This vegan lentil sloppy joes recipe is a healthy twist on a classic recipe that everyone knows and loves! The tangy sauce has a secret ingredient that will make you want to lick every last drop of sauce off the plate. Vegan + gluten-free.
*This post was originally published on 4/23/17 but I updated it with new pictures and better recipe instructions on 3/3/19.
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Sloppy joes were never my favorite food or a meal that I requested for dinner when I was a kid. I don’t have fond memories of eating them for lunch at school or at a picnic table with my friends at summer camp. Probably, because I never went to sleep away summer camp because my mom would threaten it like it was a punishment! Did anyone else’s parents do that?
My mom did make sloppy joes occasionally for dinner when I was a kid. I remember the feeling of the sauce dripping down my chin and the filling falling out of the sandwich that I had to pick up and eat with my fingers. It was super messy which did make it a fun dinner to eat.
Strangely enough, I now find myself craving lentil sloppy joe’s as a vegan adult. Weird! I absolutely love the combination of the red and green lentils, chunky bell peppers, sweet onions, and tangy sauce. I use a combination of french and red lentils because the french lentils hold their shape while the red lentils get very soft and make the sauce super thick and creamy. It’s so delicious and the lentil filling truly looks like and tastes even better than the animal-based sloppy joes that I used to eat as a kid.
Maybe we should change up the name since we’ve swapped out one of the major ingredients? I mean, why are they called “sloppy joes” anyways? Leave me a comment if you know the answer! How about “lentil joes” or “sloppy lentils?” Do you think either of those will catch on? I kind of like sloppy lentil sandwiches!