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Super Healthy Lentil Sloppy Joes

Lentil Sloppy Joes!

Seeing as I’ve posted recipes for both Healthy Oreos and Healthy Butterfingers this week, I figured a non-dessert post was in order. After all, a person can’t live on chocolate, cookies, and candy, alone. We can come close…

Anywhoos, so last night I made these:

Meatless Sloppy Joes

Thinking of sloppy joes brings me back to high school.

My mom always placed high importance on family dinner nights, and she’d somehow manage to make a big meal even on days we were super busy. (We were always super busy!)

My sister and I played on the school’s varsity tennis team, with long practices each day, and Friday nights were particularly animated: we’d board a bus in the afternoon, then play intense matches until well after dark. Intense might not be a strong enough word… we sometimes played against China’s future Olympic team!

Ever the supportive parent, my mom attended almost every match. Yet, when we’d finally drag our tired (and hungry) bodies off the courts, there it would magically sit, waiting for us:

A home-cooked meal.

Healthy Sloppy Joes

Sloppy joes became one of our favorite Friday-night dinners, and one of our mom’s favorites as well, because she could make them in the morning in the crock pot. Her recipe is actually meatless (I’ve been a vegetarian since high school), but it calls for a few ingredients one can’t buy in the US. So last night I changed it up, and I incorporated lentils into my new creation.

Although I didn’t use a crock pot for this recipe, I imagine you could. The recipe comes together very quickly, and there’s even a microwave option!

Vegan Sloppy Joes

Did you sit down to family meals when you were growing up?

Or do you try to have family meals with your own kids? My family tried to all eat together whenever we could. Sometimes after-school activities got in the way; and sometimes we were forced to eat in the car, en route to soccer practice or art class. But when we got the opportunity to sit down as a family, we took advantage.

I don’t remember ever eating dinner in front of the television, unless it was a special “movie night.”

SUPER healthy lentil sloppy joes!


Lentil Sloppy Joes

(Sloppy Loes)

  • 2 15-oz cans lentils, drained and rinsed (about 3 cups cooked lentils)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 stevia packets, or 3-5 tsp sugar or sweetener of choice, or to taste
  • 14 oz tomato sauce (I used no-salt-added)
  • up to 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (or soy-free alternative)
  • optional: 1/2 an onion (diced) and 2 tsp oil

Lentil sloppy joes: If making these on the stovetop: sauté the onion and garlic in the oil until onion is translucent. Add lentils and spices, stir, then add all other ingredients and cook uncovered (stirring occasionally) until thick like sloppy joe filling. If making this in the microwave: add all ingredients to a large microwave-safe dish (minus the onion and oil, which you won’t use with this method). Microwave until it boils, stir, then repeat the process until it is thick like sloppy joe filling. Makes about 5 cups.

View Sloppy Joes Nutrition Facts



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Published on October 26, 2012

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  1. Olivia @ OmNom Love says

    Sloppy Joes is one of my favorite home cooked meals. It’s so fast and easy! Unfortunately (well, to me it’s unfortunate since I’m not vegan or vegetarian), due to health problems, my body doesn’t digest red meat very well. 🙁 This lentil joes look like the perfect alternative!

    My family almost always sits down together to have home cooked meals. The only time we don’t is when my sister has a late karate practice or people are just to hungry to wait for me to come home from play practice at school. Our biggest weakness is eating in front of the TV. I hate doing it, but somehow my younger sister always ends up talking my parents into it. >:(

    • Heather says

      Hi Olivia! If you would like to have meat, then look into taking coenzyme Q10 supplement WITH your meal when it includes meat to help break it down better AND make sure to spend extra time to thoroughly chew the meat to break it down better.

    • Mary says

      Yeah look into taking an enzyme to help you digest meat, because, seriously if you think eating meatless will help you with health problems you are so wrong, girl! If you want to get on top of things healthwise, get back to eating meat and seriously cut your grain and legume consumption.

  2. Liz says

    These look SO GOOD! I happen to have all the ingredients, and now I know what dinner will be. 🙂 I will report back later with results.

  3. Eating 4 Balance says

    Hey, just to let you know that this post isn’t showing up on the homepage… at least it isn’t for me!

    Sloppy Joes were always a quick and go food for my family too. This looks great!

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Really? That’s weird! It shows up for me… What browser are you using? Did you try refreshing the screen?

      My blog has done some really weird things lately (like not letting people comment from some browsers) so I wouldn’t be surprised if it were yet another lovely technological glitch.

      • Eating 4 Balance says

        Ya, I always have to read your blog in Internet Explorer because it gets really funky in Mozilla Firefox. It won’t let me comment or see this post in Mozilla. But Explorer works. Weird.

        • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

          Ugh… that really IS weird! I just checked Firefox and it works there for me as well. But there have been times in the past where I can see posts and others can’t, so I am frustrated to hear that it’s still going on. But THANK YOU for letting me know! People sometimes say they don’t want to bother me by telling me about a problem, but I could not be more appreciative when someone speaks up. Otherwise I’d have no idea something was wrong and would never know I needed to try and fix it!

          • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

            That was the thing with the comments, too… I only can’t post comments (in Safari) for about an hour after the post goes live.

            There is a reason companies like The Geek Squad exist. I need a Geek Squad for my blog! 😉

  4. Leslie says

    We almost always ate together as a family growing up and I have instilled that with my husband and stepson. There are a few exceptions but most nights you will find us eating together. I think it is important in this busy busy world we live in!

  5. Andrea says

    Hmm. I have all but the apple cider vinegar, so I might try subbing red wine vinegar. I think this will be dinner tonight. 🙂

  6. Justin says

    Those sloppy joes look really good. But I have to tell you, those banana pancakes look incredible. You oughta be on the Food Network or have a product line or something! 😉

  7. Karissa says

    My husband and I have recently decided to practice a vegan diet (about two months), and it’s still a work in progress. Your blog has been a life saver! I love your recipes and I think you are so talented and creative. I want to make every recipe! I have already made your deep dish chocolate cookie, pop tarts, donuts, and cornbread. I will make this for tonight with your surprise ingredient chocolate cake. I’ve been telling all by friends about your blog too. So I just wanted you to know you have a new big fan.

