Vegan BBQ Sandwich with Autumn Glory Apple Slaw

By Alexandra Caspero on January 21, 2020
This post is sponsored by Autumn Glory Apples! We love this beautiful, sweet and crisp apple variety for snacking and for recipes like this one. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Delish Knowledge.
Prep time: 15 min / Cook Time: 30 min / Total Time: 45 min

Hold onto your hats friends, I’ve got THE BEST BBQ sandwich coming your way this morning. A big ol’ roll stuffed with simple bbq lentils and a massive pile of tangy apple slaw on top. These sandwiches are perfect for upcoming game watch parties, weeknight dinners or a hearty lunch.

The first time I made these, BL ended up going back for a second sandwich and then eating most of the filling and slaw together with a fork after he was done with that. Safe to say these are a winner. It’s no secret that we love lentils in my house, and this simple meal is the perfect way to enjoy more plant-based protein in your diet.

vegan BBQ sandwich

They also couldn’t be easier to make! The lentils are sautéed with onion, shredded carrots and lots of smoky spices. The idea of adding in shredded carrots comes from Dana over at Minimalist Baker who uses this technique to give the mixture more of a stringy, pulled-pork look. I think the addition of carrots also adds a subtle sweetness and helps to hold the lentil filling together. However, the trick is making sure that your carrots are freshly shredded; pre-shredded ones in a bag won’t work the same way. I use my food processor to finely shred them, but a box shredder will also work.

For the apple slaw, I’m using one of my favorite apples: Autumn Glory Apples by Superfresh Growers. If you’re unfamiliar with this apple brand, they are grown in Central Washington and have a brilliant flavor, crisp texture and pinkish-red blush to them. Personally, I think they taste a lot like caramel apple cider, the perfect apple to bake with to balance savory recipes or just snack on! Vander loves these apples most with a thin smear of almond butter.

autumn glory apples vegan bbq lentils ingredients for apple slaw

If you like Fuji and Golden Delicious apples, then you will love these as they are a cross between the two! However, like all fruit grown by Superfresh Growers, they are completely GMO-free. I can find them in my local grocery store and at Trader Joe’s!

I wanted the slaw for these vegan BBQ sandwiches to be sweet and tangy, and the Autumn Glory apples provide the perfect balance of the two. I combined shredded apples with shredded green cabbage, a little lemon juice and apple cider vinegar and dairy-free mayo.

I hope you enjoy these vegan BBQ sandwiches as much as we did! If you’re looking for more hearty vegan sandwiches, then you’ll want to try my cashew cheese veggie sandwiches, vegan egg salad sandwiches or curry tempeh wrap!

vegan lentil BBQ sandwiches

vegan bbq sandwich

Vegan BBQ Sandwich with Autumn Glory Apple Slaw

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches 1x
  • Category: dinner, lunch
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American, BBQ


Vegan BBQ Sandwich with Autumn Glory Apple Slaw! This vegan lentil BBQ sandwich is perfect for game-days, Superbowl or weeknight dinners. Packed with plant-based protein, fiber and so delicious.

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches 1x
  • Category: dinner, lunch
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American, BBQ
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches 1x
  • Category: dinner, lunch
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American, BBQ


Vegan BBQ Sandwich Filling

  • 1 cup green or brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup packed finely shredded carrots (freshly shredded, see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce

Autumn Glory Apple Slaw

  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 2 Autumn Glory Apples, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayo
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper
  • 4 whole wheat hamburger buns, for serving


  1. Add the lentils into a medium saucepan and cover with water by at least one inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until lentils are just cooked, about 20-25 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. While the lentils are cooking, prep the rest of the ingredients and make the slaw. In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mayo, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard and salt pepper. Add in the cabbage and Autumn Glory Apples and stir until combined and dressed. Taste, adding more salt/pepper/vinegar as needed. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and cook until tender, about 5-8 minutes. Add in the molasses, spices, cooked lentils and BBQ sauce and cook another 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until warmed through and thick. Taste, adding more spices/molasses/BBQ sauce as desired.
  4. To serve, divide the lentil mixture among 4 toasted hamburger buns and pile high with the prepared Autumn Glory Apple Slaw! 

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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    1. Dayna Langlois
      May 12, 2020 AT 5:23 pm

      This was sooooooooo amazing!!! Loved all the different flavors. Such a great recipe thank you!

    2. Zarina
      February 10, 2020 AT 3:17 pm

      I am allergic to all the colored lentils. I can only eat the yellow ones. What will be the best substitute for the brown lentils?

    3. Sussie Rossi
      February 6, 2020 AT 12:08 am

      Hi Alex, Thanks for the wonderful recipe we loved it, My husband and I are trying to go vegan.

      1. Alex
        February 6, 2020 AT 9:47 am

        Hi Sussie! So glad you liked it! Thanks!

    4. Gina
      February 4, 2020 AT 6:32 pm

      This is a wonderful recipe! I will be using it often. The BBQ lentils and Autumn Glory Apples slaw are a great combination.

      1. Alex
        February 6, 2020 AT 9:47 am

        Thanks Gina!