These Vegan Sloppy Joes are made with green lentils and a spice blend so good you’ll be licking the plate. You won't miss the meat! Great make-ahead or freezer meal, too.
- 1 cup green lentils
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
- 1 green pepper, diced small
- 2 small carrots, diced small
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon mild chili powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Buns, for serving
- Sliced red onion, for serving
- Pickles, for serving
1 Cook the lentils: Rinse the lentils well and add them to a pot along with 4 cups of water and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a simmer, cover, and continue simmering over low heat until lentils are tender but not mushy, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain lentils and set aside.
2 Make the sloppy joe filling: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, green pepper, carrots, and garlic. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables soften, 5-6 minutes. Stir in spices, ketchup, tomato sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, 1/2 cup of water, and the reserved lentils. Stir well.
3 Simmer the sloppy joe mixture: Simmer the mixture for a few minutes to combine flavors. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. It will probably need a pinch of salt and pepper. Add an extra tablespoon of brown sugar to make it sweeter or a dash of apple cider vinegar to make it a bit more tart.
4 Make the sandwiches: Toast your buns and add thinly sliced red onions to the bottom half of the bun. Top with 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the vegan sloppy joe filling. Add pickles and eat immediately.
LEFTOVERS: Leftover sloppy joe mixture will store well in the fridge for a few days or it can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Reheat sloppy joe mixture gently over the stove with a splash of water. Spoon it atop a baked sweet potato for lunch the next day if desired!