  8. Karissa says

    One question about coconut oil. Since it’s solid at room temperature, do you heat it up first before you mix it in with baking ingredients?

  9. Melissa says

    So, I’m in love with your site.
    Really. I live on it now.
    But my question: are the nutrition facts you have posted for the stevia or the sugar? Or is it the same and I’m being silly?

  10. Lauren says

    I love lentils, so this looks great! My family always sat down to dinner when I was growing up. We’d often be turned towards the TV, but at least we were all watching together… 🙂

  11. Stephanie says

    I make something very similar, but with red lentils, and my whole family LOVES this dish (my ten year old son even asks for me to make it- I let him pick out dinner last week and he chose the red lentil sloppy joes. I was proud!). I usually toast the buns before serving dinner. YUM!!!!

    We sit down to dinner at the table together every night. I feel like it’s important to create and maintain that ritual. It gives us time to relax, to catch up on everyone’s day, and to bond as a family. I look forward to it. 🙂

  12. Janie Kaiser says

    Yummy! What kind of lentil did you use? (pink, green, etc.) I have so many lentils in my apartment but I always forget that they are a great easy protein source. I’m working on expanding my repertoire of vegan meals!

  13. Amy says

    This looks like a great vegan recipe, butI am I allergic to lentils. What would be a good sub?

    In our house we make dinner together a priority on Friday , Saturday and Sunday. The rest of the nights of the week, my daughter and I are at our karate class and my husband gets home before us and he HAS to have dinner right when he gets home. I usually make dinner ahead on those nights for him and my daughter and I eat when we get home.Its not ideal, but it works for us!

  14. Dawn says

    Ok, I’ve been following you for awhile now on pinterest, and it’s time to say it: I love your blog! I rarely leave comments for anyone or anything, but it must be said. I am a pastry chef by trade, and a vegetarian by choice (since I was 8) and I can’t help but look at everything you make.
    Thank you for showing me how to enjoy treats and eats in a healthier manner.

  15. Sophie says

    This looks delicious (like everything else)! I’ll definitely have o make it for my dad because he loves sloppy joe! Also, last weekend I went up to Stratford in canada (for a field trip) and there was a fancy chocolate store that had chocolate covered cheesecake slices on a stick! They were huge! I decided to indulge since I didn’t know if I’d ever come across this delicious invention again (unless I went back to Stratford, which I don’t plan on doing anytime soon). My question: Katie, could you please make a healthier version of this recipe?

  16. kim@hungryhealthygirl says

    I’m super busy with kids’ activities too….gymnastics and dance, but I really like to all sit down for dinner a couple of nights a week. I know all about having to eat in the car too! These look fabulous…I’ve never thought of lentil in sloppy joes. I will be giving these a try for sure!

  17. Erin | The Law Students Wife says

    I LOVE the combo of cinnamon and chili powder in a variety of savory dishes. Neat to see that you put it in yours! Also, great call on the English muffin bun. Seeing the picture has me wondering why I don’t use them for sandwiches more often!

  18. Rachel Christensen says

    Katie!! These looks amazing, I am so so excited to try these…and will fantasize about them until I do!! Thank you 😀

  19. Lisa @ The Raw Serenity says

    These look awesome Katie!
    Growing up we used to always sit at the dinner table but on Friday nights we usually ate cereal for dinner because our parents were to exhausted to cook.
    As a kid, we loved cereal for dinner , actually I still would!

  20. Laura says

    My family just started trying out “meatless Friday” thanks to inspiration from your recipes! I will totally make this soon! 🙂
    We never eat with the TV on and always eat together whenever we can, especially on Sundays. Sometimes someone has to go somewhere or Dad is late from work but we always try!

  21. Jennie says

    These look great!!! Love finding new veggie recipes 🙂 Out of sheer curiosity, what were the original ingredients you can’t buy in the US?? xo

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      The big one was the protein source: it was a soy crumble-type thing that came in a package with only Chinese characters, so I don’t even know what it was called! Perhaps they sell it at an Asian market, but I’ve never seen it and wouldn’t even know what to ask for.

      She also used a Chinese jarred sauce that was kind of like a cross between Worcestershire and soy sauce.

  22. Leanna C says

    Oh wow, thank for this simple and awesome recipe! I’ve seen vegan sloppy joe recipe before, but none as simple (in terms of ingredients and cooking) as this! Thanks so much… considering making these before my shift at work tonight. 🙂

  23. Jen says

    I am sooo excited to try this! I love cooking with lentils! We aren’t vegan, but we don’t eat lots of meat. I just recently found your blog and I LOVE it. I’m a confessed chocoholic/dessert lover who strives to eat healthy. I’m also mostly dairy-free, so I love that you use almond milk alot. I made the pumpkin brownies last night and we loved them! Also tried the pumpkin baked oatmeal. So good!

    As to the question of the day, growing-up we almost always sat down to a home-cooked family dinner every night. My hubby and I do the same now as well.

  24. Robyn says

    Looks SO DELICOUS! I have made meat sloppy joes but now I have introduced the idea of two vegetarian dinners a week this will be great!

  25. Dalyce Lazaris says

    these sound sooooooo amazing. I’ve been baking like a crazy person, licking away at the different batters sure adds up! I feel like I’m going to be in a sugar coma for days.

    anyway, my family never really did the whole “sit down and eat dinner together” thing. I had friends who couldn’t hang out after a certain time, because they were required to return home make appearances at their own family dinners. I always thought it was silly, but looking back, I really wish we’d done that sort of thing. If I ever have children, family dinners will definitely be a part of our routine!

  26. Gluten Free Biscuits says

    Every meal is very important to us specially the breakfast. Sometimes we skip meal because of our busy schedule but it is not good for the health. There are foods that are easy to prepare or we can buy ready to eat meal.

  27. Jess @ Keeping It Real Food says

    My parents worked late and my sister was usually at a friend’s house, so I ate most of my meals standing up at my desk—my family teased me that I was like Ben Stiller’s character in “The Royal Tenenbaums.” Sometimes I ate sitting on my bedroom floor. My mom would often make healthy meals and freeze them, but I also remember eating a lot of Amy’s frozen meals .

