Shredded carrots add a sweet taste and crunchy texture to these vegan BBQ lentils for a plant-based twist on traditional barbecue!
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Cookout season will soon be upon us. And some of you may be looking for veggie-forward recipes that you can add to your typical spread of burgers, dogs, and the like.
Well, I have quite the treat for you fellow plant-loving people. BBQ LENTILS. YUP, turns out those semi-bland, pebble-like legumes we all know as lentils taste prettttyyy darn good in a sweet and smoky barbecue sauce.
Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned the best part. This recipe is taken to a whole ‘nother level with the addition of sweet, crunchy carrots. Obviously veggies steal the show…again.
In fact, the sauce on these lentils has a lot less sugar than typical BBQ sauces, in part because it’s naturally sweetened by carrots. Pretty cool if I do say so myself.
How to Make BBQ Lentils
These lentils come together very quickly on the stovetop, and you only need one pan to make them! To start, you’ll need to gather these ingredients:
- 1 cup dry lentils: This typically equates to ~2-3 cups cooked.
- Low sugar or no sugar added ketchup: I like the Trader Joe’s Organic Ketchup (fairly low in sugar) or Primal Kitchen Organic Unsweetened Ketchup. I know that most homemade BBQ sauces are typically made with tomato paste or tomatoes and added vinegar. But I prefer to use ketchup (it already has vinegar) as a shortcut.
- Shredded carrots: You can find carrots that are already shredded at most grocery stores, or you can shred them yourself with a grater, swivel peeler, or in a food processor.
- Additional seasonings and sweeteners: Worcestershire (PLEASE NOTE: if you need/want these to be vegan or vegetarian, look for a Worcestershire sauce that does not have anchovies, like Annie’s), smoked paprika, garlic powder, maple syrup
First, make the lentils by combining 1 cup dry lentils with 2 cups water in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for ~20 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Drain excess liquid.
In the same saucepan, whisk all of the other ingredients together and put it back on the stove. Add the cooked lentils, stir well, and let everything simmer together until the carrots soften and the sauce is hot. THE END.
Ways to Use BBQ Lentils
BBQ lentils are seriously SO tasty on their own, but you can use them in a million ways.
Try them as a filling for vegan sloppy joes topped with coleslaw, in tortillas, or as a dip with corn chips. You can also mix them into macaroni and cheese, or stuff them into celery sticks, sweet potatoes, or lettuce wraps.
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear how you use your lentils in the comments below!
BBQ Lentils with Shredded Carrots
A plant-based twist on classic barbecue with lentils, shredded carrots, and a homemade sauce.
- 1 cup lentils dry; you can use red or green
- 2 cups water
- 3/4 cup ketchup low sugar or unsweetened
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce look for a vegan Worcestershire (like Annie's) if you need/want these to be vegan
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 4 cups shredded carrots
In a large saucepan, combine the dry lentils and water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook the lentils until they are tender, about 20 minutes. When they are finished, drain them in a colander.
In the same saucepan, whisk together the ketchup, maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, and garlic powder. Place it back on the stove over low-medium heat. Add the carrots and lentils.
Cook for another 10 minutes, stirring often, until the carrots are tender and the sauce is hot.
Serve warm and enjoy!
You can store BBQ lentils in the fridge for up to 5 days and reheat in the microwave or on the stove.
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Hope you enjoy these!