Ditch the store-bought can of sauce for this quick and easy Homemade Lentil Sloppy Joes without all the junk and see how much better they taste!
It’s not all chocolate and sweets in our house, really! Of course, sweets are my favorite thing to make (did you see the Twix Bars?) but life is about balance, right? Although I do make a lot of desserts ( SunButter Cups anyone?) they usually end up being shared with friends so we never really eat all of them. The majority of what I make is what you would consider real food (like these Lentil Sloppy Joes). Most of those never make it to the blog because everyone is usually HANGRY by that time and just don’t want to wait for me to take the photos!
This lentil sloppy joe recipe was a meal I made quite a while back but then I forgot about it until I came across my recipe binder. I don’t know what I’d do if I lost this binder. It is a collection of what I made, what I changed and what I want to make. Actually, it’s grown into 3 binders full (juice & smoothies, meals, sweets and baked goods)and a few piles of recipes laying around that I MUST get to. Regardless, I forgot all about these Lentil Sloppy Joes, but today is the day to share it with you! I even remade it and took some better photos of it.
Did you grow up eating sloppy joes? If you did, then you remember it consisted of a couple ingredients…Ground beef and the tin can filled with that tomato-y goodness. I use to just love eating those things! The more you piled on the roll, the better because it truly was sloppy as it squished out the sides and down your hands. Not the best for eating like a lady, but we can’t all be proper 100% of the time, right?
where’s the beef?
Now, this recipe has more than 2 ingredients, but it’s still easy to make and filled with real, good for you foods. You won’t miss that old can or the beef. No beef? Yes, you read that right. Instead, lentils are used as our protein and oh my goodness, it’s delicious. Then we make our own sauce which just gives you something extra to brag about. How cool is it to know you can make your own sauce from scratch? You’re on your way to becoming a culinary genius!!!! Since we’re ditching the beef, you’ve also got to check out this Paleo Vegetarian Chili from Perry’s Plate, just ditch the egg to keep it egg-free.
I’m kinda having fun with you here, but seriously, most people I coach have a fear of cooking from scratch. Our parents had so many convenience foods at their disposal so a “home-cooked” meal could mean hamburger helper, frozen lasagna with a tossed salad or maybe even a burger/hot-dog with a can of beans and jar of applesauce. No wonder we don’t know how to cook or bake. Thankfully, my Grandma & Mom cooked from scratch so I learned how to cook from them.
it’s ok to fail
So with that, I want to encourage you to cook more. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing! Heck, I had to relearn how to cook for my youngest’s food allergies, so you aren’t alone. Maybe you are trying to eat cleaner and make healthier foods, maybe you are trying to learn how to cook with food allergies or restrictions, or maybe you’re just trying to cook. Whatever the reason, just be ok with it not always looking like Pinterest and not always tasting amazing. Some nights, we pulled out the cereal because dinner was a flop!
However, these Lentil Sloppy Joes are NOT a flop! In fact, you’ll make them and probably squeal with joy! As always, this recipe is free from dairy, eggs & nuts but it is also vegan, top 8 free & gluten-free (just use “safe” hamburger rolls).
let’s get cookin’
- 1 1/2 cup vegetable stock (can also use water)
- 1/2 cup dried lentils, rinsed (brown)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/3 cup diced, onion (used red but any will work)
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine
- 1 medium carrot, peeled chopped fine
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 (15oz) can tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1 tablespoon natural Ketchup (look for organic, no sugar added)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder (use Dijon mustard if you do not have)
- 1-2 tsp. cayenne pepper
Spread out lentils on a flat surface and remove any small pebbles or stones. Rinse lentils in colander.
- In a medium saucepan, heat veggie stock to boiling. Add lentils and reduce heat. Cover and simmer approximately 20 minutes, or until tender.
- While the lentils are cooking, in a medium sauté pan, heat oil on medium and sauté onion, bell pepper and carrot until tender. Season with a pinch of salt & pepper.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, dry mustard, and cayenne pepper (optional). Stir to combine.
- Once the lentils are cooked, drain them and save a little liquid from the pot. Add lentils to the skillet with sauce and veggies. Stir to combine.
- Continue cooking the mixture over medium-low heat until completely warmed through and thick, approx 5 minutes. Add a little bit of lentil water if too thick.
- Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more chili powder if you want more smokiness, salt for saltiness, brown sugar for sweetness, or cayenne for heat.
- Serve on top of buns of choice or even works wonderfully on a bed of rice.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 78Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 511mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 3g
Nutritional information is only an estimate based off of using an online calculator. Numbers will change depending on brands used.
want to try more with lentils?
Lentil sprouts are amazing to add to salads, soups and sandwiches. Just follow these easy steps.
See, they were HANGRY below! No time for a good photo but this Lentil Soup with shells is still worth making.
let’s get pinning
Save this for later and share with your friends. THEN, when you make this recipe, please come back and let us know how it worked out for you.
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