Looking for a delicious and nutritious meal that’s easy to make? Look no further than Lentil Sloppy Joes!

This vegetarian twist on the classic sandwich is packed with protein and fiber from the lentils, and is perfect for a quick and filling lunch or dinner. Plus, it’s easy to customize to your liking and the mixture can be served in so many different ways. Whether you’re strictly a plant eater, looking to cut back on meat, or just want to try something new, this flavorful dish will soon become a new favorite in your recipe rotation.

Here, I swapped traditional starchy rolls for roasted zucchini boats to boost nutrients and cut back on carbs.  That being said, if you’re a bread devotee (oh, I fully understand), this rendition is equally delicious on toasted slider buns or English muffins. I also love to serve it on top of baked potatoes with a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Try my Zucchini Walnut Muffins.

(5 stars) 1 rating

Lentil Sloppy Joes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour


  • ½ cup dry green or brown lentils*
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ to 1 yellow onion, diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ tablespoon mustard (spicy brown, Dijon, yellow)
  • 5 medium zucchinis


  • Preheat oven to 375˚. Line ½ baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Combine lentils and 2 cups water in a large saucepan. Cover and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 25 minutes, until lentils are tender. Drain excess water and set aside.
  • While lentils cook, heat olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper and sauté until softened, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add chili powder, oregano, salt, tomato sauce, tomato paste, maple syrup, mustard and cooked lentils. Mix well. Reduce heat to low and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the insides, creating a boat-like shape.
  • Fill each zucchini “boat” with approximately ¼ cup of the lentil sloppy Joe mixture and place on prepared baking sheet. Once all “boats” are filled, place baking sheet in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until zucchini is tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before enjoying. Garnish with optional minced herbs and dig in!


* ½ cup dry lentils yields ~1¼ cups cooked. You can also buy canned lentils that are already cooked. Then skip the first step and start by sautéing the onion and bell pepper.
If you’re following a gluten-free diet, be sure to carefully read the packaging for each ingredient. While these foods are inherently gluten-free, gluten can sometimes be added during processing for a variety of reasons, including for flavor and consistency.

Nutrition Information per serving

Serving Size: 1 zucchini boatCalories: 80Carbohydrates: 15gProtein: 4gTotal Fat: 1g— Unsaturated Fat: 1g— Saturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 45mgFiber: 5gTotal Sugar: 6g— Natural Sugar: 2g— Added Sugar: 4g
Nutrition information is calculated using a leading industry software. That being said, brands can vary, and there may be slight fluctuations in the numbers.
I’m hoping you loved this recipe! If you made it and want to share feedback, I’d be so grateful to hear from you. Please leave a review below or tag @joybauer on Instagram!