Lentil and Veggie Sloppy Joes

by | Jul 19, 2016

Sloppy joes have always been one of my favorites. They’re one of those meals that are so fun to eat. Heck, the name implies that you’re meant to lick your fingers! I hadn’t eaten them in a very long time though because of how they’re generally pretty unhealthy, typically loaded with ketchup, BBQ sauce, and extra brown sugar, sandwiched between a highly refined bun. That’s sugar, sugar, sugar, and more sugar. Not something anyone should be eating! All of those refined carbs and added sugars create inflammation throughout the body which is the culprit of our chronic diseases. So I created a filling so packed with nutrients and flavor with these lentil and veggie sloppy joes!
I knew that there was a whole-foods, plant-based way to make them though, so I got in the kitchen one evening and threw some together. It is SO easy and quick to add a bunch of veggies, some properly-prepared legumes, and seasonings to make an absolutely delicious sloppy joe! I love using sprouted lentils, which are packed with fiber, protein, and a wide array of vitamins and minerals like iron. Plus, sprouting makes those grains, legumes, nuts and seeds easier to digest and the nutrients more available!

I’m a firm believer that vegetables should be the star of every dish, and these sloppy joes definitely hold true to that. I use only a touch of molasses or coconut sugar just to give that depth of flavor that is so standard to a sloppy joe. They’re so delicious though that you (or your family) won’t even know they are made almost entirely out of plants. Bonus: they can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes!

Lentil and Veggie Sloppy Joes
Author: Noelle Parton
  • Cooked lentils preferably sprouted or at least soaked about 8 hours before cooking
  • Cauliflower riced or chopped into small pieces (do it!!)
  • Onion diced
  • Mushrooms diced
  • Zucchini or yellow squash diced
  • Garlic cloves or powder
  • Tomato sauce or pureed diced tomatoes I like mine left a little chunky
  • High quality unsulphured molasses or coconut sugar
  • Coconut aminos optional
  • Raw apple cider vinegar optional
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder optional
  • Himalayan sea salt to taste
  • Kelp or dulse granules great source of natural iodine and only need a sprinkle!
  1. The amounts of each ingredient will depend on how much your making, obviously, so use as much of the vegetables and lentils as you need. I go about 1/3 lentils to 2/3 veggies. Pack 'em in there!
  2. Saute or caramelize the garlic, onions, and mushrooms with a sprinkle of salt. When the vegetables begin to stick, simply add a splash of water and stir.
  3. Add in the diced zucchini and riced cauliflower, and cook until just through before adding the lentils.
  4. For the sauce: add enough tomatoes to thoroughly coat the entire mixture, slowly add in your molasses about a spoonful at a time until it is mildly present, and the other seasonings to your taste.
  5. Yes, taste as you go! If you like more of a smoky flavor, use more cumin or chili powder. If you like more of a tangy flavor, use a splash or vinegar. Make sure you use enough salt to enhance those flavors.
  6. Turn on low, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

*For those that don't know, my recipes are made as whole and nutrient-dense as possible, but still incredibly satisfying. I share my recipes without measurements and hope they equip you to not feel confined to a recipe, but rather confident in your kitchen to be able to create something unique, nourishing, and delicious all on your own. So take this recipe as inspiration and enjoy! Head on over to my IG @noelle.parton and tag me if you try this out, or contact me if you have questions or comments.


May you walk into the abundance God has for you,

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I’m Noelle, creator of Simply to Thrive. A place all about getting back to the basics – simplifying all facets of wellness to empower you to live an abundant life through whole, plant-based eating and an intentional lifestyle.

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