  28. Megan says

    These were GREAT and soooo quick. I used Trader’ Joe’s already steamed lentils so I just had to throw everything in the pan and let it thicken up. I omitted the water though. Used Trader Joe’s sourdough english muffins and then proceeded to eat TWO! YUM & Thanks!!

  29. Jasmine says

    Yes. My mom insisted on family dinners all through my growing up. My mom always had a fabulous, home cooked meal for us and as much as my brother and I somtimes complained about how tired we were, how much homework we had, etc… once we sat down we were always glad we did. We still talk about those nightly family dinners and how important they were to us and out upbringing. I think it is so sad today that so many families do not sit down and eat dinner together on a regular basis.

  30. laura says

    We hardly ever ate/eat sit-down meals. We all have different crazy schedules, so we all grab food when we can. Several therapists and doctors have told us to eat together more, but its just not an option.

    These look delicious though.. I tried a pepper/hummus/lentil wrap once and didn’t like it.. I like hummus though so I thought it was the lentils… maybe its worth trying again

  31. CJ says

    Made these for dinner last night! Yummmmy! I did add a bit of ground turkey, cause my boys are carnivores……everyone loved it! I ate mine in lettuce wraps (I’m GF), and it was awesome!

  32. Beth Aldrich says

    I was taken back a moment to my high school days, too, when my mom would make the “Hungry Man” sloppy joes. Ours has beef, but I’m SO going to try this version and take a walk down memory lane! Thanks for sharing Katie! I LOVE your blog!

  33. Patty says

    This looks marvelous! De-lurking to ask if you have come across or tried a substitute for tomatoes in recipes like this? I can’t eat nightshade vegetables and have yet to find a suitable replacement for tomato sauce in recipes.

    Love your site!!!

  34. Christina Sexton says

    We almost always ate together as a family growing up, as often as we could. (My mom was the best Italian cook ever, God rest her soul, as she past away a few years ago. Born and raised in Italy, she began cooking at age 8! I was too busy climbing trees and playing at 8, though I wish I had interest then as I do now! Her experience reflected in her cooking, so delicious!) I love that your recipes are quick, and they all look easy enough. I love to cook! Unfortunately, I don’t usually have the time it takes to cook certain dishes I loved growing up. I have a 5yr old son with Autism, and a 2 year old who both keep me super busy! I appreciate having quick recipes like these to use, and gluten free! This sloppy joe recipe looks so yummy! I can’t wait to try it! I also want to try your cornbread recipe! I have been searching high and low for a healthy cornbread recipe! So glad to find one on your blog!

  35. Shayne says

    My family sat down for a meal almost every night when I was a kid. We even had courses! First, we had half a grapefruit, then a small salad, then something like pot roast (Ugh!) . I remember My sister and I couldn’t have dessert (which was usually a Twinkie!) unless we finished our salads. (And I hated salads back then!) Now my husband does the cooking about three nights a week! I make desserts from this blog, of course. We both work full-time and my kids have extracurricular activities but we try to sit down together a few nights a week. I read somewhere that families who have dinner together have kids who are less likely to get into trouble, etc. (So far so good!)
    I can’t wait to try this sloppy Joe recipe!

  36. Anna says

    This might sound like a stupid question, but when you say ‘tomato sauce’ do you mean like ketchup? Or tomato puree? Would tinned tomatoes work?

    (I’ve never had sloppy joes, so I’m not certain what I’m aiming for here!)

  37. Julie says

    I am definitely going to be making this sometime! Thank you so much for the post. I am a vegetarian (or at least do my very best) and this looks fantastic.

  38. Allison says

    I LOVE sloppy Joes, so I am psyched to have a healthier version. Katie, what’s your favorite vehicle for transporting said yumminess from plate to mouth?
    We ALWAYS had family dinner time: no TV, cloth napkins and everything. Even when my brothers and I came home from sporting events late, we always had home-cooked food. My mother decided that if she was going to spend time in the kitchen, she was going to have an amazing end product!

  39. Allison says

    PS-you know what would be cool? For the new header on the site? If A-each picture was the anchor for the link for the recipe pictured, and B-if you could rotate the pictures every couple of days.

  40. Brown Fam says

    I made this last night for dinner. A perfect solution to the “whats for dinner?” question that always seems to be looming overhead. My family is not vegetarian, I just like to go easy on the meat (especially red meat) but I actually included a little bit of hamburger in it too (for the carnivore husband). It turned great! I was also going to add some diced bell pepper but forgot until it was 90% done… Next time!
    Thanks for another awesome post!

  41. Miss Polkadot says

    Mmmh, lentils! How comes I think of lentils and all pulses, actually, when Fall sets in? They’re such great comfort food.

    My family tried to sit down to meals as often as possible though it wasn’t always easy due to my father’s job.

  42. Dubsy says

    Made this tonight and it was great! I’ve never cooked lentils before so I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty this was 🙂 I ate it with homemade tortilla chips. I will definitely be making this again.

  43. Ann says

    Here’s how old I am–we didn’t have “movie night” when I was a kid because there was no such thing as a VCR, let alone Netflix on demand! Now the kids and I eat together in the kitchen, but we watch too much tv during meals. I love a good hot sandwich and definitely will try yours.

  44. Emily D says

    I made this tonight and ate it on jalapeño cheese rolls. Yum!! I changed the recipe a tad by cooking the lentils separately (1 cup uncooked with 1 1/2 cups water) then adding an addition teaspoon chili powder and a teaspoon of cayenne-I like it spicy! Great recipe, thanks! 🙂

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Hi Amy,
      I’m not sure why you assumed I was inspired by that recipe. I clicked on your link and although it looks delicious (anything by Isa must be delicious), it doesn’t look anything like my recipe, save for the fact that we both used lentils.

    • Liz says

      Really now, Joann Stepaniak did lentil sloppy joes way before this linked recipe, and there are many bean based sloppy joe recipes that have been around for years. So your comment is just uncalled for and rude.

