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:

Smoky
Savory
Slightly spicy
Super hearty
Naturally sweetened
Fiber- + protein-rich
Quick
& 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
Print
Wood board with three buns filled with sliced onions and our Vegan Sloppy Joe recipe
4.9 from 284 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

Ingredients

LENTILS

  • 2 cups water (I used half water, half vegetable broth)
  • 1 cup green or red lentils, well rinsed (red lentils for quicker/more tender result or green lentils for more bite/texture)

SLOPPY JOES

  • 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*

Instructions

  • If using green lentils: 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 green lentils and heat over medium-high heat. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook covered for about 18-22 minutes, or until tender. The water should have a constant simmer (not boil). Drain off any excess liquid and set aside.
  • If using red lentils: To a small saucepan, add liquid (water and/or vegetable broth) and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add rinsed red lentils and bring back to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 7-10 minutes, or until just tender. You want them to be cooked through but not mushy. Drain well 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.

Video

Notes

*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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  1. jessica black says

    My family loves this recipe. Even my meat eater husband is a fan! I do make it a one pot meal though, which simplifies it a bit. I add the lentils & liquid right to the pot & it’s turned out perfect every time! Sometimes I’ll also add soy crumbles or chickpeas, too, depending on what type of lentil I use. Always delicious!

  2. Meg says

    I’ve made this several times now – it’s quick and easy, yields a big batch with plenty of leftovers, and is a fun and different way to eat lentils. And most importantly, it’s delicious! The only substitutions I make are using regular brown sugar, regular Worcestershire sauce, and adding a couple slices of cheese to the warm toasted buns before adding the toppings (I’m not vegan).

  3. sara lynn says

    Super delicious! Only things we changed were 1. used the whole bell pepper and 2. used 1 Tbs. of honey instead of coconut sugar because it’s what we had on hand. Came out super flavorful and just the right mix of savory, sweet, and spiced. Will definitely be making again! :)

  4. Kelly says

    Made these tonight and ate them open face. The only things different I had to do were that I didn’t have a can of tomato sauce, but I had just roasted a bunch of plum tomatoes from my garden yesterday and I used that as my sauce. Also, right at the end, I added a splash of sriracha sauce for the kick and it was utterly amazing. This will be going into heavy rotation in my house. It was enjoyed by all, even the pickiest eater.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! We’re so glad everyone enjoyed it! Thank you for the lovely review and sharing your modifications, Kelly! xo

  5. Krystal says

    I love this recipe and make it regularly, always adding in extra veggies! Ways I modify it include:
    – vegetarian crumbles instead of lentils
    – blended canned tomatoes instead of tomato sauce
    – add approx half cup shredded carrot
    – add 2 stalks diced celery
    – add splash of liquid smoke

  6. Wendy Allen says

    I made the lentil sloppy joes for dinner tonight. We started out eating them as burgers, they were a little too messy for us and ended up eating them as open faces sandwiches.
    Recipe was very flavourful and very quick and easy. Definitely going into my repeat recipe file. Tonight we had yam fries with them but would definitely work as part of a Mexican meal, on top of a salad, Buddha bowl. Endless possibilities, can’t wait to experiment!

    I have loved all of your recipes that I have made. Thank you!!

  7. Tatiana says

    Made this tonight and it was AMAZING!! I don’t cook as often as I’d like – I’m a night nurse and am chronically tired – but this was super easy to make and exceeded my expectations on flavor and ease of cooking!! 10/10 would make again!!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you found it easy and enjoyable, Tatiana! Thank you for the lovely review! xo

  8. Meena Gehani says

    I made these for my vegan daughter and son in law and they loved them!! Thank you so much for your amazing vegan recipes! You never disappoint our family meals!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We love to hear this. Thanks so much for the lovely review, Meena, we are so glad everyone enjoys the recipes!

  9. Hazel says

    I have tried other recipes but this is the best! I have modified it a bit by adding double the seasoning and Worcestershire and a 6oz can of tomato paste. But it’s good as the recipe is, I just adjusted to my families test.

