Easy, 20-Minute Barbecue Lentil Sandwich Filling

Our family loves lentils. They are the fastest form of plant-based protein and fiber on the planet. The cook in twenty minutes, making them perfect for quick, easy weeknight meals.

One pound of dried lentils (2 1/4 cups) will yield six cups of cooked lentils. Talk about a lot of bang for your buck!

Additionally, lentils can be found at any grocery store. Dollar Tree sells them for just $1.00 a pound, while they are even less than that at Aldi. We buy them in bulk, getting them in 25 pound bags from our local Amish community.

Lentils are incredibly versatile

Finally, lentils are super easy to add spices and flavor. Depending on what you add, the are the perfect base for Italian, Spanish, or Mediterranean cooking.

Barbecue Lentil Filling is:

  • Quick
  • Easy
  • Delicious
  • Vegan
  • Filling
  • Family-Friendly
  • Versatile


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 pound (2 1/4 cups) lentils (rinsed well)
  • 1 Tbsp garlic
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • chili powder (to taste)
  • 1-2 cups of easy, spicy blender barbecue sauce (or your favorite bottled variety)


Start by pouring 4 cups of water into a medium saucepan. Then, rinse one pound of lentils (2 1/4 cups) well under running water, adding them to the water.

Lentils are a small bean and are notorious for containing grit and bits of dirt that will be very unpleasant to eat if you don’t rinse them well before cooking.

Bring the water and beans to a boil. Then reduce the heat, simmering for fifteen minutes. At the end of that time, most of the water should be absorbed by the beans. They will be plump and tender, but not mushy.

Add the following spices to the cooked beans.

  • onion
  • garlic
  • smoked paprika
  • chili powder

Stir in 1-2 cups of easy, spicy blender barbecue sauce (or your favorite bottled variety). This blender barbecue sauce is super easy to make and is my son, Daniel’s recipe.

Serve in buns, over toast, or rolled up in tortillas.

Need the recipe?

Yep! Here you go.

Click on the button below to download a free PDF of the recipe.

Did you make it?

Let us know how you liked it. Leave your comments below or tag us (@underthemedian) on Facebook or Instagram.

18 thoughts on “Easy, 20-Minute Barbecue Lentil Sandwich Filling”

  1. You two are frugal with a purpose, an affordable good life. Whereas my dad was the King of Tightwads. He was frugal because he didn’t want to let go of the money. One of my brothers took it to heart so bad, he used the same pair of shoes for winter boots in Michigan winters, regular shoes and gym shoes. Until one day his teacher called and asked if we needed any financial assistance. Mind you, Dad made more in one year, 40 years ago, then I ever have. And my mom also worked. They were not hurting for money. I never seen my mom as mad with my dad then as after that phone call.

  2. Hi Hope

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I was hoping you would share the recipe when you and Larry talked about pantry staples and you both chined in at the same time about how good it is. God Bless!


  3. Lentils are extremely healthy too. I discovered that lentils just taste like fresh peas out of the garden when you soak in the water.
    I found your blog through a comment you left on another blog yesterday and I was so happy to read what you had to say about teaching your sons about “one anothering”.

  4. Hi Hope, I made your barbecue lentil sandwich filling tonight and it is wonderfully delicious! And your recipe was easy and quick to make! We will enjoy it for lunch tomorrow too! Thank you! Midori

  5. Hi Hope,

    A grain, a green, a bean….or a lentil. 😉We like lentils with vegetables in a stir fry, as burgerlike patties, as spreads on bread, in salads, in currys with kale, as a dhal with rice.
    Saluti della Toscana

  6. I made these last night for us. They were really yummy, quick and easy! I served on a bun with fresh corn on the cob. I made 1/2 of the recipe since there are two of us and it was more than plenty plus great leftovers. I guesstimate the meal was less than $1 including the leftovers. Score!
    So glad I found you two lovebirds on YT. Thank you so much! Blessings!

    • Yes, it freezes well. Freeze it flat in small Ziploc bags (if you use plastic). That way, it doesn’t take very long to thaw when you take it out of the freezer.


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