      • Meghan says

        Amy, if you read the recipes, than you’d see they are different. But besides that, just because one blogger posts a recipe for something “first”, doesn’t mean nobody else is ever allowed to create something of the same nature. I don’t understand why you even felt like you needed to make that comment.

        • Anonymous says

          So every time “Amy” makes a chocolate chip cookie, I hope she credits Tollhouse for the inspiration. Because obviously everyone who’s ever made a chocolate chip cookie must have gotten their inspiration from the Tollhouse recipe. *Rolls eyes at Amy*

    • Trish @ MyBigFatBundt says

      Amy, get a life, stop trolling. Not that ‘Amy’ is going to read any of these comments as cowards usually post nasty things and then don’t check back for the responses out of fear of facing some really loud music. And if you DO decide to check back, I’m all ears, sweetheart. I’m loud-tempered German with little tolerance for human ignorance and disrespect. MOVING ON…

      Katie, these were super yummy…like, really. I shamelessly LOVED Sloppy Joes as a kid. Yes, the awful kind that came from the can, lol. And now that I’ve been about 85% meatless for a few years (still include some wild-caught seafood from time to time as my thyroid does function better when I get some very grounding protein in my body–veggie proteins unfortunately don’t always supplement for me, and I’m sure if my thyroid functioned properly this wouldn’t even be an issue…anyway…), I do confess to missing comfort foods like this one. I had some leftover lentils in the freezer, so this came together SUPER QUICK. I just used granulated onion and garlic powder to save time and mixed tomato past with water for the sauce. Very filling and satisfying, loved it!

  45. Dahlia says

    Hi Katie, we will be away visiting family for nearly a fortnight from mid-week, so I did not really feel like stocking up on groceries this weekend. I got your email with this recipe this morning, and thought, I’ve got all the ingredients, why not give it a go for dinner…so simple but sooo good! We have leftovers so we’ll be having it for lunch tomorrow too. Thanks, Katie, for making life for our family just a little bit easier this week 🙂

  46. Rebecca says

    Katie, you could call these Sloppy Lenny’s! 🙂 I think that is what I will call them! 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

  47. Stefanie says

    I made these for dinner last night and it came out so good! I really like the addition of the cinnamon, it brings out a great unique flavor! Definitely keeping this in my book of recipes 🙂

  48. Melissa says

    Great recipe! made them last night and my meat loving boyfriend loved them 🙂
    Thanks for all of the amazing recipes!

  49. Mara says

    From this whole post, I was most intrigued by what your mom might have used in her original recipe. As an adult, have you ever compared products to see if it wasn’t just seitan or TVP?

    Anyway, the recipe looks good- might try it some time!

  50. Stefanie A says

    Hey Katie!

    I am planning on making this in the crock pot tomorrow with dried lentils.

    Do you suggest putting them in the crock pot dried or cooking first?


  51. Coleen Patrick says

    Yummy sounding recipe! Growing up we had family dinners–and I’ve aimed for that with my family too. It gets trickier when they’re teens, but we always do Friday dinner together. 🙂

  52. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning says

    Vegan sloppy joes (aka snobby joes, from the recipe I use) are one of my favorite things EVER! I’ve made the recipe from Veganomicon at least 10 times now- and will have to try yours out next time! My husband loves to eat them over a big bowl of rice. I’m a open-faced sandwich kind of gal (on Ezekiel bread!)

  53. Stacey says

    These were great! I couldn’t find canned lentils so I used quick cook. Maybe this could be why they were pretty soupy?? I had to let them cook quite awhile so they would thicken up. They were still too runny for a sandwich but I usually eat sloppy Joe’s w/o bread anyway. For desert I’m having the cookie pie. What a great meal!

  54. adorpheus says

    I made these for dinner tonight and they were amazing! The only thing I changed was that I chose to leave out the water – it was already pretty soupy when I added the sauce so I didn’t need it. I can’t wait to have the leftovers tomorrow!

  55. Christi says

    I’m not sure if anyone already asked this, but I am just curious what the ingredients that your mom used that can’t be purchased in the U.S.

  56. Jessics says

    Hi Katie,

    I have a quick question about the nutrition facts. When I plug the ingredients into calorie count, I’m getting 342 calories/ 129 gram serving (a little less if I substitute 3 cups cooked lentils for 30 oz lentils). Am I missing something here? I’m throwing the recipe in and calling it 10 serving sizes (you said it makes 5 cups, so 10 1/2 cups). I was really excited to see such a low cal/filling recipe, but for those of us watching their weights, there’s a huge difference between 78 calories/serving and 342! I’ve had this issue with some of your other recipes, but usually the difference is not nearly this huge so I figured I’d ask. 🙂

    As always, thanks for the recipes!


      • Jessica says

        Thanks! Feel free to ignore the question posted on FB, I didn’t know if these comments posted immediately and I was really hoping to make them tonight so wanted a quick answer if possible. Please keep the recipes–especially these non-dessert ones!–coming! My favorite so far is the mushroom stroganoff–I sub PB2 for the tomato paste and make a Thai version.

        • Jessics says

          EDIT: Made this tonight, it was DELICIOUS! I only had one serving (and some roasted cauliflower) and I was happily stuffed. Very delicious, thanks again for the recipe!

  57. Alanna says

    We almost always had family dinners together growing up, although that got more difficult as we got older and busy with different after school activities. These sloppy joes sound great! I bought some dried lentils recently and have been looking for ways to use them since they’re so healthy and high in protein… Can’t wait to try this one!

  58. Julie says

    You’ve done it again! So good…I ate almost a serving while it was still in the pan. And I love that it doesn’t use the soy substitute meat products! Love your recipes…I seriously make at least one thing of yours every other day! I will now have a “better finger”

  59. yum yum says

    Hi Katie!

    Just wanted to let you know I tried this in the rice cooker…threw everything in the rice cooker together. Instead of canned lentils I added 1.5c of dried lentils, and 3c of water. I did not add an extra cup of water the recipe called for. It was so delicious!!!!!! thank you thank you…I think this is my new favorite meal!!!!

  60. Life's a Bowl says

    Ever since I found TJ’s refrigerated lentils I’ve been buying a pack of them a week! This is a great switch-up from eating them plain! I did try combining them with avocado + salt + pepper for a quick snack and they were a yummy surprise!

