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vegetarian sloppy joes

A 30-minute meal that will take you back to the school lunchroom. These Vegetarian Sloppy Joes are protein-packed, Picky Husband Approved, flavourful and so simple to make.
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 sandwiches


  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 2 cup water
  • 2 tsp oil of choice
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 medium carrots (roughly 1/2 cup finely chopped)
  • 2-3 celery sticks (roughly 1/2 cup finely chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp bbq sauce
  • 1 tbsp apple sauce
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 buns of choice


  • Prepare the red lentils. Rinse 1/2 cup of red lentils in water and then drain. Add the lentils to a medium pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 18 minutes with no lid. After 18 minutes, lentils should be soft and cooked. If there is any liquid leftover- drain it, then set the lentils to the side.
  • While the lentils are cooking, finely chop the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Add 2 tsp of oil to a pan over medium heat. Add the onion first, let it saute for 5 minutes, or until it starts to brown up. Then add the carrots, celery and garlic. Let saute for another 5 minutes or until veggies are looking cooked and golden.
  • Add the tomato paste to the veggie mixture along with the bbq sauce, apple sauce and the onion powder. Thoroughly combine.
  • At this point, add in the cooked lentils. Mix the lentils with the other ingredients. Add the vegetable broth to thin out the mixture. Let it simmer until a desired consistency has formed and everything is warmed all the way through.
  • Evenly distribute the lentil mixture into 4 hamburger buns. Option to top with something pickled (see notes).
  • Store any leftover lentil mixture in a sealed container for a few days. Reheat before eating. Although best when fresh.


These sandwiches go really well with something pickled in them as well (pickled cabbage/pickles)