The New Veganism: Lentil Sloppy Joes


Well folks, I went to urgent care yesterday, and looks like I have the flu. Things may be a little quiet around here for the next few days, but fortunately I can offer you a wonderful vegan sloppy Joe recipe to feast your eyes on while I convalesce.

When my editor at Food52 first suggested sloppy Joes, I was hesitant. The only vegan version I’d tried was made with tofu, at a restaurant, and all I remembered was that it had been a little too sloppy (soggy, even). My editor and I decided we’d give lentils a try, and they worked out perfectly. They’ve got texture, chew, and they absorb liquid really well, so the Joes are sloppy but not sodden. Served on a sprouted grain bun, they are truly delightful (with a dash of sriracha or Tabasco, if you like).


To get this recipe in time for game day, head on over to Food52 and check out The New Veganism today. Bon appetit–and I’ll be back soon!


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Categories: Uncategorized
Ingredients: Lentils

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  1. Awesome tips. I’ve been trying to eat more raw foods myself. At first it tastes weird some of these foods. But after a while you just don’t want processed foods anymore.

  2. Lentils make perfect sense to veganize sloppy joes. I cannot wait to try this recipe and make a big ole mess. 🙂 Happy to pass along as well. Thanks for posting!

  3. I want these in my belly. I try to give my husband ANY KIND of sloppy joe, and he turns up his nose as if steak were the only acceptable format for eating meat.

    I’m terribly, terribly allergic to lentils, and I’ve cheated a few times only to end up looking like a puffer fish. I just love them. They are so delicious.

    Hilarious, but probably not recommended.

    (still delicious)

  4. That looks cool. Haven’t had a sloppy joe in over 20 years! Never even heard of a vegan version. I love lentils and see how they could work well. They have a nice texture. I love lentils and hot sauce, so this will be right up my alley.

  5. Mmmm I love soy-free versions of things and lentils are so tasty.
    You poor thing – I hope you feel better soon Gena! Thinking healthy thoughts for you!

  6. yum! I love lentils with bbq sauce, so this is totally going onto the “make” list.

  7. I love that you used smoked paprika in your recipe. I need to try it! I’ve made vegan sloppy joes with pearled barley before and really liked how that texture worked, but I like the nutritional profile of lentils better.

  8. That looks so good. I recently ended up sautéing a raw parsnip rice + veggie salad that I had leftover, cuz I wasn’t really feeling like cold food anymore, and with the spices I included, it totally tasted like taco meat filling. Very weird. I bet it would be a good addition to a sloppy joes recipe! Ill have to try it!

  9. Gena–Hope this Friday evening finds you feeling better. Thought I would update you on this dish. It is fantastic even if I sorta forgot to get tomato paste at the store today. After this ice and snow melts I will try again. I even fire roasted my own tomatos. Yes—forgot those too. Ha!!

  10. I hope you feel better soon Gena! This recipe looks delicious, I’ve made sloppy joes with chickpeas before and that worked out really well – such comfort food.

  11. Get well real soon! Get some rest, we will miss you! Going to make this recipe, have been wanting a sloppy joe without beef and this looks like one I can feel good about serving.

  12. I hope you get better soon, Gena! I was actually just talking to someone this morning about how I really loved sloppy joes as a kid but couldn’t find a good vegan substitute without using something highly processed. I can’t wait to try this!

  13. Gena, please rest up and feel better. Prayers for a quick recovery.

    It is going to start snowing tomorrow here in the Midwest and I am going to make this for dinner. Definitely warm and comforting.

  14. Get well soon, Gena. Hope the Urgent Care wasn’t too much of a hassle.
    Lentils have been my protein of choice this winter but I’m getting a little bored of the same old soups and on top of rice. This sounds like an inventive alternative. Thanks.

    • It was actually great, Maud. I was so ill I’d have gone anywhere, but they were fast and professional and really on top of things.

      Enjoy the recipe!

  15. There’s a recipe in a cookbook (I think it’s Veganomicon) that has a Sloppy Joe recipe using lentils. I used to make it all the time a few years ago, but somehow forgot about it. Lentils are a great base for Sloppy Joes!

  16. I hope you feel better soon! The flu is definitely no fun. Lentils are great for creating a thick, hearty texture and meaty, savory flavor; they’re awesome in chili, too, if you haven’t tried that already.

  17. Oh no, Gena! Rest up and feel better ASAP. If I wasn’t out on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I’d make you a big vat of chickpea soup. For now though, know that I’m sending as many warm wishes your way as I can muster. <3

  18. Lentils are a great idea! I’ve yet to attempt vegan sloppy Joes, but lentils sound much more appetizing to me than tofu (as much as I adore tofu).
    I hope you feel better soon, Gena! xo

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