  61. Rebecca says

    I just wanted to let you know that I took the Sloppy Loes and the Pumpkin Pizookie to a Halloween party today and they were a huge hit! Thanks for the excellent recipes!

  62. Tracey says

    I’m not vegan but do try to have 2 days a week where I go vegan and am always looking for ways to keep my meat-loving husband happy and this was a huge hit! Thanks for sharing; we’ll definitely be making it again!

  63. Laura says

    Success! I made this for dinner last night and everyone loved it more than the meat version! My carnivorous father even declared he “must have more” and went back for seconds! Great job, keep the sarvory recipes coming Katie! 😉

  64. Breana V says

    I used to loved sloppy joes when I was younger. I’m glad I found this recipe!! I will be trying it out tonight! Thanks for all your posts!! It is my go-to vegan blog!!

  65. Cupcake says

    When we’re all together we mostly sit down at the dinner table to eat, but at times we sit in front of the TV or eat outside if it’s good weather.
    I made this for dinner tonight- everyone loved it! I toned down the chilli powder; used 150g – 200g (5 – 7oz) of tomato paste instead of tomato sauce as I wasn’t sure what’s classified as tomato sauce in the US, apparently tomato sauce in Australia is Ketchup; and I dissolved 2 -3 tsp of Vegemite in a little warm water to add in case leaving some of the chilli out was a bad idea! I thought the cinnamon was an unusual ingredient, but it blends really well with the other flavours. Sloppy Joes aren’t something usually found on an Aussie menu, so it was a different experience for us. Served on hot dog style buns with a side of seasoned string beans. So yummy! Thanks Katie, we love all the recipes we’ve tried xx

  66. Maise says

    Alright the Picture & Comments have convinced me! I only hesitated because I never like sloppy joe sandwiches from school when i was younger.. & when i read the title aloud, my dad said eww.. HAHA but I don’t care, i gotta try these tomorrow, they inspired me to request one night a week as a Family “experimental” dinner, which i plan to use this on them first thing! If It turns out, maybe thanksgiving?!? Atleast for myself, b/c everyone else has turkey, but what about me?….oh yes.. PIE! haha 🙂

  67. Kate says

    I tried this with black beans tonight and it was delicious! I also didn’t add any apple cider vinegar because I’m fresh out. I’m so happy to have found a perfect vegan comfort food recipe and will be making this again soon. 🙂 Thanks!

  68. Alanna says

    This is a keeper recipe for sure… so yummy and hearty! I’m not sure I’ve ever had a “real” sloppy Joe (never liked BBQ flavor as a kid), but these were awesome. I have a dumb question, though… after I added everything except the water, it already looked close to the right thickness so I decided to leave it out since I figured it was just if the mixture was too thick. Should I have added it anyway and just let it cook down? I didn’t see the point since the thickness/flavor was already great, but I’m curious if they would have turned out differently. It’s also possible I had less lentils and that’s why I needed less liquid (I cooked the amount of dry lentils that should have made 3 C, but didn’t re-check after they were done). Anyhow, great recipe!

    • Alanna says

      Edit: looks like a couple of people did the same thing (skipped the water). Trying very hard not to go back in the kitchen and eat more… (c;

  69. s says

    the minced garlic in the ingredient list… is that fresh garlic or dried?! stupid question maybe, but it will surely make a huge difference in taste. thanks!

  70. Jess says

    Just made these tonight So awesome!!! I added extra garlic, mustard powder, and a little Worcester Sauce to mine.
    I’ve shared this website with all my gf’s and they fell in love with it too! Can’t wait for your cookbook!

  71. Marianne says

    My family always ate together at the table (tv and radio had to be turned off as well). If someone wasn’t home, the rest of the family ate together anyways. Heck, even as adults we still do the same – although we might be allowed to leave the news on the tv in the living room now 😉

  72. Dana Laviano says

    Hi Katie,
    I made these last night for my daughters and myself. They groaned when they realized I was making them without meat and kicked up a fuss but when it came time to eat dinner, they cleaned their plates! They even suggested the filling as a possibility for nachos.
    Thanks for the great recipe! I think it will be in regular rotation at my house!

  73. Becca says

    I’m trying to cut down on my animal consumption, which has proven tricky due to my husband’s love of meat. But he LOVES this recipe! Yay!

  74. AJ says

    I just made this and it turned out absolutely delicious! I am actually enjoying some right now. Mmm! It’s hardy and delicious. I will definitely make this again.

  75. Cindy says

    Wowwwwwwww, just had this for dinner…thank you so much! It was fantabulous and reminded me of when I was young and had dinner around the table with my family. I haven’t had a sloppy joe since I left home (over 27 years ago), and it was even better than the hamburger version I used to eat. I ate it just like I did as a kid…with mustard on a bun. And…it was just as sloppy to eat which made it fun:) And…best of all…it was sooooo healthy that I even think I will have some chocolate for dessert and won’t feel the least bit of guilt:)

    Thanks Katie!

  76. Kristina R says

    These are absolutely amazing. I was a little skeptical about them tasting like actual sloppy joes, but I went ahead with the recipe anyway. When I took the first bite I was blown away! I will never eat (or cook) any other sloppy joe. I was so excited at how yummy they were I went straight to Skype to call my mom and share the recipe with her!!
    I give this recipe 5 stars 🙂

  77. SARAH D says

    Really really really love this recipe. I ate it like a sandwich with honey mustard on top (is that weird? It made it even more delicious!). I also made your chocolate chip blondies today for the first time! Although my family said “they taste something like a dessert…” I thought they were yummy! And I made your crumbly cornbread today too! It turned out really well!

