Made with warming spices, a rich tomato base and hearty green lentils, this Vegan Lentil Sloppy Joes recipe will quickly become a staple in your house!
Sloppy Joes was a staple dinner in my house growing up.
I can see why my mom loved making it so often.
Sloppy joes are easy to make, full of protein and flavorful.
I had to get a vegan version on the blog!
These Hearty Lentil Sloppy Joes are everything you could want for a delicious, weeknight dinner.
Let me show you how to make this delicious vegan sandwich!
What are Sloppy Joes?
Sloppy joes are a messy, meat-based sandwich.
A hamburger bun is topped with ground beef that has been simmered in a spiced tomato sauce.
Once you pick up a sloppy joe, it's hard to put it down as the filling will want to spill out everywhere!
How to Make Vegan Sloppy Joes
Sloppy joes are always so hearty and comforting.
I've been meaning to create vegan version for a while!
To make a vegan version of sloppy joes, all you really need to do is replace the ground beef with green lentils.
Cooked green lentils get simmered with onions and diced green bell pepper in a flavorful tomato sauce.
To assemble your vegan sloppy joe, pile those saucy green lentils on top of a soft, doughy bun. If desired, top the lentils with something fresh and crispy such as lettuce or coleslaw.
You really can't go wrong with this recipe and it makes for a great weeknight dinner.
In fact, the sauce seems to get more rich and flavorful the longer it sits so be sure to double the recipe to ensure you have leftovers to make for easy lunches during the week!
Ingredients You'll Need for Lentil Sloppy Joes
To make these Vegan Lentil Sloppy Joes, you'll need the following ingredients:
- Cooked green lentils
- Onion, chopped
- Garlic, minced
- Green bell pepper, chopped
- Tomato sauce
- Chili powder
- Liquid sweetener (maple syrup, agave or honey, if not vegan)
- Reduced sodium soy sauce (or tamari if gluten-free)
- Apple cider vinegar
For a shortcut, you can even use already cooked green lentils from a can!
How to Eat a Sloppy Joe
If you've never enjoyed a sloppy joe before, prepare to get messy!
The loose, tomato-sauce-coated lentils will probably get all over your hands, but that's what's suppose to happen!
To eat a sloppy joe, simply pick it up and don't put it down until you've enjoyed the entire sandwich.
If you really don't want to get messy, feel free to use a knife and fork and cut the sandwich into bite-size pieces...but really, what's the fun in that?!
How to Store Leftover Lentil Sloppy Joes
I've found that lentil sloppy joes taste better the longer the sit in the fridge.
The tomato sauce has time to soak up all those spices and seasonings and become more flavorful, so definitely make a double batch and save some for later!
Fridge: You can place any extra or leftover lentil sloppy joes in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Freezer: Alternatively, you can place extra lentil sloppy joes in a freezer safe zip-lock bag and freeze them for up to 2 months.
To thaw frozen lentil sloppy joes, simply remove the frozen lentils from the freezer and allow them to thaw overnight in the fridge. Then place them into a sauce pan and heat on medium-low heat until warmed through.
- 4 cups cooked green lentils (about 2 14 oz. cans or 1 ½-2 cups dry lentils)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cups (16 oz.) tomato sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoons cumin
- 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
- 3 tablespoons liquid sweetener (maple syrup, agave or honey)
- ¼ cup light soy sauce*
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- If using dried lentils, rinse 2 cups of dry green lentils and place them in a pot of boiling water to cook for about 15-20 minutes or until cooked through but not soggy. Once cooked, drain and rinse the lentils and set them aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan, sauté the chopped onion and minced garlic until soft. Add in the green bell pepper and continue cooking for a few more minutes until the pepper softens.
- Add in the remaining ingredients and stir well.
- Add 4 cups of cooked lentils to the saucepan and stir well to coat all the lentils in sauce. If the sauce looks too soupy, you can add in more cooked lentils. Just remember that the sauce will thicken a little as it simmers and later when it cools.
- Allow the lentils to simmer in the sauce for a few minutes until everything is well combined and heated through.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt or soy sauce for saltiness, apple cider vinegar for tartness, or sweetener for sweetness.
- Serve the lentils on buns with vegan cheese, vegan mayo, coleslaw or whatever you desire!
*If gluten-free, substitute tamari sauce for soy sauce!
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1 serving
Amount Per Serving Calories 210Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 1mgSodium 982mgCarbohydrates 36gFiber 13gSugar 7gProtein 14g
Nutrition information is a rough estimate provided by Nutrionix and should be used for informational purposes only.