  10. Cillian says

    Just made this for dinner tonight and I can tell that it’s going to be a favorite! I used a whole red bell pepper instead of half, added a few extra cloves of garlic and a bit more cumin, and threw in some cayenne pepper because I like spice, but it would have been excellent without the changes. Had it on a toasted bun topped with red onion, some vegan pepperjack shreds and guacamole. Absolutely wonderful and super easy to make, thanks so much!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Cillian. Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! Next time, would you mind leaving a star rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  11. Darlene says

    I made the Sloppy Joes yesterday and wow, my husband & I loved all the flavors! It was filling, fun to eat and a keeper recipe that will be on rotation for sure. I love leftovers, tonight will have them again, cook once, eat twice!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad you both enjoyed them. Thank you for sharing, Darlene! xo

  12. Sheri says

    My daughter turned vegetarian at 13 (despite hating most vegetables) and this recipe basically kept her alive. In the years since she has expanded her palette but this one is still her favorite. It’s in our regular rotation.

    I like to use both red and green pepper, leave out the coconut sugar, and add a bit of BBQ sauce at the end. Avocado slices or guac on the sandwich are a must.

  13. Tanisha Gilreath says

    I love this recipe, i added chopped ginger. about 1 tsp. Instead of tomato sauce I used 1. 5 5.5 oz can of v8, and 3 tsp of ketchup. I used raw cane sugar instead of coconut sugar. They came out really tasty. I’m definitely going to cook them again. The one cup of red lentils made quite a bit of sloppy joes. I cooked the lentils in 1/2 cup veggie broth and 1 1/2 cup water.

  14. Mary says

    Very good, caramelized the other half the onion and served with pickles. As good as any sloppy joe recipe I’ve tried.

  15. BJP says

    Super easy recipe that’s adaptable. My toddler son loves it. We eat it on rice or pasta, as well as plain. One batch lasts us a few meals (2 people). Thank you!

  16. Kim Howton says

    I am not a huge fan of sloppy joes and maybe that is because the sauce always came out of a can, but these are wonderful! I am oil free and made them without the oil and used the green lentils. Wonderful and easy to make! I will most definitely make these again!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Wonderful! We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Kim. Thank you for the lovely review!

  17. Crystal says

    I stuck to the lower limits with the spices and high limit with the sugar cause I like things mildly spicy. I used gluten-free bread, toasted because that was all I could find. They came out great, though, and nice and sloppy. I put a slice of Swiss cheese and a few pickles on it, too. I made the chili powder recipe to ensure it was gluten-free and mild to my liking. I did the lentils in the Instant Pot first, then followed the recipe using the Instant Pot Lentils.

  18. Jess P says

    So good!! I took some recommendations from other reviewers and served it on sweet potato toast with avocado on top. I didn’t have coconut sugar so I used brown sugar, which turned out fine. Next time I’ll be kicking up the spice level and adding pickled red onions on top! So easy and great for meal prepping.

  19. Lauren says

    Just wondering what the serving size is? I see 6 servings, but wondering the measurement.
    Thank you in advance!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lauren, we don’t have a precise measurement, but would estimate about 3/4 cup per serving. Hope that helps!

  20. Sarah says

    A favourite in our household! On burger buns, in wraps, on its own – SO good. Easy and filling. LOVE it with pickles and a little vegan mayo.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ooo, delish! Everything’s better with pickles! Thanks for the lovely review, Sarah! xo

  21. Suzanne Hale says

    This is one of my favorite recipes! I love to make this and freeze individual portions flat in baggies for later. To me- it’s like a taste of summer. So when I am pawing through my freezer months later, it’s a happy dance. This recipe is spot on! I have made it exactly to the recipe. Other times I’ve incorporated some ingredients from an old stand-by recipe from years ago, like a little brown sugar or a little ketchup in place of some of the tomato sauce… but it’s a great recipe just the way it’s written! This recipe makes me happy inside and out.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy it, Brenda! Hmm, do you mean freezing the lentils? They could be cooked and then frozen.

