A zesty, healthier version of the 1 meal we never showed up late for. Sloppy Joes were a favorite when I was growing up. I love that I was able to tweek my mothers recipe to preserve the same delicious flavors in a meatless version.
3 cups water - divided
1 cup green lentils- rinsed
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
Salt & pepper as needed for taste
2 cloves garlic - Minced
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce- I use a thick & zesty type
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 or 2 Tablespoons Sugar - to your taste
8 burger buns
8 Slices sharp cheddar cheese
Sliced fresh onion and/or Jalapeño for optional garnish
No nutrition information available
Combine 2 cups of water & the lentils in a small pot, bring to a boil then lower temp to a slow simmer, cover & cook until tender about 18 to 20 minutes. Drain off any remaining water, season with a pinch of salt & pepper & set aside until needed.
While the lentils cook, heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil & then the onion, cook until softened & lightly browned, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bell pepper & season with salt & pepper to taste, cook until the bell pepper softens, 8 to 10 minutes, stir occasionally.
Heat a up a grill pan to toast the buns.
Stir in the garlic, cook for another minute then add the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes & sugar, cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stir frequently, add more water as needed for a sauce that's semi thick. Stir in the lentils, cook for a minute or two to heat thru, taste & adjust flavors with more salt or pepper. Toast the buns, place a slice of cheese on the bottom bun & load it up with the lentil mixture. Garnish with slices of fresh onion and or Jalapeño if desired.