This vegan sloppy joes recipe is made with lentils and creates a delicious, gluten free vegan dinner! With simple ingredients, these healthy lentil sloppy joes pack in plenty of flavor.
Skill: Easy | Time: 1 hr | Servings: 8 sandwiches
Get the Veg Out newsletter for new vegan recipes + nutrition content!
This post contains affiliate links (including Amazon Associates) and I earn from qualifying purchases.
Vegan and Gluten Free Sloppy Joe Mix
Vegan sloppy joe mix can be made in lots of ways but the easiest and cheapest method I’ve found is using lentils! Not only is this a higher fiber and gluten free option, lentils are packed with delicious nutrition and create a great texture in place of ground meat.
Along with lentils, I use plenty of onion and garlic for flavor. Those three ingredients create the perfect base for a delicious sauce that’s completely homemade and loaded with flavor.
Vegan Gluten Free Sloppy Joe Sauce
I grew up eating sloppy joes made with ground beef and a can of sauce. It was years before I ever considered that sloppy joe sauce could be homemade. But wow, what a difference!
This vegan and gluten free sloppy joe sauce is loaded with flavor. While the ingredient list may look a bit long, I consider them all a staple in my vegan kitchen. These ingredients are recommended to keep on hand if you’re interested in making homemade barbecue-like sauces!
The recipe calls for fresh tomatoes because I grow them in my garden and this is a delicious way to use them up! If you don’t have fresh tomatoes around, use canned tomatoes instead. Since we’re cooking the tomatoes down completely, there isn’t too much flavor difference between fresh and canned in this recipe.
To ensure your sloppy joe sauce is gluten free, opt for a gluten free tamari.
Slow Cooker Lentil Sloppy Joes
This vegan lentil sloppy joes recipe can easily be made in a slow cooker. Simply toss in all the ingredients and cook on high for 4 hours with the lid off.
While most slow cooker recipes can be set and forgotten, I recommend making sure you’ll be around to stir it every now and again because we’re keeping the lid off.
The lid needs to be off so excess liquid can evaporate and create the thick-but-sloppy texture needed.
Stove-top Sloppy Joes Meal Prep
This recipe is quick to throw together but requires some time for the liquid to evaporate. During this time, you’ll need to be around to stir the sloppy joes and keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
For this reason, it’s a great recipe to meal prep rather than make during the week (unless you have the time!).
If you are meal prepping sloppy joes, remember they freeze well! Cool completely then place into freezer-safe containers with a label.
When thawing it out, leave the sloppy joes in the fridge overnight then reheat in a pot to ensure the right texture.
How to Serve Lentil Sloppy Joes
I’ve served these lentil sloppy joes so many ways; it’s such a versatile recipe! Of course, you can always use a fresh or toasted bun, but why not try:
- A wrap
- A lettuce leaf wrap
- With a side of steamed rice
- On a bed of fresh garden salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion, carrots, radishes, etc.)
- Alongside some roasted garlic-lemon green beans
And if you use a bun, wrap, or just heap some onto a plate, some fun vegan topping ideas are:
- Mashed avocado
- Jalapeno peppers (fresh or canned)
- Vegan sour cream
- Fresh herbs (parsley, basil, oregano, cilantro, etc.)
- Red or green onion/ chives
The possibilities are endless so get creative and keep things interesting!
I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, please rate and comment below so others benefit from your experience.
More Deliciously Filling Vegan Dinner Recipes
Vegan Lentil Sloppy Joes (Gluten Free)
- Cutting Board
- Large pot
- 1 C onion , diced
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 3 C lentils , cooked from dry or canned (drain and rinse canned)
- 3 C fresh tomatoes , diced (or canned diced tomato)
- 1 tsp Dry oregano
- 1 tsp dry basil
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 4 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
- 2 tbsp agave syrup
- 2 tbsp molasses
- fresh buns (to serve)
- Chop the onion and tomato and finely mince garlic. Place the veggies in a pot on medium heat. Optional to brown the onions and garlic a bit, for extra flavour by cooking with 2 tbsp of oil for about 8 minutes.
- Drain and rinse lentils and add them to the pot.
- Add the rest of the sauce ingredients (everything except the buns to serve) into the pot and mix well.
- Cook on medium-high heat stirring occasionally until most of the water is evaporated. This may take a while. If using higher heat, make sure to stir regularly to prevent burning on the bottom of the pot and make sure to scrape along the bottom when you stir.
- Serve on fresh buns.