Sloppy Joes remind me of childhood, which is funny because my mother never made sloppy joes much when I was a kid. I was at a friend’s house the first time I laid eyes on a sloppy joe. I was confused by its structure (I have a pet peeve: if I bite into a sandwich and the guts fall out the other side, I am immediately angry. A properly constructed sandwich will not fall apart when eaten) so the idea of a sloppy joe is infuriating to me. Before you take your first bite, you know that the outcome will be sloppy, messy and running down your chin. NO THANKS, I’LL PASS.
But with this recipe and the right size and structure of bun, you can drop the “sloppy” and just call them Bob’s. We call them sloppy Bob’s at the homestead rather than sloppy Joe’s because our recipe does not call for ground beef. Therefore, they are a completely different breed.
Our homestead version of the recipe is based on Minimalist Baker’s Vegan Sloppy Joes (make sure you check out her blog, we use it often for vegan meal inspiration). Her original recipe is just as scrumptious as our adapted version below. We just add a bit more spice and some beer to the mix.
**Side Note: We usually double the recipe and freeze half so that we have a quick and easy mid-week meal for those days you don’t have enough time to cook.
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Vegan Sloppy Bobs
**This recipe makes a double batch for larger crowds, or you can freeze half for a rainy day.
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups green lentils, rinsed
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small green pepper, diced
4 red, ripe on the vine tomatoes, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 bottle of beer, any variety will work
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 15oz can of tomato sauce
4 Tbsp coconut sugar
4 Tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce (we love this brand)
4 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup homemade bread crumbs (if necessary)
1 package whole wheat hamburger buns
In a large stockpot, bring to a boil the vegetable broth and rinsed green lentils. Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer and allow to cook, uncovered for 22-24 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Once finished, remove from heat, drain any excess cooking liquid and set aside.
While the lentils are cooking, heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add in the olive oil, onion, garlic, green pepper and diced tomato and saute for 6-8 minutes or until onions, peppers and tomatoes becomes softened and slightly brown. Season with salt and pepper.
Then, pour in the beer and continue cooking over medium-high heat until more than half the beer has cooked out.
Next, reduce heat to low and add in the tomato paste, tomato sauce, coconut sugar, worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine.
By now, the lentils should be done. Add the lentils to the sauce pan, stir to combine and allow to cook together, uncovered, another 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
Taste mixture and adjust seasonings accordingly. If the mixture is too watery, add in some of the breadcrumbs to adjust thickness. I usually add in more salt and more spice, but to each their own!
We prefer to serve our Sloppy Bobs on toasted whole wheat or potato buns, with thinly sliced raw onion and a side of our yummy Baked BBQ Sweet Potato Fries.