See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Lentil Sloppy Joes are a delicious vegetarian sloppy joe recipe. They are quick to prepare for a weeknight meal.

lentil sloppy joe sandwich with onion

I’m always looking for more vegetarian Instant Pot recipes and these easy lentil sloppy joes have quickly become one of our favorite meatless meals.

Classic sloppy joes are messy, meaty sandwiches with an irresistible combination of sweet and savory flavors. This healthy sloppy joes recipe is a delicious spin on the original, family-friendly, and fun to eat. These Instant Pot lentil sloppy joes are so flavorful, you won’t miss the meat.

The sloppy joe filling is a mixture of vegetables and lentils, seasoned with classic sloppy joe flavors. Serve the filling on a toasted homemade brioche bun for the best vegetarian sloppy joe sandwich.

Looking for more meatless Instant Pot recipes? My favorites also include Instant Pot Pinto Beans, Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup, Instant Pot Vegetable Soup and Instant Pot Vegetarian Lentil Chili. My Instant Pot Lentil Soup and stove-top Lentil Soup recipes are great vegetarian choices too. 

If you’re new to Instant Pot cooking, start by reading my beginner’s guide on how to use an Instant Pot.

What Kind of Lentils to Use

Be sure to use uncooked dry green lentils in this recipe, not canned lentils. Green lentils will hold their shape while cooking. Do not use red lentils, because they will soften too much during cooking and will turn to mush.

How to Make Lentil Sloppy Joes in the Instant Pot

To make these vegetarian sloppy joes, you start by sautéing onion, carrot and bell pepper in some olive oil. You can sauté the vegetables right in the Instant Pot using the sauté function. Once the veggies are soft, you’ll add garlic to the pot and cook it for about 30 seconds, until it is fragrant. Then turn off the Instant Pot.

recipe ingredients in instant pot

Next, add the remaining ingredients to the pot: lentils, tomato sauce, ketchup, pure maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, yellow mustard, chili powder, salt, pepper and vegetable broth. Stir everything together well, being sure to scrape up any cooked bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Pressure cook the mixture for 5 minutes at high pressure using the manual or pressure cook function. When the cook time ends, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before turning the steam release valve to venting.

sloppy joes in instant pot

Serve the sloppy joes on toasted burger buns. If you want to add extra toppings to your sandwich, sliced red onion and cheese are both delicious on these sloppy joes.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

If you have leftover lentil sloppy joes, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days. The sloppy joe mixture also freezes well. Store it in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. It’s best to use a container that you can fill most of the way, so that there is little room for air.

If frozen, thaw the sloppy joe mixture overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or in a pot on the stove. Always assemble sloppy joe sandwiches right before serving so that the buns don’t get soggy.

lentil sloppy joes served on a toasted bun

Instant Pot Lentil Sloppy Joes Recipe Tips

  • Be sure to use green lentils, not red lentils, in this recipe. Red lentils soften too much when cooking and would become very mushy.
  • If you don’t have pure maple syrup you can substitute it with brown sugar.
  • Since a 14.5 ounce can of vegetable broth contains about 1 3/4 cups of broth, I often use one can of broth plus 3/4 cup of water to make up the 2 1/2 cups of cooking liquid.
  • If you don’t have vegetable broth, you can use all water for your cooking liquid, but you will lose a little flavor without the broth. You may need to add more salt if using water as your cooking liquid. Chicken broth can also be used, but the recipe will no longer be vegetarian.
  • Toast the burger buns before adding the sloppy joe filling to keep them from getting soggy.

You might also enjoy these Instant Pot Lentils and this collection of Healthy Instant Pot Recipes.

lentil sloppy joe sandwich
4.75 from 4 ratings

Instant Pot Lentil Sloppy Joes

Servings: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Instant Pot Lentil Sloppy Joes are a delicious, vegetarian twist on your favorite Sloppy Joe flavors. They are quick to prepare and perfect for a weeknight dinner.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped carrot, 2-3 carrots
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups dry green lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable broth, or chicken broth or water
  • For serving: toasted burger buns, red onion, or other toppings as desired


  • Add olive oil to Instant Pot and turn on Saute. Add the onion, carrot and bell pepper and saute until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Press Cancel to turn off the Saute function.
  • Add the lentils, tomato sauce, ketchup, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, mustard, chili powder, salt, pepper and broth to the pot. Stir, scraping up any bits that might be stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position. Pressure cook at high pressure for 5 minutes. The Instant Pot will take about 15 minutes to reach pressure and then the cook time will begin counting down.
  • When the cook time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes by just leaving the Instant Pot alone. Then, carefully use the handle of a long spoon to turn the steam release valve to the venting position. Wait for all of the steam to escape and the pin to drop down and then open the Instant Pot lid.
  • Stir the sloppy joe mixture and serve on toasted burger buns.


  • Nutrition information is for sloppy joe filling only.
Calories: 202kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 819mg, Potassium: 670mg, Fiber: 13g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 3241IU, Vitamin C: 20mg, Calcium: 46mg, Iron: 3mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
Cuisine: American
Course: Main Course
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