    I asked this a few weeks ago, but didn’t get a response (probably because it was on a VERY popular post!), so I will ask again…. did you/do you miss cheese? Any good suggestions for coping with that? I love gouda, goat cheese, and blue cheese, and its the only struggle I am having with going fully vegan! Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!! I do like nutritional yeast, but it’s really not a good sub when you are craving a creamy cheese in a salad or with crackers, ya know? Thanks 🙂

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      I did when I first went vegan. I was a cheese-a-holic! 🙂

      At first, I just tried to stay far away from it (which was easier for me, since I was living in China where they consume very little of it). After awhile, I really did lose a lot of my taste for it… now I can’t stand the smell! But I still do love cheesecake, and tofutti is a great cream cheese sub. For actual cheese, I know a lot of people like Daiya. It’s not perfect by any means, but it is the closest thing I’ve found to real cheese.

      Finally, this might be worth looking into:

  78. Robyn says


    What kind of lentils did you use? The picture looks like beans. I have green , red and black dried lentils at home and they are all small and flat. I’m thinking about making this one night and was curious. I’m new to using lentils and still don’t know much about how to fix them but am trying to incorporate those in my diet as well.


  79. Theresa says

    I just made this for my husband and me tonight. He went back for seconds…. then thirds…. and he’s a meat lover! Way to go!!!! Mmmmmmmmmm:)

  80. Melanie says

    Thank you for this recipe. I just made this for dinner and served it over rice. We all loved it including my picky 3year old.

  81. Monika says

    I haven’t had sloppy joes since I became a vegetarian (7 years ago) and this recipe was BOMB! Satisfied the slppy joe craving. I added some mushrooms in for extra “meatiness” and it was great. Thank you!

  82. R. says

    You know what would be awesome, CCK, is if your nutrition facts had a bar code. Is that possible? I see that you have nurtirion facts on a cute little label just like store bought items, but a bar code would be so easy to scan into my MyFitnessPal app. : )

  83. ashley says

    A great recipe. I ended up tossing in a few bay leaves and some fresh ground black pepper on the second go-around – very good.


  84. Ashleigh says

    I just made this and it was FABULOUS!! I omitted the soy sauce because I didn’t have any around and subbed vegetable broth for water! Thank you for posting such health conscious recipes!!

  85. Stephanie says

    Made the lentil sloppy joes tonight…so amazing! Thank you for this recipe! Even my mom (who usually shuns my vegan/vegetarian meals) loved them!

  86. Karly says

    I made these for dinner tonight. They were one of the best dinners I’ve made in a long time! My fiance loved them too and he’s not usually a big fan of meatless dinners. 🙂

  87. Gill says

    Looks great one query though. Ingredient 9 you have written ‘up to one cup” Does that mean of tomato sauce or a missing ingredient?

  88. mary says

    i just tried this recipe and i absolutely love it!! instead of the bun i actually spooned the filling into romaine leaves and ate it like a lettuce taco! delish!

  89. Tammy says

    I could only find dry lentils in the store. Can you give some direction as to how to adjust the recipe using dry instead of canned?

  90. Kristin says

    Made this tonight, LOVED it! Quick question, can the leftovers be frozen? Or would it be too mushy when thawed out?

  91. Nicole says

    This was awesome I’ve made a double batch twice this week with quinoa! The last batch I made portabello bacon (vegan and gluten free) to mix in and it was MUY RICO!! Thank you for this recipe it is a keeper!!

  92. Anna says

    I just have to tell you how much I LOVE this recipe–it has become one of my all-time favorites. I just succeeded at a very serious diet and these were such an awesome, low-calorie dinner for me. Thank you!

  93. E4Mum says

    These were just awesome! We made these tonight and both my husband and my 3 year old daughter were in love, and had second helping each–which was not surprising for my hubby, but for my 3 year old it was HUGE! You are a genius, Katie! Thanks for these recipes!

    For anyone considering this, it is a delicious meal. The “Sloppy Joe’s” were not like the ones I grew up with (which had more of a BBQ flavor) but were closer along the lines of a Moroccan tagine. We served them on King’s Hawaiian Sweet bread Hamburger buns, open-faced with sweet potato fries. Incredibly filling and delicious!

  94. k says

    I just made 1/2 this recipe with the following subs and they were awesome!

    -> paprika instead of chili powder (I was out)
    -> few tablespoons of ketchup instead of tomato sauce (again, I was out)
    -> no extra salt (soy sauce was enough)

  95. Karen Lee says

    SO GOOD. We made these last night (Thank you thank you!) and they were wonderful! We’re not vegan, but honestly, I liked these better than regular sloppy joes. Even my picky husband loved them. I’m on my lunch break at work now, and eating the left overs for lunch, maybe even better the second day. We ate these with ezekiel buns. So yummy!

  96. Brenda says

    Hi I just found your website and may I say it is amazing. I first came because I just punched into google vegan microwave cake. I made your chocolate chip microwave cake yesterday at 2 in the morning because I had a craving for cake. (lol why not). Then I had no idea what to made for dinner so I came back. I looked at the recipe, then pantry and just made it. IT WAS AMAZING! (There is alot left over though… into the freezer it goes)

    Thanks so much

  97. Serena says

    Loved the recipe, added some Thai chilies and red pepper flakes to spice it up. I cooked my lentil a day before. Next time I will use WAY less cinnamon, it was pretty over-powering. I used the 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon three times. Maybe my math was off!!!

  98. Beth says

    Hi Katie, I made this recipe tonight and it was SO GOOD, thank you! I didn’t have lentils so I used black-eyed peas instead. Besides that one alteration, I followed the recipe exactly and it was perfect. The combination and measurement of each ingredient created great balance and flavor. To anyone who is considering making this, I highly recommend following the recipe precisely as is…delicious 🙂

    • Unofficial CCK Helper says

      You can do it in a crock pot but it will depend on your own crock pot’s size and temperature so you will have to play around with it.

  99. Gina says

    Since finding this website a few weeks ago, this was about my 7th recipe I’ve tried! My husband is not especially open-minded and wanted to know why we had baked beans on a bun…ha! But my girls, and their friends, at it without complaint. I liked it so much I just ate it in a bowl like chili! And, I followed it up with my 8th recipe….cupcake batter smoothie! Super filling meal.

  100. Gina says

    Oh, and I couldn’t find canned lentils, so just cooked my own. Had never prepared dried lentils, but they were really easy, cook quickly, don’t require soaking, etc.

