BBQ Lentil Sloppy Joes

These BBQ Lentil Sloppy Joes are the perfect high protein vegan meal for summer! This vegan Sloppy Joe recipe is made in the pressure cooker for ultimate convenience. In partnership with Pompeian!

Look no further for a hearty, nourishing summer dinner recipe: these BBQ Lentil Sloppy Joes fit the bill! The lentils are made in the pressure cooker for ultimate convenience. (vegan & gluten-free)

BBQ Lentil Sloppy Joes

Gone are the days of only eating salads in the summertime because we’re in bikinis all season. No, thank you! Just because we’re soaking up the sun rays doesn’t mean we have to give up satisfying meals that fuel us.

If you’re struggling this swimsuit season, I see you. I feel you. I get it! But here’s what you need to remember: if you have a body, you have a beach body. Woo! So lather up the sunscreen and fire up the grill, ‘cause it’s time to EAT! 

I’ve made BBQ lentils before and stuffed them inside sweet potatoes or used them in Buddha bowls, but I usually just cook the lentils and BBQ sauce separately then mix together. But then something magical happened—we bought a pressure cooker.

Not to be dramatic or anything, but it has been totally life-changing.

We got one on Amazon for about $80, which is a totally amazing price considering how much you can do with a pressure cooker (PS: the Instant Pot is a pressure cooker, if you’re just familiar with that name). Steam potatoes? Done. Slow cook a soup? Sure. Cook dry beans and grains from scratch without soaking? DONE.

So grab your lentils and your pressure cooker and let’s get down to business!

two vegan bbq lentil sandwiches served on a cutting board

How to Make Lentil Sloppy Joes in a Pressure Cooker

The pressure cooker was the perfect method for making these Lentil Sloppy Joes. All of the ingredients go straight into the pressure cooker so there’s really not much active time involved. I started with sautéing the onions, carrots and garlic in the pressure cooker using some Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil, because I prefer the taste of sautéed vegetables. I used the Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil so that the bolder olive oil flavor that would come through in the BBQ lentils. 

Once your vegetables have softened, then add all your liquid ingredients, spices and lentils, set your pressure cooker to high and cook for 20 minutes. I also used Pompeian Organic Apple Cider Vinegar in the BBQ sauce because the acidity balances out the sweetness and gives it that TANG we all love in our BBQ sauce. Next, after the 20 minutes are up let the pressure cooker sit for 5 minutes. Then release any remaining steam and you’re done! It’s truly the perfect filling for our Vegan Sloppy Joes.

Two vegan bbq lentil sandwiches topped with cabbage and lettuce

Building the Perfect Vegan Sloppy Joes

These are BBQ Sloppy Joes after all, and BBQ anything means all those fun summer grill-out toppings. These BBQ lentils are so perfect for plopping (is that a real word?) on top of whole wheat buns for the ultimate vegan BBQ Lentil Sloppy Joes! Top with all of your favorite sandwich toppings: pickles, cabbage, greens, shredded carrots, sliced onion, mustard, avocado… by all means, go crazy! The possibilities are endless. They’re SLOPPY Joes, so don’t be afraid to really pile them high.

I guarantee both herbivores and carnivores will love these BBQ Lentil Sloppy Joes. It’s that kind of meal that will make everyone at the table go mmmmmmm. And they’re made totally from plants, so that’s a win for everyone!

two vegan sloppy joes served alongside a bottle of apple cider vinegar and olive oil

How to Make Lentil Sloppy Joes Without a Pressure Cooker

If you don’t have a pressure cooker at home, then no sweat! You can still totally make these Vegan Sloppy Joes on the stove.

Instead of starting your Lentil Sloppy Joes by sautéing your vegetables, we’ll start by cooking the lentils separately. Bring your water to a boil in a large sauce pan, then add your lentils and cook for 18-20 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Since the lentils won’t be cooking under pressure with the aromatic vegetables and spices, I recommend adding some salt and a clove of garlic to your water or cooking the lentils in vegetable broth to add flavor.

Then, once the lentils are cooked, drain off the excess water and set aside. Then in a separate large pan, you’ll sauté your base of vegetables with olive oil. Once softened, add in your cooked lentils, all of your remaining liquid ingredients and the spices and cook on the stove top for about 15 minutes, keeping the mixture at a light simmer and stirring occasionally. Once your sauce has reduced and thickened, you’ve got a pan of Lentil Sloppy Joes ready to go!

a lentil bbq sandwich topped with purple cabbage and lettuce

More Vegan BBQ Recipes

There’s nothing better than BBQ in the summertime! If you’re looking for more BBQ recipes perfect for the warmer months, then check out these recipes!

a vegan bbq sloppy joe topped with cabbage and lettuce

How to make:

BBQ Lentil Sloppy Joes

These BBQ Lentil Sloppy Joes are the perfect high protein vegan meal for summer! This vegan Sloppy Joe recipe is made in the pressure cooker for ultimate convenience.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
a vegan sloppy joe topped with purple cabbage and lettuce
4 1x
Rating: 5 from 2 reviews


  • 1 tablespoon Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup dry brown lentils
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons Pompeian Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
  • 2 tablespoons applesauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Dash of ground cayenne
  • 4 whole wheat hamburger buns*
  • Optional toppings: red cabbage, red onion, lettuce, avocado, mustard, ketchup


  1. Set the pressure cooker to the sauté function on medium heat for 15 minutes. Add Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil. When the pressure cooker has heated to the correct temperature, add onion; cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add carrot; cook for 8 minutes, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender. Add garlic; cook for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Turn off the sauté function. To the pot, add lentils, water, tomato paste, Pompeian Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, molasses, applesauce, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard, salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne. Stir to combine.
  3. Turn the lid to the locked position and turn the valve to the sealed position. Select the beans function and adjust the time to 20 minutes (it should already be on high pressure). Press the start button. When done cooking, let the pressure cooker sit for 5 minutes, then turn the valve to the venting position to release the steam. Once the float valve has completely dropped, carefully remove the lid.
  4. Serve the lentil mixture on whole wheat buns with optional toppings and condiments.


*Use gluten-free buns if you have an allergy.

Thanks to Pompeian for sponsoring this post! I love working with brands whose products I really love and would honestly recommend. Thank you for supporting this blog that I love oh-so-much!