  22. Sherry says

    Text exchange between my friend James and me:

    James: Good morning. Wonder if you could jog my memory. What is the website for the lentil-based Sloppy Joes?

    Me: Minimalist Baker. That’s funny. I was just thinking yesterday that it’s time for those again.

    James: They are so delicious.

    Me: And easy.
    Me: And quick.

    James: And inexpensive.
    James: And flavorful.

    Me: Yup! All of the above.
    Me: Oh! And satisfying.

    James: LOL

    Me: I often comment on her recipes. Perhaps we should send our text thread as a comment.

    And so, we did! Thanks for the joyful yumminess! Or is it the yummy joy?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, love seeing this, Sherry (and James)! Thank you so much for sharing! xoxo

  23. Lynn says

    I made this today for the family and it turned out delicious! We have been eating mainly plant-based for about 2 months and it hasn’t been easy. This recipe was amazingly simple and quick!! My husband said it tasted just like Sloppy Joes and my 5 and 4 year olds ate it with no complaining – that’s a huge feat! Thank you so much for this recipe!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad the whole family enjoyed it. Thank you for the lovely review, Lynn! xo

  24. Michelle says

    Delicious!

    Before you try to add your own “twist” to this recipe, follow it as written. You won’t be disappointed.

  25. Kaymer says

    These were so delicious! And so quick and easy to make. I followed the recipe with the exception on non-vegan worcestershire sauce. The whole family loved them, even my 6 year old picky eater (who ate two servings and was still asking for more). I have made lentil sloppy Joe’s from another recipe before, but this recipe is a whole new level of deliciousness. Will absolutely add these into our regular rotation.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad you and your family enjoyed it, Kaymer. Thanks so much for sharing! xo

  26. Carly says

    I made this last night for dinner. It was awesome! I didn’t have any vegan Worcestershire sauce so i used BBQ sauce instead and left out the sugar i also used about 1/3 of the tomato sauce. Turned out great, will definitely make again.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Carly! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  27. Yarden says

    Love it!!!! I used red lentils with vegetable broth. So much protein low fat goodness. For sure making this weekly .
    Thank you so much for you great delicious recipes

  28. Trina says

    This was really tasty! My son has started eating more plant based meals so I try new vegetarian recipes so he’ll come visit more often! Lol. I followed the recipe exactly and we all enjoyed it.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We love to hear this, Trina! Thanks for the kind review, we’re so glad everyone enjoyed! xo

  29. Chelsea G says

    Oh man, that was good. I had a half can of tomato paste I was looking to use up, so I went in search of a lentil sloppy joe recipe. I saw the comment about tomato paste tasting more “raw”, so I made sure to cook it a long while. My few tweaks: I used both brown and red lentils (two thirds brown, one third red) I wanted a little bit of the mush, and a little bit of texture, and I cooked them in broth.
    I used a whole onion, but I slowly caramelized it first. A lot more than a pinch of smoked paprika, and about a tablespoon of molasses (its high in iron, and added a sweet richness) gave me the flavors I was looking for.

    I eat “flexibly vegan”, and my omnivore boyfriend seems to like everything I cook. He really enjoyed this one! We served it over a baked potato, and it was the perfect hearty meal for this unseasonably cold weather!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! Thanks for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Chelsea! We’re so glad you both enjoyed the sloppy joes! xo

  30. Stefanie says

    This recipe is DELICIOUS! The ONLY thing I will change next time is to use a little less cumin (only because I don’t really like the taste of cumin….although a little is fine). Healthy and so tasty!! Delicious plant based meal….and a healthier version of a childhood favorite.

  31. Neena says

    I used tomato paste instead of tomato sauce and added veggie broth to it, and boiled my beans in 95 veggie broth. I don’t like the sauce very much so I added all the seasonings to taste and just add BBQ sauce until it tastes right to me. It’s a vibe. I give it four stars because without the BBQ sauce I don’t like how it tastes very much.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Neena, sorry to hear you you didn’t enjoy the sauce. Perhaps tomato paste is the issue because it has a more raw flavor than tomato sauce.