  101. loretta says

    I very seldom post comments on the internet recipes but this is the exception. This were excellent. Had trouble with the lentil beans because I used dried but would definitely make this again. Attempting to win my battle with excess weight and this has great nutritional values. Flavor was fantastic and was even able to enjoy the sandwich with a few potato chips. Felt like “cheating”, but was still well into health range on all counts.

  102. Hillary says

    These had some great feedback in comments and I was eager to try it after coming home from work (effing starving!)
    Seeing the ingredient list, I should have known that it wasn’t going to taste like sloppy joes, and I regret even touching the cinnamon. I HATE curry. Hate it. And that’s what it tasted like. Although I was super disappointed, it was my fault for thinking it was going to taste like sloppy joes (I’ve never made them before and have no idea what the ingredient list would consist of).
    Anyway, for those of you who like the idea of cinnamon in savory dishes, I’m sure this recipe is great. But if you’re not into Indian ethnic cuisine, stay far away.

  103. Van says

    I have made these Lentil Sloppy Joes for my family several times, and it is always a huge hit. I do add a little extra garlic, vinegar and spice (personal taste), but this pleases everyone. It’s easy to make a huge batch and freeze the rest when I don’t have time to make dinner. Thanks for this awesome recipe.

  104. Rhea says

    These were great! I wasn’t sure how the lentils were going to taste (especially how others raved on other sites that they wouldn’t use anything but tvp in their vegan sloppy joes)- but they didn’t have that bland beany taste. This recipe is a keeper! I added green pepper, carrot and celery to add more veggies and make it more of a complete meal. I also used 2 cans of 398ml of tomato sauce, but didn’t use any extra water. It made about 6 meals (1 c each)-so I’ve frozen some for a quick work lunch. Love it – thanks for sharing!!!

  105. Susan says

    Absolutely delicious and easy to make! I just finished eating these sloppy joes for dinner and made the most minor changes (reduced sugar, used and added more vegetable broth and water) from the recipe. I also used dry lentils instead of canned and mixed all the ingredients together and brought to a boil before adding lentils for about 20 minutes. I ended up using more liquid than called for because the lentils were dried and not already cooked. Anyway, thank you for sharing the recipe. I will be making this again. P.S. I recommend adding pickles; they go with everything :).

  106. Cindy says

    Another winner! I’d just tried another recipe from a cookbook I have. I thought that was a keeper. But, since I’d had in the back of my mind that I wanted to try this, I did. So *this* keeper replaced that one.

  107. Shanna says

    This is my new favorite dinner! I made it with 2 cans of navy beans instead of lentils and used a BBQ seasoning I had instead of chili powder… husband and I have had this twice in the past two weeks. Thank you for posting this awesome recipe!

  108. Michelle says

    I tried this recipe last night for dinner (with the onions on the stove top) and had a couple friends over to try it out with me. We all loved it!! Thanks so much for the recipe. I have missed sloppy joes because I just don’t eat that kind of food anymore, and this made me feel like a kid again. 🙂

  109. Charlotte says

    I Just tried this recipe and I sadly ended up with a pot of mush which tasted nothing like sloppy joes. I attempt to save it but it just ended up even worse. I think I must have done something wrong, well at least I hope I did because I really wanted to like this recipe ): anyways I will defiantly try to make it again.Do you have any tips to make it more flavourful?


  110. Handful says

    I definitely will put this on the to try list. Thanks!! IMO the onions are NOT optional. Onion and garlic go in almost everything that isn’t sweet. (Pinning it now.) I am looking for some more meatless meals for the Bald Man and myself. We just can’t “do” vegetarian but meatless is somehow fine with us. lol Both of us were raised on farms with meat and potato parents.

    Am I the only person that didn’t know lentils come in a can? I always have dried beans on hand though and often home can them to make dinner speedy. So easy and frugal.

  111. Davina says

    We make your recipe pretty regularly in our house. I will double or triple it & throw it in the freezer to have it on hand for even quicker no fuss meals then all I have to do is warm it up in the crock pot. . I have been trying to go less meat and this is fantastic for kids. Love it Love it Love it. I share it with all my friends, many thanks. I am curious to know what ingredients your mom used that you cant get in the US? and where did you grow up? Thanks for the great recipe.
    We always sit down to family dinner but our kids are little still. I think it makes a family when you eat together.

    • Unofficial CCK Helper says

      She grew up in Japan and China. From her answer to another commenter: it was a soy crumble-type thing that came in a package with only Chinese characters, so I don’t even know what it was called! Perhaps they sell it at an Asian market, but I’ve never seen it and wouldn’t even know what to ask for.

  112. Jen says

    Made this tonight for dinner. It was so yummy!!! I didn’t have lentils (we almost always do, so that was annoying), but like every other bean on the planet, so I subbed a mixture of kidney beans, black eyed peas, black beans, and navy beans (I couldn’t decide which one to use, clearly! Haha!). It turned out really delicious! I had two sandwiches and am now stuffed. Haha. I get to look forward to leftovers for lunch tomorrow though, assuming my dad doesn’t eat the rest 😉 (by the way, I just realized that I’ve commented on way too many posts of yours today… Haha, sorry about that! I was bored all day)

  113. Jax says

    Thank you for this! I love Sloppy Joes but refuse to buy the toxic crap in the can. I love that I can now enjoy a healthy, organic version of this.

  114. Hayley says

    Hey! How much onion do you use? It doesn’t say in the recipe list but it says to cook the onions in the directions.

  115. Tracy says

    Just made this tonight and it was lovely! I added some chopped green pepper.
    Sloppy Joes were one of the meat-based food I really loved, and missed since becoming vegetarian. So happy to find this recipe, it was also highly enjoyed by my meat-eating dad–and I’m sure it’ll make great leftovers!

  116. Anna Banana says

    Love this recipe! I’ve made a double a few times and taken it for lunch every day for two weeks. I didn’t even get sick of it, so you know it has to be good. We’re not vegetarian in the house but my husband asks for this over regular sloppy joes.

  117. Michelle says

    Katie, it would be great if the prep and cooktime were added, somedays I want a quick meal, somedays I have more time but can never tell unless there is a certain amount of minutes to cook it, or if you state that it will take a certain amount of time to prep and cook even though everyone has their own pace just rough estimates, or average, thank you!

