Slow Cooker Lentil Sloppy Joes

Comfort food is on the menu, Sloppy Joes to be exact.

I didn’t have these much growing up, or really at all, but when I met my husband I learned about these messy delights because he is a big fan. The canned sauce and a hunk of ground beef is what we used to use, but now we have stepped up our game.

One of our goals lately is to have one dinner per week that is “meatless”. Meatless Mondays, if you will, or in our case – whenever it fits our schedule. We have been testing out a lot of new recipes, some are winners, like today’s dish – and some are not. I enjoy how it has decreased our grocery bill because beans/legumes are very reasonable compared to buying meat, and how it has made us think outside the box with our meal planning. I didn’t want meatless to just mean lots of cheese pizza or bean and cheese burritos (even though, those are delicious).

 

 

This recipe is cooked in the slow cooker, which I also love, and has all of the good spices of sloppy joes – without the meat. We used lentils, which provide great texture, and shredded vegetables which boost the flavors and the nutrition. Serving this on a sprouted wheat bun with a side salad was oh-so filling, and a great addition to our meatless meal lineup. I even froze ½ of the recipe and used it later in the week over spaghetti squash! It was amazing.

So if you are trying to eat less animal protein, increase your fiber or just diversify your menu – this one is a winner. My husband has been really open-minded with the whole meatless concept, because usually if there isn’t meat, “it doesn’t really count as a meal”. So this was a double win. Sloppy Joes may take you back, this one definitely has a new spin on it and is way more nutritious. Enjoy!

 

Slow Cooker Lentil Sloppy Joes

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked green lentils, rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 tablespoon (vegan friendly) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup

 

Instructions:

  • In a food processor, add roughly chopped bell pepper, onion, carrot, and garlic and pulse until appears minced and set aside.
  • In a large slow cooker, add all ingredients including the minced vegetables, stir, cover and let cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
  • If lentils look dry, stir in some water (¼ cup at a time) until desired consistency is met. You want a thick texture.
  • Serve with additional chopped onion on your bun of choice.
  • Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (without the bun): 186 calories, 1 gram of fat, 36 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fiber, 10 grams protein.