    • Stefanie says

      Neena….you changed the recipe and then you say you didn’t like the flavor? Maybe next time you should follow the recipe and you might like it. Just a suggestion.

  32. Alissa Skinner says

    i am obsessed with this recipe! i use green lentils because i prefer the heartier texture, and i used balsamic vinegar instead of vegan worcestershire & chipotle powder instead of smoked paprika. i love to serve it on top of baked sweet potato with sliced avocado, salsa, and cilantro. so good!

  33. Sherry says

    This is GREAT! I did adjust the seasonings UP, and it’s just perfect. I will be doing these at least every other week. I used your Instant Pot lentil recipe to cook my lentils. So, there would be NO dinner without you tonight!

  34. Gabriela Perez says

    I make about two-three recipes a week from this blog. I absolutely loved this meal! It was delicious and filling! Thank you!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, yay! We’re so glad you enjoy our recipes, Gabriela. Thanks so much for the lovely review! xo

  35. Sam says

    Just made this…sooo good! We used green lentils, added ground mustard, used liquid aminos instead of worcestershire and a little cayenne pepper. Boyfriend who swears on ground meat and manwich loved it!

  36. Tova says

    Yummmmy! It hit the spot. Had the sweetness I remember as a kid and a wonderful flavour. I will make this time and time again. Quick 15 minute meal if you take a shortcut and used canned lentils.

  37. Bertha says

    I’ve made this twice. The first time I used broth & it turned out just fine. The second time I used water and herbamare & it was so much more delicious. I guess that’s the magic of extra salt.

  38. Ellen says

    These sloppy joes were super sloppy! We ended up using our buns to scoop it up off the plate because it wouldn’t stay in the sandwich. But it was super delicious and we will definitely be making it again!! :) We didn’t change anything in the recipe, but we did add Chao cheese and avocado .

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for the feedback, Ellen! To make them less sloppy, you can cook longer, uncovered, to evaporate more moisture. Hope that helps!

  39. Julie says

    I subbed tomato paste + water for the tomato sauce, and I think this recipe wasn’t tomato-y enough. It was good – my non-vegan hubby acknowledged that it was better than he expected, but we added some extra ketchup on the top of the sandwich to try to make it a little more thick & tomato colored.

    Love the addition of red bell pepper + onion, I think I would add 1 full bell pepper next time too!

  40. Christine says

    Love your recipes! I first found this website when searching for a cinnamon recipe for my vegan daughter; found The World’s Easiest Cinnamon Rolls. Dana is not lying when she calls them “Holy friggin’ delicious”!
    These Sloppy Joes did not disappoint – super flavorful and easy! We’ll keep coming back for more healthy and delicious recipes as we try to improve our diets. Thank you so much Dana!

  41. Elizabeth Jenkins says

    I have never been mislead by minimalist baker. These were no exception. My husband loved them and we decided they will be in the rotation from now on. I added a little liquid smoke and doubled the Worcestershire sauce. We toasted the buns and ate like a couple of happy summer camp kids.

  42. Rachelle says

    Do you think you could put some of the finished product in a food processor to get more of a sloppy Joe type texture?

  43. Angela says

    So… As what I, a midwesterner (vegan for 12 years) would call “sloppy joes” , this is WAY off the mark. The cumin and chilli powder send this in a COMPLETE different direction. That’s why I gave it 3 stars. HOWEVER, if you want nacho topping or taco filling, I give it 5 stars! I tried to live it as sandwich filling, but realizing I had tortilla chips, I chucked the rest of my Sammie and made a plate of nachos, complete with Daiya shreds, jalapenos and salsa. Twas DELICIOUS!!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry to hear that, Angela! What brand of Worcestershire did you use? We wonder if that could have made a difference?

    • Donna says

      Different strokes . . . To us New Englanders, we found this Sloppy Joe recipe superb. My husband craved & asked for Sloppy Joes, so I made this. He loved it. We’ll have it often, now. Good with coleslaw.

