Saturday, January 5, 2013

Lentil Sloppy Joes

Sloppy joes are one of those classic comfort food meals you remember from childhood. Of course, back then, they always came out of a can or were made with a spice packet. I grew up loving sloppy joes. They were always tasty and most of the time it meant we got french fries.  :-) I definitely never thought of them as healthy or vegetarian. Then it happened... I went lentil crazy. I wanted lentils in everything including my sloppy joes. This recipe is pretty simple. I took my basic sloppy joe and switched the meat for lentils. The trick is to keep the lentils from getting mushy. Not only do these taste just like your favorite original, they are filling and healthy. The lentils add a ton of fiber promising to keep you full, perfect for those New Year's Resolutions!

Lentil Sloppy Joes

Yield: 6 sandwiches
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

  • 1 cup dried green lentils (or 2 cups cooked)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp anchovy-free Worcestershire sauce (you can substitute Soy Sauce if needed)
  • 1 Tbsp Yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 6 hamburger buns (gluten free if you like)
Grab a strainer and rinse your lentils. Pick out shriveled lentils or stones. Place the lentils in a medium pot and cover with 2 cups of water. Turn the heat to medium high and bring the water to a simmer quickly. Once the water begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook uncovered for 20 - 30 minutes stirring sometimes. The lentils are done when they are no longer hard. Drain the water from the pot and season lentils with 1/4 tsp of salt. Set aside.
In a large saute pan, place 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook until they begin to soften (5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook an additional 2 - 3 minutes. Make sure not to burn the garlic.
Add the tomato sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and peppers. Mix well so that it is all combined. Once the mixture begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium low, and continue to cook for an additional 15 - 20 minutes or until the mixture thickens to your desire.
Add in the cooked lentils and cook for an additional few minutes or until the lentils are cooked through.
Serve a generous helping of the lentil mixture on toasted buns. You can garnish with additional mustard, pickle slices, or cheddar cheese.

Have a magical meatless day!!

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  1. Wow! Super use of lentils, not something I would have thought of. Pinning this to try later. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I ordered a delicious lentil sloppy joe burger at a restaurant recently. I LOVED it. These look delicious. Thanks for a homemade version!

    1. Of course. These are so good.. and so easy. It should be a crime.

  3. I think I could eat lentils in everything too. They are so good! I love the idea of using them for sloppy joes!

  4. Would you believe I've never had a sloppy joe in my whole life? I know, I'm rare! =) Since I'm not much of a red meat-eater now, I bet I'd love this lentil version - they look great!

  5. I love lentils and I haven't had a sloppy joe forever. These look great!

  6. Yeeeeeah! I'm all about this recipe! I haven't had sloppy Joes in a good long while and I have a bag of lentils in my pantry. Smart thinking on this healthful meal!

  7. WOW! I love this recipe! I have lentils in the fridge right now that I cooked and Not over cooked. I will make this tomorrow. Keep up with all the great ideas for vegie cooking and whole natural plant-based foods. You are making it easy for me to become vegan. Recipes are easy to follow. Thanks.
    I made a lentil dish for breakfast. Lentils, green pepers, jalapenos. I cheat on my vegan diet like once a week and have fat free feta cheese and egg whites. I put both of these into the lentil mixture and topped with Tapatio sauce in a black bean tortilla....HEAVEN!!! It was all in my head, but maybe you can come up with a recipe for all with pics. Happy creating!!!