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posted May 31, 2022

Smoked BBQ Lentils with Bacon

These BBQ lentils with bacon are a tasty spin on a classic BBQ side dish. These lentils are rich and sweet, with a hint of spice and lots of huge pieces of tasty bacon!

BBQ baked lentils in a cast iron skillet topped with bacon with text overlay - Smoked BBQ Lentils.

BBQ Lentils

My family eats lentils weekly; they are one of my husband’s favorite foods. As the main cook in our family, they are one of my favorites too.  They are just as simple to cook as rice, and they are packed with fiber, protein, and potassium.

One of my favorite ways to cook lentils is just like baked beans, except these cook relatively quickly. Final bonus? The entire family loves this recipe! It’s a major win!

Red and green lentils pouring out of a glass mason jar.

BBQ Baked Lentils

I wanted to take the lentils we love and add my own Hey Grill, Hey BBQ-style spin. So, basically, that meant adding bacon! You know how I feel about bacon. These lentils are cooked with traditional BBQ baked beans eans in mind, but subbing out lentils for beans.

I actually think the lentils have become my go-to over beans from here on out. I start with some sauteed onions and garlic, and then slowly cook the lentils with the flavorful BBQ sauce so they absorb all of the saucy flavors while they cook. If you’re doing beans, they are typically pre-cooked and don’t take on any additional flavor from the sauce itself (and if you’re cooking the beans from dry then this recipe takes almost 20 HOURS!). We are loving the lentils in here!

Lentils being poured into a cast iron skillet with broth and sauteed onions.

Ingredients for BBQ Lentils

We’re using 2 different types of lentils for these BBQ lentils, red and green. Both work together to make these creamy and delicious with the perfect texture.

The green lentils are whole and take the full cook time to soften. These are heartier and hold their texture to the long cooking time.

The red lentils are split lentils, so they cook faster. They will be done cooking earlier on in the cooking process, but as they continue to cook in this amazing sauce they will slowly break down and thicken the sauce. The red lentils add an amazing creamy element to the final product. 

Ketchup and mustard being stirred into baked lentils.

How to Smoke BBQ Lentils

Here’s how to cook these lentils on your indirect grill (smoker) or in your oven.

  1. Preheat. Preheat your smoker to 350 degrees F. You can also cook these in your oven preheated to the same temperature.
  2. Make the lentils. Sautee onions in olive oil in a cast iron skillet until translucent. Add the garlic, lentils, and chicken stock and simmer for 15 minutes. Add in the remaining ingredients (except the bacon) and cook for around an hour. Stir occasionally to ensure everything cooks evenly.
  3. Add bacon. Add the crumbled bacon to the top of the lentils. You can stir to combine these in with the lentils or keep them on top for a nice presentation. I’ll leave this up to you.
  4. Dish up. Allow the BBQ lentils to cool slightly before serving. These taste great with just about any BBQ you’ve made for dinner.

BBQ baked lentils in a cast iron skillet topped with bacon.

More BBQ Lentils and Beans Recipes

If you loved this recipe, you’ll likely enjoy these other lentils and baked beans recipes from Hey Grill Hey!

BBQ Lentils Recipe

Making good food should be easy, and Hey Grill Hey is here to help! Over at the Hey Grill Hey Store, we have sauces, rubs, and more to save you time and energy when you’re busy at the grill. Check it out today!

This post was originally published in November 2016. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.

BBQ baked lentils in a cast iron skillet topped with bacon.

Smoked BBQ Lentils with Bacon

Susie Bulloch
These BBQ lentils with bacon are a tasty spin on a classic BBQ side dish. These lentils are rich and sweet, with a hint of spice, and lots of huge pieces of tasty bacon!
Prep Time : 15 mins
Cook Time : 1 hr
Total Time : 1 hr 15 mins
Servings : 8 people
Calories : 426kcal


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup sweet onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • cup ketchup
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ pound cooked bacon (crumbled)


  • Preheat. Preheat your oven or smoker (I made these on my pellet smoker) to 350 degrees F.
  • Make the BBQ lentils. In a 12 inch cast iron pan, heat the tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onions until just translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in the lentils and chicken stock and simmer for 15 minutes. There will still be liquid remaining and the lentils will be slightly crunchy,
  • Smoke. Stir the ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and spices into the lentils. Transfer the skillet to the smoker or oven and cook for an hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Add bacon. When the liquid is absorbed and the lentils are soft, stir in the crumbled bacon.
  • Enjoy. Remove the lentils from the smoker and allow to cool slightly before serving alongside your favorite BBQ meats.


Calories: 426kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 1126mg | Potassium: 783mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 166IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 4mg
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