Vegan Lentil Sloppy Joes

Recipe from Food52

I use to love when Mom would make sloppy joes.  Lately I’ve been craving dinner dishes from the past.  However, this has proved to be difficult, since I use to eat meat and since 9 years ago I stopped.  Thank goodness for the internet and the plethora of recipes out there from other vegetarians and vegans.

*Note: In Switzerland I have not been able to locate mustard powder.  To solve the issue, I took mustard seed and tried to grind it down with a pedestal and mortar. I also melt a little Gruyere cheese on the bun before assembling.



Serves 6

  • cup brown or green lentils, soaked for a few hours (or overnight) and rinsed
  • 2 to 3cups water
  • tablespoons olive oil
  • cup white or yellow onion, chopped
  • green or red bell pepper, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • clove garlic, minced
  • teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • teaspoon mustard powder, dried
  • One 15-ounce can crushed, fire-roasted tomatoes (I like the Muir Glen brand)
  • tablespoons tomato paste
  • tablespoon organic brown sugar or maple syrup
  • tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoons sea salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth (or more as needed)
  • 1/4 red pepper flakes
  • sprouted grain buns
  • Toppings of choice (Tabasco sauce, sriracha, pickles, onions, sauerkraut, coleslaw, avocado slices, etc.)
  1. Place lentils in a large pot, and cover with water (enough so that there’s at least a full inch or two of water above the lentils). Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the lentils are chewable, but still have some firmness to them. Drain them and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and pepper, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the onion is soft and clear, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, chili, paprika, and mustard, and continue cooking for another minute or two, until the garlic is quite fragrant.
  3. Add the lentils, fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar or maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and broth. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Add more broth as needed. Simmer until the mixture has thickened to your liking, about 15 to 20 minutes (I like thick sloppy joes, but if you like ’em sloppier, that’s fine, too!).
  4. Remove mixture from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Divide sloppy joes onto the buns and top with toppings of choice, including some Tabasco or sriracha for heat, if desired. Serve.

2 thoughts on “Vegan Lentil Sloppy Joes

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