{Slow Cooker} Beef & Lentil BBQ Sloppy Joes

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 main dish servings

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These Slow Cooker Beef & Lentil Sloppy Joes pack such a nutritional punch, with protein and fiber from lentils, and sneaky veggies! The whole family will love this healthy, hearty meal!

I don’t know if I’ve ever thrown a bunch of random ingredients into the slow cooker, set the timer, and had it turn out as well as these did.

I was so thrilled that these worked!

These sloppy joes are packed with protein and vegetables! I have to admit, sometimes I sneak veggies in my own food just to ensure I get enough. It’s hard sometimes! Something we all love is sloppy joes, and the lentils and vegetables give such an awesome boost in nutritional value to your typical sloppy joes!

slow cooker beef and lentil sloppy joes on white bun on black plate

The lentils add no extra work but a ton of nutritional value — and I’m all about packing a big punch into the meals I eat so I feel less guilty about the dessert I know I’m going to eat later.

half bun on black plate with sloppy joes topped with shredded cheese and green onions
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{Slow Cooker} Beef & Lentil BBQ Sloppy Joes

5 from 3 votes
Sweet and smoky sloppy joes with extra fiber and protein from lentils! Super easy – just throw everything in the slow cooker and come back at dinner time.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 8 main dish servings
Calories 365cal


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 small-medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 small zucchini shredded (could substitute a carrot, other veg, or just leave out)
  • 3/4 cup split red lentils dry
  • 1 1/2 cup water or broth beef, chicken or veg
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1-2 pinches red pepper flakes


  • In a large pan, cook ground beef and onion over medium heat until browned.
  • While ground beef is cooking, add remaining ingredients to slow cooker (I used a 6qt, and it was about half full).
  • Add ground beef to slow cooker and give everything a good stir.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.


My slow cooker is on the cool side, as far as temperature goes. I got a new slow cooker at Christmas and I noticed a huge difference in cooking times, having to add hours more when I made the switch. You should know your slow cooker and adjust cooking time as necessary. You might find it’s cooked in 5-6 hours on low, though letting it sit on Warm for a couple hours likely won’t hurt anything.
**NOTE: Nutrition information is estimated and will vary depending on exact serving size, types and brands of products used.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 365cal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 6g | Fiber: 2g

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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  1. Amber says

    This was so yummy. We left out the hamburger but it still turned out delicious. My kids really enjoyed and we’ll be having it again. I posted a link to this page on my blog. and pinned it.

  2. Gal Bar says

    I wanted to ask – if I don’t own a slow cooker, what are the alternatives for cooking?

    • Ashley says

      Hey there! You could cook it on the stovetop! I would brown the beef first, and then add the rest of the ingredients and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes until the lentils are cooked. Hope that helps!