Barbecue Lentil Bowls

Barbecue Lentil Bowls

Barbecue Lentil Bowls

Super Bowl Sunday. It’s the ultimate game day for many football fans out there, including my husband. And while I may not really understand much about the actual game, I do consider myself pretty well versed when it comes to the food. From cheesy dips, to Buffalo anything, to hearty chili, now that’s my kind of football language.

This big football game also comes at a time when my body is craving healthier and lighter fare, which is where these barbecue lentil bowls come into play. Cooked lentils are piled on top of a bed of greens, along with tender portabella mushrooms and bell peppers that have been smothered with flavorful barbecue sauce. The bowls are finished off with sautéed (but still crisp!) red cabbage, creamy avocado and some cilantro for garnish.

They are simple, healthy and also just plain ol’ fun. So whether for game night or a weeknight, these bowls have you covered.

Barbecue Lentil Bowls

Because the barbecue sauce is where so much of the flavor comes from in this dish, be absolutely sure to use something that you like. Whether store-bought or homemade, go with your favorite!

Same goes with the bed of greens. While it doesn’t necessarily add tons of flavor like the sauce, go with whatever you prefer or happen to have on hand. I love baby kale but spinach or mixed greens would be delicious as well.

Barbecue Lentil Bowls

One final suggestion. I highly advise serving these bowls with some cornbread on the side. It makes for a perfect pairing!

Print this recipe
Barbecue Lentil Bowls

Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

30 minutes

Total Time

45 minutes


4 servings


For the lentils:

  • 1 cup dried green lentils, picked through and rinsed
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the veggies:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 medium-large portabella mushroom caps (about 12 ounces), gills scraped and sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce

For serving:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 cups loosely packed baby kale
  • 1 large ripe avocado, sliced
  • Sliced green onions and/or chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • Additional barbecue sauce, for drizzling


For the lentils:

  1. Add the lentils and water to a medium saucepan. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender but not mushy. Drain off any excess water then return the lentils to the pot. Stir in the olive oil, salt and pepper.

For the veggies:

  1. Meanwhile, add the olive oil to a large nonstick skillet set over medium high-heat. When the oil is hot, add in the mushrooms and red pepper. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, until tender and starting to brown. Remove from the heat and add to a medium bowl, along with the barbecue sauce. Toss to combine.

For serving:

  1. Set the same skillet back over medium heat. Add in the olive oil. When warm, add in the cabbage and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, tossing frequently, for about 2 minutes, until softened slightly but still crisp. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl.
  2. To assemble, add 1 cup of the baby kale to a bowl. Top with some of the lentils, the veggies, the cabbage, avocado and green onions/cilantro. Drizzle with extra barbecue sauce and serve.


Slice the mushrooms and bell pepper in between ¼ to ½ inch in thickness.

These bowls can be made vegan by selecting a vegan brand of barbecue sauce.


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