Lentil Sloppy Joe’s

Written By Ellen Welter, PT, DPT, COMT, CN

Lentils are an excellent source of fiber and protein with nearly minimal fat. Fiber and protein help to keep us full longer, so this helps to create a hearty meal that will stick with you. This recipe makes for a quick family meal, taking only about 30 minutes from start to finish. Serve to your family on a delicious pretzel bun, a whole wheat bun or in a wrap with pickles and/or pickled red onions and a side of coleslaw. This is always a family favorite of ours, meat definitely not missed!


  • 1 cup uncooked green lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped small
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • (1) 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup (or tomato paste)
  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • For serving: whole grain hamburger buns or pretzel buns


  1. First, cook the lentils: In a medium pot with a lid, add the lentils and water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 18-20 minutes or until tender. Drain excess liquid and set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the chopped onion, green bell pepper and garlic. Use a few tablespoons of water, or vegetable broth, to saute and prevent burning. Stir constantly for 3-4 minutes, using more water as needed.
  3. Now, add the chili powder and smoked paprika, and stir so all of the vegetables are coated. Stir for about 1 minute. Add a little water if it’s too dry.
  4. Next, add the tomato sauce, ketchup, mustard and maple syrup. Stir until well incorporated. Add in the cooked lentils and stir. Season with salt to taste.
  5. Serve on burger or pretzel buns with pickles or pickled red onions.


Recipe adapted from The Minimalist Baker

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