Looking for quick vegetarian meals using your Instant Pot? These Instant Pot Lentil Sloppy Joes are a real crowd pleaser and come together in under 40 minutes! 

The Instant Pot is perfect to use when pressed for time or on hot days when you don’t want to turn on the oven. This recipe is great to add to your rotation — made with nutritious and affordable plant-based ingredients. 

A closer look at what’s inside:


Lentils are in the legume family and are filled with goodness. One cup of lentils packs in roughly 18 grams of protein, 16 grams of fiber, and 36% of your daily-recommended iron. I used green lentils in this recipe and they cook quickly without soaking in the Instant Pot.

Vegetable Broth

Cooking the lentils in vegetable broth adds a ton of flavor to this recipe! You can use homemade vegetable broth or store bought. 

Tomato Sauce

Sloppy Joes are typically made with tomato sauce or ketchup. I used a pre-made tomato sauce that didn’t include any heavy spices in this recipe and it worked great. Make sure you check the label and opt for a sauce without added sugar. 

Bulgogi Sauce

Add some BBQ flavor to your Sloppy Joes with Bulgogi Sauce! This Korean BBQ sauce is both sweet and savory. It works great as a marinade, added to your favorite sauces, or as a topping on burgers. I used Bulgogi Sauce from Lucky Foods in this recipe. It is vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO.

Avocado Oil

High in heart healthy unsaturated fats, avocado is my go-to high heat cooking oil. It’s smoke point of 520° Fahrenheit is higher than olive oil, meaning it won’t burn and break down while sautéing. 


Chopped yellow onion adds flavor to this recipe. Onions are a powerful health food containing flavonoids called quercetin, known for their anti-inflammatory properties.

Bell Pepper

Bell peppers are a great source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and antioxidants. I used red bell pepper in this recipe, but any variety should work just fine. 


A little garlic goes a long ways! This spice is thought to have antibacterial properties and may be beneficial for blood pressure and cholesterol

Maple Syrup

I love the flavor maple syrup adds to recipes! Plus it is low-glycemic and won’t cause your blood sugar levels to spike after consuming. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

This recipe needs a little tang! Apple cider vinegar helps balance flavors and also contains a number of potential health benefits associated with the gut, immunity, and more. 


I use paprika in my cooking all the time! It is made of dried and ground peppers that are sweeter and less spicy in variety than chili powder and cayenne pepper. If you are looking for a little extra spice in this recipe, feel free to add some red chili flakes as well. 

Looking for more barbecue recipes? Try these Vegan Carrot Dogs!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Lucky Foods. The opinions and text are all mine. The Lucky Foods product mentioned in this post were sent to me as a gift to use in this recipe, thank you so much!  

Instant Pot Lentil Sloppy Joes | Rainbowl Foods

Instant Pot Sloppy Joes

These vegetarian Sloppy Joes are made with lentils and packed with protein!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Wait Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 Sloppy Joes


  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 small onion or 1/2 large
  • 1/2 bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup dry green lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup Lucky Foods Bulgogi Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Sprinkle red chili flakes optional
  • 6 buns gluten-free if needed


  • Add avocado oil to your Instant Pot and select the “Sauté” setting.
  • Chop onion, bell pepper, and garlic and add to the heated Instant Pot.
  • Sauté until soft, 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the vegetable broth, lentils, and salt to the Instant Pot.
  • Prepare your Instant Pot for pressure cooking — cover and lock the lid, making sure the venting knob is in the Sealing position.
  • Using the “Pressure” button, set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on HIGH pressure for 15 minutes. Depending on the model of Instant Pot you are using, this button may be called something else — like “Manual” or “Pressure Cook”.
  • Once the timer goes off, allow the pressure cooker to naturally release pressure — this will take about 10 minutes. Once complete, turn the venting knob to the Venting position to release any remaining pressure before removing the lid.
  • Turn the Instant Pot to “Sauté” once more and add the remaining ingredients except for the buns — tomato sauce, Lucky Foods Bulgogi Sauce, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, paprika, and red chili flakes if using. Taste and adjust if needed. Adding these ingredients now allows you to adjust to your flavor preferences — add more tomato sauce if you wish, maple syrup for extra sweetness, Bulgogi Sauce for more BBQ flavor, apple cider vinegar if you need to balance out sweetness, or red chili flakes for more heat. Stir frequently until heated thoroughly and the desired thickness is achieved.
  • Spoon the mixture onto buns and serve with toppings of your choice. I used a slaw made from shredded broccoli stems, carrots, and thinly sliced apple — mixed with yogurt, mustard, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Instant Pot Lentil Sloppy Joes | Rainbowl Foods Instant Pot Lentil Sloppy Joes | Rainbowl Foods

I am not a medical professional. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, dietary changes, or well-being.

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