Instant Pot Lentil Sloppy Joes

Lentil Sloppy Joes
Lentil Sloppy JoesCourtesy Image

When you need something hearty to feed a crowd, lentil sloppy joes couldn’t be easier. They’re smoky, tender, and slightly spicy, with a hint of sweetness from tomatoes.



This recipe is quick to put together and sure to bring back memories of childhood dinners (albeit with a twist). Serve with roasted potatoes or a green salad.

If you want to skip the bread altogether, this mixture is great in lettuce cups or served over steamed rice.

Recipe from The Gluten-Free Instant Pot Cookbook by Jane Bonacci and Sara De Leeuw (Harvard Common Press, 2018).

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Prep time

15 min.

Cook time

20 min.

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 2 cups brown or green lentils, rinsed
  • 1 cup water or gluten-free vegetable stock
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (including juices)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons brown sugar (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins brand is gluten-free)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 4 gluten-free hamburger buns, such as Udi’s, for serving
Press Sauté on your electric pressure cooker. When the inner pot is hot, add the oil. Add the onion and sauté until just beginning to soften, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds, until fragrant.
Add all the remaining ingredients (except the buns) to the pot and stir well.
Close and lock the lid, making sure the steam release knob is in the sealing position. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. When the cook time is finished, allow a full natural pressure release (about 20 minutes). When the float pin has dropped, unlock the lid and open it carefully.
Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Add more chili powder or cumin for spice and smokiness, brown sugar for a sweeter sloppy Joe, or a little more Worcestershire for deeper flavor.