Recipes & DIY

The Best Ever Lentil Sloppy Joes

Arguably one of the best comfort foods is sloppy joes. But if you don’t eat meat (or are cutting back on your meat intake), that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in this flavorful dish. It just requires a little modification, like I’ve done with my incredible lentil sloppy joes.

Appropriately named The Best Ever Lentil Sloppy Joes, this recipe is rich and flavorful, yet free of inflammatory red meat and gluten. Plus, it’s filled with some great ingredients designed to leave you feeling satisfied and energized!

Intrigued? Let’s learn a little more about what makes The Best Ever Lentil Sloppy Joes different from the standard recipes you’ll find out there, and then let’s get cooking!

First, let’s profile the main ingredient in this lentil sloppy joe recipe: lentils!

Lentils are a great alternative for meat because they’re rich in protein (this is why I used them in my amazing vegan burger recipe!). In fact, one-half cup of cooked lentils contains 12 g of protein. But that’s not all.

That same one-half serving also contains more than 30 percent of the fiber you need each day. [1] So, not only will my lentil sloppy joes help boost your energy with a powerful pack of protein, but they’ll also keep you fuller longer, thanks to the fiber content. Talk about a win-win!

Another one of the ingredients that sets this lentil sloppy joe recipe apart from others is the apple cider vinegar.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of apple cider vinegar because of how it’s helped me with my digestive troubles over the years. In fact, I’m known to take “shots” of it after eating to aid my digestion. But that isn’t for everyone, so adding it into your meals can be a great way to take advantage of its benefits.

Apple cider vinegar has been known to support everything from reduced IBS symptoms to insulin sensitivity. Some studies have even linked its consumption to weight loss and fat loss! [2]

As you can see, The Best Ever Lentil Sloppy Joes have a lot to offer in terms of nutritional benefits. And they’re packed with flavor, too—so much so that I bet you’ll never miss the inflammatory red meat base you’re used to.

Keep reading to get this incredible recipe. Trust me—it’s one the whole family (even your pickiest eaters) will love!


The Best Ever Lentil Sloppy Joes

Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 2


Lentil sloppy joes - Dr. Pingel



2 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup shallot, small diced

¼ cup green pepper, small diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup vegetable broth

¼ cup diced tomatoes

½ cup tomato sauce

1 teaspoon yellow mustard

1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon agave

1 teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

½ cup dried red lentils, rinsed and drained

2 gluten-free hamburger buns


Optional toppings:

¼ cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese

½ avocado, sliced

2 tablespoons jalapeño peppers, sliced



1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and green pepper. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant.

Lentil sloppy joes - Dr. Pingel

2. Add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, mustard, Worcestershire, vinegar, agave, chili, paprika, and salt and pepper. Add the lentils and stir to combine.

Lentil sloppy joes - Dr. Pingel

3. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and the sauce is thickened.

Lentil sloppy joes - Dr. Pingel

4. Divide the lentil mixture between the hamburger buns. Top with desired toppings, if using, and serve.

Lentil sloppy joes - Dr. Pingel

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