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Slow Cooker Lentil Sloppy Joes

Author - Alyssa Rimmer

This plant-based version of the all-American classic, these lentil sloppy joes have all the same flavor without any of the meat. And they're a cinch to whip up. Just toss everything in your slow cooker and let it do the work for you!

I got the idea for this recipe from my brother. He made my quinoa sloppy joes recently and was raving about them, and sent my sloppy joe craving into overdrive. But since I'm no longer eating meat, I had to come up with an alternative.

I've often used quinoa in things like vegetarian chilis and soups to lend somewhat of a meat texture, but I knew this recipe couldn't be 100% quinoa. Beans are the logical next step, but anything like a chickpea or white bean would just throw the texture off. The best solution: lentils.

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LENTIL SLOPPY JOES made in the slow cooker! So easy and the perfect vegan alternative to this all-American classic!

Lentils have a surprisingly meaty feel to them when they're cooked. They have this interesting quality about them, where they kind of break down as they cook, but also keep their shape at the same time. And they ended up being the perfect plant-based solution for these sloppy joes.

To add a bit more depth to the dish, I also added some finely chopped carrots, onions and mushrooms, all of which help give these sloppy joes more flavor, but also a more complexity in terms of texture.

LENTIL SLOPPY JOES made in the slow cooker! So easy and the perfect vegan alternative to this all-American classic!

I wanted to make sure the recipe was as simple to make as possible, so I threw everything in the slow cooker and let it do its thing.

I kept the recipe pretty much the same as my other quinoa sloppy joes, except that I obviously swapped the meat for lentils and ended up having to use a bit more liquid. I also decided to use vegetable broth instead of water to give them more flavor.

Hands down THE BEST vegan sloppy joes ever! Made with lentils, quinoa and mushrooms they're incredibly flavorful and super easy to make!

And friends, these are seriously THE BEST.

I've now served them on three occasions and each time people can't believe they don't contain meat. They have that wonderful tomato-barbecue flavor, are perfectly sloppy and make the greatest sandwiches!

For my guests, I served them on ciabatta rolls, but you could also use your favorite gluten-free biscuit (my Quinoa Biscuits are great!), or you can do what I did and toss everything into a spaghetti squash boat.

Hands down THE BEST vegan sloppy joes ever! Made with lentils, quinoa and mushrooms they're incredibly flavorful and super easy to make!

Can't wait to hear what you think of the recipe. I have a feeling it's going to become a staple 🙂

Your turn…

What's your favorite slow cooker recipe? I'd love to get some ideas as we move into the winter time! I definitely didn't use my slow cooker much last winter, so I want to this season. And don't forget…if you end up making this recipe, or any others from the site, tag @simplyquinoa or use #simplyquinoa so I can find your pictures and give you some love in return!

xo Alyssa

Hands down THE BEST vegan sloppy joes ever! Made with lentils, quinoa and mushrooms they're incredibly flavorful and super easy to make!

Hands down THE BEST vegan sloppy joes ever! Made with lentils, quinoa and mushrooms they're incredibly flavorful and super easy to make!
5 from 5 votes
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Slow Cooker Lentil Sloppy Joes

This plant-based version of the all-American classic, these lentil sloppy joes have all the same flavor without any of the meat!

Course Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword healthy sloppy joes, sloppy joe, slow cooker, vegan sloppy joes, vegan soup, vegan stew
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 294 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 cups brown lentils
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup organic ketchup I used agave sweetened
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Pinch of salt & pepper
  • 3 - 4 cups vegetable broth

Instructions

  1. Add everything into the slow cooker, starting with 3 cups of broth. Stir to combine, cover and set to high. Cook on high for 2 - 3 hours (or low for 4 - 6). Check and add more liquid as needed.
  2. Serve warm with a bun, biscuit or in a spaghetti squash!
Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Lentil Sloppy Joes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 294 Calories from Fat 19
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2.1g 3%
Total Carbohydrates 57.1g 19%
Sugars 12.6g
Protein 15.5g 31%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


 

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Lentil Sloppy Joes....made in the SLOW COOKER! Even my meat-loving family adores this recipe!
82 comments
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  1. I really wanted to love this, but I found the flavor insipid and overly sweet. I think part of the problem is the lack of fat in the recipe. I’m going to try sautéing the onions, garlic & spices in a glut of olive oil before adding to the slow cooker. Otherwise I don’t think there’s enough savory to stand up to the sweetness of carrot + tomato sauce+ ketchup + maple syrup, etc.

  2. Just found this recipe & made it today. I used sriracha instead of hot sauce & it was amazing! Love this recipe!

  3. I just came across this recipe and have everything to make it except the brown lentils. I have green and red, I read your comment about the red ones being too mushy. Would green be okay ?

  4. This recipe is delicious! Made it tonight with a few modifications, the major one being that I replaced the mushrooms (just don’t like ’em!) with jackfruit. Jackfruit is very nutritious and has wonderful meaty texture but very little flavor, so it worked really well. Also, I made it stovetop. Started by sauteeing the carrots, onions and garlic, then added the jackfruit, then the seasonings, then everything else. Since I didn’t use a crock pot, the broth was not needed. I did NOT let it simmer a few hours — rather, I served it when the vegetables were soft and everything was heated. Simmering might add extra flavor, but it was perfectly delicious without it.

    I was concerned that 2 TBSP of hot sauce would be too much, so I used about 1.25 and that was plenty for my palate. Might go down to 1 next time. Also replaced the maple syrup (didn’t have any) with agave syrup and used only 1 TBSP.

    My husband (a carnivore) and I (98% vegetarian) both loved it. I didn’t even use a bun — just ate it out of a bowl like chili, topped with some grated monterey jack cheese. The recipe makes a lot so we froze some of the leftovers.

    This one is a keeper!

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