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Sloppy Joes with Red Lentils

Sloppy joes are simple comfort food, and can be pulled together in a short time when you need dinner in a hurry.  This recipe is easily doubled, if you want to share a batch, or tuck some away in the freezer.

Sloppy Joes with Red Lentils

Total Time:






Skill Level:



  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 - 1½ lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 - 2 cups tomato sauce or diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. cider or red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup dry red lentils
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 soft buns, cheese buns, or biscuits
  • canola oil, for cooking

How to Make It

Heat a drizzle of oil in a large pot set over medium-high heat and sauté the onion for 4-5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the beef and cook for about 5 minutes, breaking it up as you cook, until the meat is no longer pink.

Add the tomato sauce (more or less depending on how saucy you like it), ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the dry lentils and 1/4 cup of water, bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the lentils are soft and the sauce has thickened. Split the buns or biscuits in half and ladle the sloppy Joe mixture on top. 

Alternative: If you’re going for entirely plant-based, you could swap veggie crumbles for the beef, or use a drained 19 oz (540 mL) can of lentils (rinsed & drained), which have a softer texture, in place of the beef. 

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