  44. Kelly says

    Made this and I really enjoyed how easy this recipe was. I have been spending a lot of time in the evenings and Sunday’s trying to cook your wonderful recipes. Sometimes I am frustrated because it takes me so much more time than the suggested time. This recipe was a delicious relief. One note, I felt like it was missing something, so I looked on the back of my husband’s Manwich can. I first added a little ACV, and then after tasting I added a little yellow mustard and it completed the dish. Thank you MB team for getting me through this life style change. I am looking for more easy quick recipes like this one.

  45. PK says

    I make this on food prep Sundays so I can eat it all week in tacos, salads, over baked potatoes etc. Now I have to make double because my meat lovers hog it up! Delicious and healthy – my favorite!

  46. Anita says

    I love this recipe! We started doing Meatless Mondays at our house and this is the most requested recipe, even when it’s not Monday. I love reading other suggestions/tweaks but even as is, this recipe is perfect. Thank you!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you and your household enjoy it! Thanks so much for the lovely review, Anita!

  47. Allie says

    Super yummy! I used a whole bell pepper and actually threw in a small anaheim pepper for a little kick. Finished off with some liquid smoke too ^.^

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ainsley, the nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without a bun. You can find this information in the notes section for our recipes =)

  48. 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. :)

  49. 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!!

  50. 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!

  51. 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!

    • Support @ 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!

  52. 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!

  53. 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!

  54. 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!

  55. 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.

    • Support @ 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

  56. 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! 😊

  57. 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?

  58. 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.

  59. 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!

  60. 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!

  61. 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!

    • Support @ 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?

  62. 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.

  63. 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.

  64. 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.

    • Support @ 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

  65. 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!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

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

  66. 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!!

  67. Meg says

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

  68. 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!

  69. 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 !

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

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

  70. 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!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

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

  71. 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.

  72. 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.

  73. 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.

    • Support @ 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!

  74. 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!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

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

  75. 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!!

  76. 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.

  77. 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

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

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

  78. 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.

  79. 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!

  80. 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.

  81. 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?

      Thanks!

  82. 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.

  83. 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!

  84. 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!

  85. 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!!

  86. 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.
    JoAnn

  87. 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.

      • Support @ 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!

  88. 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!

    • Support @ 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

  89. 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!

    • Support @ 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

  90. 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 ?

      • Support @ 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.

  91. 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.

  92. 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)…..next 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!

  93. 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.

  94. 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 :)

  95. 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.

  96. 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!

  97. 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. ♥️

  98. 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!

  99. 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.

  100. 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.

  101. 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

  102. 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.

  103. 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!

  104. 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.

  105. 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.

    • Support @ 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

    • Support @ 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

  106. 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

  107. 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.

  108. 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.

  109. 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.

  110. 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.

    • Support @ 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.

  111. 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.

  112. 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!

  113. 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!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

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

  114. 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!

  115. 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!

  116. 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.

  117. 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

    • Support @ 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

  118. 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

  119. 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.

  120. 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!!

  121. 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!

  122. 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!

  123. 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!

  124. 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.

  125. 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.

    • Support @ 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?

  126. 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.

  127. 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?

  128. 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.

  129. 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!

  130. 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!

  131. 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.

  132. 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!

  133. 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!!!

  134. 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!

  135. 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.

  136. 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

  137. 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!

  138. 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.

  139. 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!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

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

  140. 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 ?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

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

    • Support @ 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!

  141. 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.

  142. Justine says

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

  143. 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.

  144. 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.

  145. 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!!!

  146. 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 ???

  147. 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.
    Yum!
    Thanks for the recipe.

  148. 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.

  149. 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! ?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

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

  150. 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!

    • Support @ 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

  151. Maggie says

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

  152. 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 :)

  153. 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!!!

  154. 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.

  155. 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!

  156. 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!

  157. Sierra says

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

  158. Sierra says

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

  159. 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.

  160. 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!

  161. 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.