  118. Myrthe says

    This is delicious! I made it for dinner tonight, after browsing through your blog all day.. I saw the recipe and decided to make it soon, and then realised I had all the ingredients anyway.
    I used a teaspoon of blackstrap molasses for sweetener and it turned out great! I’ll definitely be making this more often. I’m also gonna try out all the chilis and vegetable stews you posted.. Thanks for the inspiration!

  119. Sara says

    I made this tonight and it was wonderful! I only had 1 can of lentils so I added cooked freekah for the other half. Otherwise I followed this recipe accurately. The flavor is delicious and I will most definitely be making it again. Thank you!

  120. Heather says

    This recipe was PERFECT! I made it last night for my 14 year-old (meat-loving) son and he LOVED it. I’m trying to find “meat-like” dishes that he’ll like – this will be a staple in our house, for sure! Thank you so so much! 🙂


  121. Charlene says

    It’s not a big deal, and I can certainly figure it out but I did want to mention that you left the oil and onion out of the ingredient list.
    Making these now. They look scrumptious!

  122. Klash says

    I had too much going on and accidentally overcooked my lentils into mush so I ended up subbing red quinoa for this instead. It was so freaking good! I believe I cooked 1.5 cups of dry quinoa in 3 cups of liquid.

  123. Maddie says

    I just made these for my parents to give my mom the night off and, OMG, these are amazing! A half cup is a huge serving and it tasted great on english muffins! Even my meat loving dad liked them 😉

  124. daphne says

    I did them for lunch and everybody appreciated them! But, I was wondering if we could get the amount of salt lower and still getting a good taste?

  125. Hungry Heather says

    Yum!! I just finished my bowl of lentil sloppy joes. I cooked 1 cup of dried lentils in my slow cooker on low for 4-5 hours. Next, I drained the water, leaving the lentils in my crock pot. Then, I measured the rest of the ingredients and threw them into the pot, stirred, and cooked on high for another hour. Yum!!! Thank you Katie! This recipe is just what I needed- I’ve been incorporating more legumes into my sugar free and grain free diet.

  126. Liana says

    This was a great dinner idea for meatless Monday but I don’t like the cumin and cinnamon in it. I just did a simple recipe for te sloppy joe sauce the second time. With th dry mustard, ketchup, worchestire and a few other ingredients. I’m glad I found the recipe though because I never thought of using lentils in place of hamburger. Thank you!

  127. Julia Mazzucato says

    These are DIVINE, Katie! I cooked the filling at 8 in the morning to prepare for lunch and everyone woke up to the amazing smell of the spices cooking. Even my meat-eating boyfriend loved them, and no one believed me when I said they were vegan! I’ll be trying them with some tempeh crumbles next time around!

  128. Rachel says

    Is there any way to get a printable for this recipe? It’s so delicious, thank you so much for creating it!! (:

    • Unofficial CCK Helper says

      Just highlight the recipe and press the control and c keys on your keyboard. Then open a word document and paste.

  129. Becca says

    Just made this tonight. Made small alterations on amount of spices and added a little bit of Austrian beer mustard (no Dijon mustard on hand). Made some cumin-lime coleslaw as a topping and side. It was glorious.

  130. randi says

    i just made this recipe tonight (just a few years behind), and it is so delicious! i eat meat (on occasion), and i honestly think this lentil sloppy joe is much better than the typical meat version. thank you!!

  131. Dee F. says

    These were very tasty! As a vegetarian, I’m always looking for a new lean protein recipe. My carnivorous husband absolutely loved them, too, and asked to put them in our meal repertoire. We did add a little bit of shredded cheese (hey, more protein, right?). Thanks!

  132. myriam says

    I can’t eat tomatoes, and wondering if you have a good substitute idea for what they bring to this recipe. Thanks!

  133. Jennifer says

    These look AMAZING!!! My husband and daughter are going to LOVE this!!! When I went Vegan 6 years ago my family just followed right along for the ride. But there have been some meals that they have been missing, sloppy joes is one of them. I usually use Dry Lentils when using Lentils…if I did this recipe in the crockpot with dry lentils, how many cups do you think I should use?
    And THANK YOU for this recipe!!!

  134. Jessica says

    I had these at a party and I wanted the recipe but forgot to ask. Then I just happened to find It on one of my favorite websites . I am so happy! They are sooooooooooooo good and surprisingly easy. Definitely one of my fave recipes of all time.

  135. Omni says

    Made this tonight in the crockpot just threw it all in with dried lentils. 4 hours on high and it was delish! I used healthy-ish buns bc some of us don’t like English muffins. I used 1 cup dried lentils and 2 cups broth. Can’t wait to make it again!

  136. Maris says

    Hi Kate,
    This recipe looks so delicious! I just have a stupid question! Do you cook the lentils first and then cook with all the ingredients?

  137. Julie says

    I made these for dinner last night and they were very yummy! Served with potatoes and steamed broccoli it was a great meal. I’m not a vegetarian nor is anyone in my family but I love making vegetarian alternatives as much as my husband and son will put up with it. ? Thanks for a delicious Friday night dinner recipe!

  138. Aly says

    This recipe is a staple in my meal prepping! Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe. The sauce thickens and coats the lentils really well.

  139. Sandi McG says

    just made this recipe…..loved it!! I didn’t have it as a Sloppy Joe in a bun….but I will eventually…I had it in a bowl with a soft and yolky fried egg on top…so yum!! will now be trying more of your recipes with the hopes that they are all as tasty!! Thank you!!

  140. Sara says

    This is now one of my new favorite recipes. I added a little more of the spices (it tasted a bit too bland for me as is). This sloppy joe recipe is addicting!!!

  141. Lisa // Cucicucicoo: Eco Sewing and Crafting says

    Yummy! I tried this last week and the adults loved it! It was too spicy for the kids, so next time I’ll make half a batch with no chili powder and less of the other spices too. I always loved sloppy joes as a kid, so I was thrilled to try this out! My meat-eating husband liked this version more than the original meat style! 🙂 Lisa

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