If you’ve followed this site for some time, you might have noticed that I love comfort food and have turned numerous meat dishes into my favorite vegetarian dishes. These comfort foods are the ones I grew up on and the meals M still occasionally request. It’s always fun to try and recreate favorites from childhood.
I have a weakness for sloppy joes. Sloppy joes were one of the first comfort recipes I turned vegetarian by using bulgur. I felt like it was time for an update to the recipe though, to include a bit more protein. This lentil vegan sloppy joe is easy to throw together, has a flavorful, firm texture, and is packed full of protein. I’ve also been known to smother a baked potato with the sloppy mixture (so good!)
Update 4/2015: I’ve had a few comments that the lentils just aren’t cooking. This could be because of the acid from the tomatoes but it could also be old lentils. To combat the first issue, I’ve updated the instructions to cook the lentils separate then add the sauce. If your lentils don’t cook in 25 minutes, you most likely have old lentils and should replace!
Spicy Lentil Vegan Sloppy Joes
- 1/2 cup green or brown lentils
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 medium onion, minced
- 1/4 red or green pepper, minced
- 1 clove garlic. minced
- 1/2 cup strained tomatoes
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon vegan worcestershire sauce (like Annie’s)
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- In a large skillet or pot, bring lentils and water to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and let lentils cook for 20 minutes, just until lentils are tender. You may have water leftover, that's okay. Drain and set lentils aside.
- In second skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add minced onions, pepper, and garlic. Cook until onions and peppers are soft and fragrant, 6-8 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients along with the cooked lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the sauce has thickened and flavors have had a chance to cook together; 6 to 8 minutes. If the sauce thickens too quickly, add water as needed; roughly 1/4 cup at a time.
- Serve on a bun or toasted bread.
by Erin Alderson