Vegan Sloppy Joes

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(Last Updated On: September 10, 2020)

Easy Vegan Lentil Sloppy Joes Recipe

Vegan sloppy joes are my go-to recipe for any cookout or lazy evening, they’re ready in no time and a summer-time classic!


These have lots of smoky and sweet flavor from a yummy combination of smoked paprika, tomatoes and coconut sugar, with a bit of soy sauce for some added flavor. 


They are so perfect anytime of year though, even though they’re usually associated with warm cookouts, I find them to be a great comfort food on cold nights too!

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

Quick and Simple Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

The lentils are the star of the show here, and make for a super high-protein meal to fill you up.


They are the perfect vegetarian or meatless Monday meal prep idea – all of the ingredients can be kept in dry storage for some time, so it’s great to keep them on hand for when you want to make this.

Vegan Sloppy Joes Recipe Lentil Sloppy Joes

Delicious Sloppy Joes in Under 30 Minutes

How to Make the Lentil Filling

This recipe is really as easy as it gets, whether you’re a beginner or an expert cook you’ll love how quickly these come together.


The first thing you’ll want to do is cook your lentils, rinse them very well, sift through them (I’ve heard people tell me they’ve found a small rock in their lentils, so please be careful!) and then cook them according to their package until tender.


While that cooks, heat your chopped onion, green pepper and garlic in a large pan over medium heat with a splash of water.


If you’re not oil free you could add some oil at this point, but I also love using veggie stock for some added flavor.


After they tenderize a bit, add the spices and stir well.

Vegan Sloppy Joes

Now add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, coconut sugar and soy sauce and mix well.


Add the lentils, stir and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until fragrant and flavorful!


It’s very important to cook your lentils beforehand, as I learned the hard way that the cooking process for lentils gets slowed down drastically if they’re cooked with salt or something as acidic as tomatoes too early.

Meat Free Sloppy Joes

I feel like everyone has their own unique topping of choice for sloppy joes – there’s the typical coleslaw for some added crunch, but I’ve also heard pickles were a great contrasting flavor!


I simply used some red onion slices and kept things simple, the lentils have so much flavor in them and sloppy joes are hard enough to keep from falling apart sometimes!


Luckily, if you cook this recipe long enough it will thicken up and not be too sloppy.

Vegan Sloppy Joes
Easy Vegan Sloppy Joes

This recipe is:

  • Quick
  • Easy
  • Vegan
  • High-Protein
  • Healthy
  • Flavorful
  • Budget-Friendly

Try my other vegan meal ideas!

Vegan Veggie Burger

Vegan Mac N’ Cheese

Savory Hand Pies

15 Easy Vegan Pantry Recipes

Meatless Sloppy Joes

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Vegan Sloppy Joes

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

Vegan Sloppy Joes

Yield: 4-6 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This simple vegan sloppy joes recipe is packed with protein and flavor! Ready in under 30 minutes and the best budget friendly meal!


  • 2 Cups Cooked Lentils
  • 1 Onion
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 15oz. Can Tomato Sauce
  • 1-2 Tbsp Coconut Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 Tsp Oregano
  • 1-2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • Buns
  • Red Onion (optional)


1. Rinse 1 cup of dry lentils and cook according to the package.

2. Chop onion, garlic and green pepper and cook in a large pan over medium heat with a splash of water for a couple minutes.

3. Add spices, sugar, tomato sauce, tomato paste and soy sauce and continue cooking for another minute or two. Add cooked lentils, stir well and cook for 10-15 minutes or until flavors have marinated.

4. Serve on bun of choice with red onion slices, vegan coleslaw or pickles.

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