Sweet & Spicy Sloppy Joes

When I need a quick meal and have minimal items in the fridge, this always works in a pinch.  I usually keep cider buns in the freezer and lentils and the various condiments used in this are always in stock.  If I don’t have tomatoes or peppers, use canned tomatoes and omit the pepper (see the note below).  You can also add in diced carrot to add in more veggie power.  Just throw it in the pan when you cook the onion.  This is an easy crowd pleaser.  Kids, carnivorous hubbies, and friends will all love this.  Who doesn’t love the taste of BBQ-ish food?

sloppy joes.jpg



  • 1 cup French (puy) lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red or green pepper, chopped
  • 5 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup natural ketchup
  • 2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp molassess
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • feta cheese (optional)
  • cilantro or arugula microgreens


  1. In a large saucepan bring the 4 cups of water to a boil.  Add in the lentils, lower to a low boil or simmer.  Cook until tender.  Drain and set aside.
  2. In a braising pan or large skillet (with tall sides), heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add minced onions and a sprinkle of salt. Saute for 5-7 minutes.  Add in minced garlic and bell pepper.  Saute for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add in diced tomatoes and let the mixture simmer for about 5-10 minutes while the tomatoes cook down and release their juices.  This will bring the mixture to a more saucy consistency.
  4. Add in the rest of the ingredients including the lentils.  Stir and bring to simmer.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve over a toasted bun and top with feta cheese (if not vegan) and arugula microgreens or cilantro.


If I need this to be super quick, and don’t have tomatoes or peppers on hand, you can use 1 can of diced tomatoes and omit the pepper.  If you use canned tomatoes, after you take the lid off, take a pair of scissors and snip the tomatoes in the can to get them to smaller pieces before adding to the pan. I don’t like large pieced of canned tomatoes.

Want more veggie power?  Add in diced carrot.  To dice in this case means very small pieces.  You want it to get tender in the same time as the onion.

Tags: ,

Categories: Beans & Lentils


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