Jeff and I aren’t vegetarians but we appreciate a good plant- based meal. I was playing around in the kitchen and came up with a quick idea for lentil sloppy joes. Jeff was skeptical and I was optimistic at best but they turned out to be delicious!
Lentil Sloppy Joes
They will remind you of those messy childhood sandwiches you grew up eating. My mom would serve them with a slice of cheese and a heaping paper towel- lined plate stacked with crinkle fries. The lentils provide texture and the tomato sauce is rich, a little sweet, and flavorful. Even the most dedicated omnivore should give these sandwiches a try!
The key to a thick, hearty sloppy joe sauce is to make sure the lentils are cooked all the way through. While testing the recipe, mine were slightly underdone and it can add an unpleasant crunch so make sure they are tender. Another option would be to use red lentils, they get a little softer and work just as well.
Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joes
Yield 8 servings
A delicious meatless take on sloppy joes. Lentils are simmered with a thick hearty tomato sauce and served on toasted hamburger buns.
- 3 C Water
- 1 C Lentils (green or red*
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 C tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp yellow mustard
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- Hamburger buns
- thinly sliced onions (optional)
- pickled red onions (optional)
- Prepare lentils: In a sauce pot, add rinsed lentils and water. Bring to a rapid boil and decrease heat to medium. Cover and cook for approx. 45 minutes.
- In a large skillet on medium high heat, sauté diced yellow onion, green bell pepper, and minced garlic in avocado oil; 4 minutes.
- Pour in the tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste.
- Turn the heat down to medium; add the cooked lentils and all the seasonings (chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and garlic powder) DON’T ADD THE MUSTARD OR BROWN SUGAR YET! Let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary.
- Finally, stir in the yellow mustard and brown sugar.
- Serve on toasted hamburger buns.
If you are new to lentils, I would suggest the red variety
recipe adapted from minimalistbaker.com
If you are looking for more delicious meals, try my Hawaiian Pineapple Citrus Chicken Bowls or this easy Easy Homemade Stovetop Mac and Cheese.