Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

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They have the same nostalgic flavor you crave, minus the meat.
vegetarian sloppy Joes
Katherine Gillen

Admit it: You love the nostalgic, tomato-y flavor of good ol’ sloppy Joes. Want to modernize your favorite childhood meal? Look no further than the humble (yet protein-packed) lentil, which is the key to making these vegetarian sloppy Joes. They’re just as quick-cooking and convenient for weeknight dinners, and even kids won’t miss the ground beef. Top them with coleslaw and a sesame seed bun for the full effect.


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped

½ cup ketchup

¼ cup tomato paste

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon yellow mustard

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup green lentils, rinsed

Toasted hamburger buns, for serving

Coleslaw, for serving (optional)


1. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. To the skillet, add ½ cup water, then stir in the ketchup, tomato paste, Worcestershire, vinegar, mustard, honey, mustard powder and garlic powder. Reduce the heat to low and season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until the lentils are tender, 18 to 20 minutes.

3. When the lentils are cooked, add them to the skillet with the sauce and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

4. Serve the sloppy joes on toasted hamburger buns topped with coleslaw, if desired.

Nutrition Facts
  • 329 calories

  • 5g fat

  • 58g carbs

  • 16g protein

  • 14g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...