest Annie’s brand.

  160. Ashley says

    I made it and felt it was too many lentils and not enough sauce. I also felt like the sauce wasn’t quite the right flavor. I followed the recipe exactly as written. It wasn’t bad but I was expecting something more.

  161. Dawn says

    Can you freeze these or will they just turn to mush after they unfreeze? Want to make them for a ski trip but would have to make them before we go.
    If they don’t freeze well, how long will they last in fridge?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      I am not sure how they would do in the freezer, but they will keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days!

  162. Kim Dempsey says

    Made this and all of my kids and I agree that it smelled and tasted delicious. We had a friend visiting who is a definite meat eater and even he thought it smelled and tasted good. Thanks for all of your wonderful recipes. I appreciate that they have been tested and give me success each time I try one, makes all the effort worthwhile.

  163. Ali says

    This has been on my to-make list forever – my only regret is not making it sooner! Came together so quickly and easy clean up. I served in bowls with homemade corn bread. Thank you for sharing!

  164. Anna says

    I made this and it was perfect! I’m trying to ease my boyfriend into healthier options and it was a complete hit. I went a little heavier on the spices suggested, opted for smoked paprika, and added a bit more cumin and chili powder at the end and voila! Perfection. The texture is to die for.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Chris! Coconut sugar is a natural sugar that is better for diabetics and the gut than your normal, everyday sugar, and it holds trace amounts of vitamins and minerals. You can use brown sugar or maple syrup instead!