May 29, 2017

Sloppy Lentil Joes

The traditional Sloppy Joe is a sandwich made up of ground beef, onions, tomato sauce or ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings, served on a hamburger bun. This healthier version substitutes lentils for the ground beef, but doesn’t hold back on the taste!


This healthy and nutritious recipe has been tested and the ingredients scaled up so that you can easily prepare enough for 50 people.

Yield: 50 servings (1 sandwich)


  • 2 lbs onion
  • 2 lbs sweet bell peppers (any colour)
  • 1 bunch of celery
  • 2 bulbs of garlic
  • 1 gal + 3 cups of water
  • 3 lb 12 oz (1 qt + 3 2/3 cups) dried brown lentils
  • 1 lb white button mushrooms
  • 1 lb 4 oz (2 cups) tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 50 whole-grain buns


  1. Trim and peel onions. Cut into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Stem, core and seed peppers. Cut into 1-inch pieces.
  3. Trim celery and cut into 1-inch pieces.
  4. Trim and peel garlic.
  5. In a large stockpot, bring water to a boil over high heat. Add lentils and cook until just tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, in batches in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the onions, peppers, celery and mushrooms until chopped into 1/4-inch pieces, 6 to 8 pulses. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can chop the vegetables by hand).
  7. Finely chop the garlic (either in the food processor or by hand).
  8. When the lentils are done, reduce heat to low and stir in the chopped vegetables, garlic, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar, paprika, mustard, pepper and salt. Bring to a simmer, covered, over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  9. Serve 1/2 cup portions on each bun.

Sloppy Lentil Joes

This recipe was adapted from the Whole Grains Council New School Cuisine Cookbook and has been tested by a team from FoodReach.


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