Sweet and Smoky BBQ Lentils – a stick to your ribs comfort meal. And the sauce is tomato free!
Oh, man, are these BBQ Lentils good! If you like BBQ sauce, you are going to love this recipe! Perfect on a sandwich bun (topped with coleslaw perhaps!), in a pita, as a dip with corn chips, over polenta or over baked potatoes – you choose your favorite way to eat, but eat them you must!
The sauce for these BBQ Lentils came about by chance. A delicious sweet and smoky chance. I didn’t have any tomatoes or tomato paste and I didn’t want to use ketchup, which a lot of homemade BBQ sauces contain. I decided to improvise with carrots. Carrots might sound like a strange ingredient, especially as the base of the sauce, but the carrots give it a wonderful sweetness and creaminess.
The sauce is also vinegar based as many BBQ sauces are. If you are not a vinegar lover, you might want to start with less than 1/4 cup and adjust after tasting.
I hope you love these BBQ Lentils as much as we do. If you try them, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. You can also find me on social media. Be sure to tag @veggie_inspired and #veggieinspired so I’m sure to see it. Enjoy!
- 1 cup brown or green lentils
- 5 cups water
- 2 carrots (peeled and rough chopped)
- 1/2 large sweet onion (peeled and rough chopped)
- 2 garlic cloves (peeled)
- Enough water to cover veggies in pot
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp yellow mustard powder
- 2 tsp liquid smoke
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/8 tsp dried ginger powder
- 1/8 tsp clove
- Add lentils and water to pot. Simmer about 25 minutes until tender, but not mushy. Check them often and make sure to take them off heat and drain as soon as they are tender. Pour back into the pot and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in another pot, add carrots, onion and garlic, cover with water by an inch or two and simmer until tender...about 15-20 minutes. (It may take a few minutes less or more depending on how small or large you cut the veggies).
- When veggies are tender, drain and add to high speed blender along with vinegar, molasses, maple syrup, mustard powder, liquid smoke, chili powder, ginger and clove. Puree until smooth.
- Pour the sauce over the cooked lentils and stir to combine.
- If your sauce is too thin, simmer the lentils in the sauce uncovered for a few minutes to thicken up. Or, alternately, if your sauce is too thick, you can add a tbsp or two of water and mix. Mine was perfect as is.
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