The Best Lentil Sloppy Joes

Entreés, Recipes

The Best Lentil Sloppy Joes | Nutrition Stripped

This happened and it’s delicious! As winter starts to creep in and the season is super busy, I crave more warming, comforting, and easy meals to have on hand to reheat for a quick lunch or dinner. This recipe does all of those things, plus brings back so many happy memories of having this for dinner back in the day and listening to this hilarious song from Adam Sandler? So, let’s get sloppy and make The Best Lentil Sloppy Joe; high in fiber, protein, made in 1 pot, in 20 minutes, with less than 10 ingredients.

Get Sloppy.

Lentils are one of my favorite legumes to make, partially because they’re so simple to cook and hold up well for leftovers, especially if you cook a large portion on your Batch Cooking day. Not only are lentils easy to make, they’re my favorite legume because they’re the highest in both fiber and protein per serving coming in at a whopping 11g of protein per 1 cup cooked and about 15g fiber! They’re also rich in minerals such as molybdenum, folate, copper, phosphorus, manganese, iron, zinc, potassium, and B vitamins. Hello happy digestion. If you’re not a huge fan of lentils or don’t have them on hand, then you can use other beans and legumes you love. Chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, lima beans, all of them go beautifully with this sweet and savory sauce.

The sauce is so good that you can actually make it by itself, without putting any legume in it, and use it as a sauce for proteins, for roasted vegetables, to toss in warm grains like quinoa or millet, or a dipping sauce for tempeh and tofu. Such a versatile way to enjoy this both sweet and savory “sloppy” sauce. If you take this route and make the sauce solo, I recommend storing in it in the refridgerator for up to 1 week in an airtight glass; I’d love to hear how you use this sauce if you experiment with it outside of this recipe! To serve The Best Lentil Sloppy Joe, I highly recommend making my ‘tastes like’ Rye Flaxseed Loaf I shared last week, thinly slicing it and toasting it for THE best sandwich bread to cradle the sloppy mess- and don’t worry, it’s inevitable that this gets messy, just go with it and dive in. Another option I enjoy, is to eat this open-faced on 1 slice of toasted bread with a poached egg on top and eat it with a fork, or scoop a heaping spoonful of the Lentil Sloppy Joe mixture on a bed of cooked quinoa, millet, kale, or raw greens such as a salad. There are truly so many delicious ways to enjoy this and it makes for the best leftovers!

It might look like a long list of ingredients, but most of these are spices you already have in your pantry and this recipe is literally made in 1 pot and tastes like you’ve been cooking it all day long. It takes me less than 10 minutes to throw this recipe together and I let it cook on the stove while I’m finishing baking the Rye Flaxseed Loaf or creating a salad bowl plate to scoop the sloppy joe mixture on top of- oh so good.

The Best Lentil Sloppy Joes | Nutrition Stripped

The Best Lentil Sloppy Joes | Nutrition Stripped

5.0 from 3 reviews
The Best Lentil Sloppy Joes
Recipe type: supper, entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
A hearty vegetarian friendly lentil sloppy joe sandwich made with lentils and a sweet savory tomato based sauce- sandwiched between gluten free bread.
  • 3 cups cooked lentils (1½ cup dry)
  • 1, 15 ounce can organic diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground smoked paprika
  • 2 dashes Liquid Smoke
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of sea salt, adjust to taste
  • Rye Flaxseed Loaf
  • Poached egg optional
  1. How to cook lentils, here.
  2. In a medium hot pot, add all ingredients and stir to combine. Cook for at least 20 minutes on medium heat to help thicken the tomato sauce. You can cook this mixture longer than 20 minutes for a thicker consistency, as pictured here this was cooked for 30 minutes.
  3. Enjoy as an open faced sandwich on Rye Flaxseed Loaf sliced, as a sandwich, or dolloped on salad greens.
  4. Reheat on medium for leftovers, store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

The Best Lentil Sloppy Joes | Nutrition Stripped


What are your favorite winter comfort foods? Let me know what you think when you give this recipe a go! Leave a comment and rate it, rating helps me continue to improve recipes for you. I love seeing what you come up with so don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #nutritionstripped on Instagram!

Tis’ the season, so get ahead of it. I coach 1-1 with people like you over the world to help optimize your health, reach goals, feel and look amazing! Sign up here to chat with me about how we can work together and take the first step to make this your healthiest and happiest year yet.

xx McKel

Share your thoughts

  • These look amazing! I am going to have to try that bread recipe too!

  • These look so great!
    My favourite winter comfort dish is probably a warming chickpea curry with basmati rice 🙂

  • KC

    Yum!!! Want to try this but just to clarify, you use PRE-COOKED lentils with the rest of the ingredients? If so, do you cook them the whole way through or more “al dente” since you are going to continue cooking them for 20-30 more minutes…I’m just concerned about them getting mushy. Thanks!

    • Yes, you cook the lentils first plain in water and then cook them again with this sauce. The goal is to get them very soft, but they don’t turn mushy! I use brown lentils for this 🙂

      • KC

        Oh my goodness, just made for dinner and it was sooo good!!! Put on toast (wish I had time to make your rye loaf, too–that will have to be next on my list!) and topped with sauerkraut and vegan parmesan. Absolutely delicious!! Already planning leftovers tomorrow on top of zucchini noodles!

  • Ro

    Sounds good, but what is “liquid smoke”??

    • Liquid smoke is a flavor! It comes in a bottle and is optional, but gives it a great smokey flavor!

  • Jude

    Delicious! I just had this for lunch with some toasted homemade sourdough bread. Made it with aduki beans as I had some cooked, and added a little dried oregano. My beans did go mushy but that’s how I like them 🙂

  • These were absolutely amazing! I even ate some for breakfast this morning with arugula and a poached egg.

  • Viriginia

    Hi McKel,
    Thank you for this recipe. To answer your question: Spicy Lentil soup is one of my favorite winter comfort foods. I also enjoy spicy hot Asian inspired noodle dishes. And hot chocolate! These dishes make the humid cold days of a NY winter bearable!!

  • I totally just went on youtube to listen to that song and Im dying laughing! But these lentil sloppy joes look incredible! Who needs the meat?

  • Maja

    I made this today and it was fantastic! Really really good. Thank you for the recipe, I’ll definitely be doing it again! 🙂

  • laura

    I have been wondering for some time, and this recipe brought to my attention to ask you! My question is whether or not canned tomatoes are ok to use. I love the ease and taste, but have recently read how they contain chemicals leached from the can. Thoughts?? Thanks!!

    • Great question! Yes, I only recommend using organic tomatoes in BPA free cans- the acidity makes BPA leach out in “normal” cans. xM

  • Stacy @ Nourishing Health

    These were SO delicious, simple to make, and froze great for meals in the weeks to come! Thanks for a great recipe!

    • McKel Hill

      You’re welcome Stacy! So glad these fueled your busy week with a little prep time 😉

  • Sabrina

    Love this recipe, I make it all the time!

    • McKel Hill

      Me too, it’s one of my favorites! Glad you enjoy it Sabrina xxM


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