5 ingredient sloppy joe

5 Ingredient Lentil Sloppy Joe

A vegan recipe that tastes amazing, with 5 main ingredients and comes together in 30 minutes is about as rare as a cool summer day in Florida.

I’m not hating on vegan recipes, but in my experience making vegan food can be an ordeal. I have plenty of wonderful cookbooks so I never have a shortage of ideas, but sometimes I just need something quick and I have zero desire to go back to the store because I forgot key ingredients for a different meal.

I adapted this recipe from The Minimalist Baker’s recipe for vegan sloppy joes. Hers is an excellent beginners recipe not just vegan cooking, but beginner cooking in general. There aren’t a lot of steps, minimal prep work, and the ingredients consist of pantry staples.

However. I regularly forget to buy all of those pantry staples, so the other night I used what I had in my pantry and it was delicious!

Don’t forget the suggested wine pairing at the end of the post =)

Vegan Sloppy Joe’s

Time needed: 30 minutes

Serves 4

Utensils Needed

  • 4qt sauce pan
  • 12 inch skillet
  • Chopping board
  • Chef knife


  • 1 cup lentils (1.69/0.85)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped (1.79/0.35)
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped (2.79/0.93)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (optional)
  • BBQ sauce* (1.79/1.34)
  • 1 TBSP (olive, avocado, grape seed)
  • Bread or hamburger buns for serving (1.99) 

Total Cost** for recipe: $10.05/5.91 per serving 

*If you are Vegan check the ingredients on your BBQ sauce

**Prices for groceries are broken down to approximate serving size

Make It

  1. Give the lentils a good rinse. Soaking or rinsing beans helps cut out the indigestible carbohydrates.
  2. In the 4qt sauce pan, bring to boil 1 3/4 cup of water over high heat, add lentils and bring down to a medium-high heat.
  3. While lentils are cooking, chop onion and bell pepper into nice little squares.
  4. Heat oil in a 12inch skillet over medium; add onion first and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and bell pepper, cook until soft.
  5. After about 15 minutes the lentils should be done – check them to make sure they are cooked through and soft. Drain lentils.
  6. Add lentils to skillet and 3/4 bottle of BBQ sauce. You can add more or less depending on how sloppy you like your sandwiches. Continue to cook until mixture is warmed through.
  7. Serve on a piece of bread for an open face sandwich or on a bun.  I recommend toasting the bread so the sandwiches don’t get soggy too quickly!

TIP: If you accidentally picked a BBQ sauce that is too hot – add a teaspoon of brown sugar to “cool” down the spice until your mouth stops burning.

5 ingredient sloppy joe the novice kitchen



In general, a fruity wine will go well with just about any style of BBQ sauce chosen, especially a Zinfandel, Riesling, or Shiraz.


Remember to follow The_Novice_Kitchen on Instagram to see what I am up to in my own kitchen on a regular basis.

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