Lentils are my favorite legume. They have such a nice flavor and they are so versatile. The thing I do with green + brown lentils most is definitely Instant Pot Lentil Stew. It takes 7 minutes and is so delicious. And red lentils make the smoothest, creamiest Red Lentil Hummus. But today we are making something a little different: Quick + Smoky Barbecue Lentils.
The world is still in various degrees of quarantine and social distancing. And that means we are all using out pantries to the max. Lately I’ve made so many bean recipes, showing you how a humble can of beans can be turned into something truly delicious.
I don’t typically buy canned lentils can because they only take about 20 minutes of simmering to cook. But, for convenience sake, I used the amount you would normally find in the can. So make these Quick + Smoky Barbecue Lentils with whatever lentils you’ve got!
The barbecue sauce that I always purchase is Stubbs Original (or the spicy variety if my grocery store is out of original). I like Stubbs because its quite tangy which I love. I don’t typically like the overly sweet varieties like Sweet Baby Rays. But you do you! If you use a barbecue sauce that is on the sweeter side, a full tablespoon of molasses might be too much. Start with a teaspoon and work your way up from there.
I used a hint of liquid smoke here, but if you hate it or just don’t have any, leave it out. These lentils will still be SO good without it. Liquid smoke is one of those things that you buy once and will never make it through a whole bottle. It is so strong and can easily overpower a dish. But in my opinion, when used judiciously, it adds a delightful complex flavor.
I like to serve these Quick + Smoky Barbecue Lentils like a traditional barbecue sandwich: On a bun with some slaw. But they are also SO good in a nourish bowl with sweet potato with some of my Fresh Corn Salsa.
Quick + Smoky Barbecue Lentils
- 1 Tbsp Canola Oil or any neutral tasting oil
- 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
- Pinch Black Pepper
- 1 15 oz Can of Green or Brown Lentils, drained and rinsed or 1 1/2 cups cooked green or brown lentils
- 1/3 Cup Barbecue Sauce I used Stubbs Original
- 1 Tbsp Molasses* see note
- 1/4 tsp Liquid Smoke
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add oil and swirl around the pan. Add spices and stir using a wooden spoon, for 1 minute.
- Add lentils to the pan and stir to coat them with the spices. Let them heat through for about 2 minutes.
- Add barbecue sauce and molasses to the pan and stir to coat. Let cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from heat, stir in liquid smoke and stir to combine.
- Serve on buns with slaw, or any way you like!
- If you are using a very sweet barbecue sauce, reduce the amount of molasses to 1 1/2 tsp and go up from there!
Let me know how you liked this recipe and if there is anything you want to see me make next!