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  • Prep-time: / Cook Time:
  • Makes 4-6

This is a quick and easy meal that also reheats well for lunch the next day or two. Serve this stuffed into a whole-grain bun and eat with your hands, or ladle it over the buns (open-face style) and eat with a fork. I usually serve steamed kale with this dish and fresh corn, when in season.

From drmcdougall.com

Close-up shot of a lentil sloppy joe with filling spilling out of bun

Ingredients

  • 3 ⅓ cups water or low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 ½ cups dried brown lentils
  • 1 15-ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Place 1 cup of the water or stock in a large pot.
  2. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until onions soften slightly, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chili powder and mix in well. Add the remaining liquid, lentils, tomatoes, and the rest of the seasonings. Mix well, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook over low heat for one hour, stirring occasionally.
  4. Serve on whole-wheat buns, or fresh baked bread, with the trimmings of your choice.
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Comments (27)

(5 from 14 votes)
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Christy1 month ago
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Has anyone tried making this in an instapot?
Thanks

Ginny2 months ago
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Fantastic!!! I was out of chili powder, so I subbed a smoky adobo blend…wowza! I’ll use that on purpose from now on. It really did taste like sloppy joes. I’m trying to limit processed grains, so I stuffed this in a red leaf lettuce leaf and topped with a thin line of good mustard and some chopped homemade “quick pickles.” It was amazing!

Andrea3 months ago
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My family loves this recipe! The only thing I do differently is I cook it in the Instant Pot! Comes out perfectly in half the time!

Terry3 months ago
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Love this recipe as does my husband. We are incorporating more plant based meals into our diet.

Carolyn3 months ago
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OMG! What an amazing recipe! I am new to eating vegan and was getting tired of the few recipes I had. Definitely one I will keep.

Ginger3 months ago
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I just made this recipe and as John noted in his review, I added BBQ sauce. I made the FOK BBQ sauce last week for BBQ tacos and it was a tasty addition to this recipe. My husband doesn’t generally eat lentils but he was intrigued by the aroma coming from the pot. He ate 2 sandwiches. In my house that’s a win! I will definitely make this again and will be sure to add the FOK BBQ sauce.

Jeanne3 months ago
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Hello,
I am 12 year brain tumor survivor & huge Forks Over Knives believer. Have been getting more plant based since I read The China Study in 2018. What “whole wheat bun” is recommended since all buns are not a whole food??!

Natalie1 day ago
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Ezekiel has great buns in the frozen section! I toast them in the toaster oven when I make bean burgers or similar

Lorraine Calhoun3 months ago
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Killer Dave has 100% wh wheat rolls, or pitas come in whole wheat

John Hoffman3 months ago
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This is fabulous as it is. The second time I made it, I added a tablespoon of Bullseye Bold Original BBQ sauce to to finish off the bottle, and a tablespoon of smoked chipotle pepper. O M G!

Shannon3 months ago
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Highly recommend adding BBQ sauce, great suggestion!

Sherrie4 months ago
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Quick, easy and delicious! I didn’t have vegetable broth on hand so I used beef broth, and I cooked it a bit longer to make it thicker. Served open-faced on a bun with a sprinkle of cheese. My meat-loving husband agreed that it was a keeper!

Jean4 months ago
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What to sub for brown sugar? Don’t keep that on hand.

Shari T3 months ago
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@Jean put in a little molasses – maybe 1/2-1 tsp [assuming you have that] along with the sugar [or whatever you are using] A standard sub for brown sugar in a recipe is white sugar + a little molasses.

blah6 months ago
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yummy!!!!!

Margaret Ovitt3 months ago
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Also, date syrup in place of brown sugar.

Blah6 months ago
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yummy!!!!

Momma Bear7 months ago
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Oops, replied to the wrong person about the IP! That was for Donna.

Emily, if you use red lentils, the cooking time will be much shorter and it won’t be as “meaty.”

Momma Bear7 months ago
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Emily Thiesen, I think you could make it in the IP. Just get the time for the lentils from another source. That’s how I plan to make it!

Tosca3 months ago
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This is a great recipe – at the moment I’m putting it over potatoes. I look forward to using it on my wholegrain sourdough bread as an open sandwich. Since I’m Australian and grew up with English-style savoury baked beans, I’m not a fan of American-style baked beans recipes with so much sugar added. The only time I ever made American baked beans I found them inedible. So, I knew the sugar in this recipe would ruin it for me. Just hold the sugar and it’s great. I also used light soy sauce (it’s got more umami than dark soy) and I only used a quarter teaspoon of rice wine vinegar. Without the sugar, it’s probably not needed at all, so I might hold the vinegar next time too. I throw in a big handful of chiffonaded parsley and finely sliced green onion with a squeeze of lemon or lime and its truly beyond good! Thanks to Heather McDougall 🙂

Jacqueline4 months ago
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We used a lentil blend and the flavor was there but it turned out like soup! maybe because we quadrupled the recipe?

Allyson7 months ago
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Yummmm!!! This is a very tasty recipe! I will definitely make this again! I didn’t have any vegetarian Worcestershire sauce so I added some smoked paprika and cumin instead!!! The brown sugar does make it a little sweeter, so just adjust to your likeness.

Emily Thiesen8 months ago
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Could I use red lentils instead of brown? Thanks!

Donna8 months ago
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Can you make this in the instapot?

Nancy Olenic8 months ago
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This is one of our favorites and it’s quick and easy to make. I try to make it the day before because I find this even tastier when the flavors have had a chance to blend longer.
Since I can’t have gluten and we try to avoid refined flours, I serve this over garlic mashed potatoes mixed with cauliflower.
This recipe also freezes very well.

Breanna9 months ago
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Our 4 year old loves it! The recipe is straight forward to make with not a lot of prep. It’s quick enough for a week night with a little planning ahead to get it started. It’s one we all enjoy!

Cindi M.1 year ago
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Really good Sloppy Joe’s! It’s a fork and knife kind of sandwich that we ended up eating open-faced. The recipe says it makes 4 sandwiches, which I agree if it’s for 4 adults. I’d it’s 2 adults and some kids you might be able to make 5-6 sandwiches. Nice and filling!

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Heather McDougall

Heather McDougall is the director of the McDougall Program in Santa Rosa, California. Heather also develops healthy, family-friendly recipes for the McDougall Newsletter.

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