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 need 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 of the natural sweetness from 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!
For other cookout and barbecue recipes, try my Italian Zucchini Kabobs, Healthy Scallion Dill Potato Salad, or Greek Yogurt Broccoli Salad. If you love lentils, check out the Lentil Walnut Taco Meat.
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
BBQ Lentils with Shredded Carrots
- 1 cup lentils - dry; you can use red or green
- 2 cups water
- ¾ cup ketchup - low sugar or unsweetened
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce - look for a vegan Worcestershire (like Annie's) if you need/want these to be vegan
- 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon 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!
Hope you enjoy these! – Lizzie
Did you add chickpeas to this also?
Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN
Hi Chrissy – no, just lentils. But I think they would taste good with chickpeas in place of or in addition to lentils!
Also – and I don’t care because I am not vegetarian or vegan (in fact, I think it’s super unhealthy to be these things) – but Worcestershire Sauce by Lea & Perrins has anchovies; therefore, not veg…
If we only have regular ketchup, should we omit the maple syrup?
Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN
Hi Monika, yes I’d recommend omitting the maple syrup if you have a ketchup with a bit more sugar. Thanks for the note on the Worcestershire sauce… I typically use one that’s vegan and forgot to note that in the recipe, so I’ll include it now. Thanks!