From Minimalist Baker:
Made with fresh, simple ingredients, naturally sweetened, and they require just 30 minutes! Savory, smoky, perfectly sweet — a delicious plant-based meal!
Joe and Tamiko’s Lentil Sloppy Joes at Pinnacles 2022
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup green or red lentils, well rinsed (red lentils for quicker/more tender result or green lentils for more bite/texture)
- 2 Tbsp olive or grape seed oil
- 1/2 medium white or yellow onion, minced (plus more for serving)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 cloves yield ~1 Tbsp)
- 1/2 medium red or green bell pepper, diced
- Sea salt and black pepper (to taste)
- 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1-2 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1-2 Tbsp vegan-friendly Worcestershire sauce
- 1-2 tsp chili powder (plus more to taste)
- 1 tsp ground cumin (plus more to taste)
- 1 pinch smoked or regular paprika (optional)
- Gluten-free or whole-wheat hamburger buns
- If using green lentils: To a small saucepan, add liquid (I used 1 cup water, 1 cup vegetable broth for added flavor) and rinsed green lentils and heat over medium-high heat. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook covered for about 18-22 minutes, or until tender. The water should have a constant simmer (not boil). Drain off any excess liquid and set aside.
- If using red lentils: To a small saucepan, add liquid (water and/or vegetable broth) and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add rinsed red lentils and bring back to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 7-10 minutes, or until just tender. You want them to be cooked through but not mushy. Drain well and set aside.
- In the meantime, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Season with a pinch each salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- Sautè for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the peppers and onions are tender and slightly browned.
- Next add tomato sauce, coconut sugar, vegan worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin, and paprika (optional). Stir to combine.
- Once the lentils are cooked, add them to the skillet as well, and stir to combine.
- Continue cooking the mixture over medium-low heat until completely warmed through and thick, stirring occasionally – about 5-10 minutes.
- Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more chili powder and/or cumin for smokiness, salt for saltiness, coconut sugar for sweetness, or worcestershire for depth of flavor.
- Serve the mixture on toasted buns with sliced onion. Best when fresh, though leftover sloppy joe mixture will keep in the refrigerator up to 4-5 days, or in the freezer for 1 month. Reheat in the microwave, or on the stovetop, adding water or vegetable broth if the mixture has dried out.