Smoky Lentil Sloppy Joes - Warm & Rosy

Smoky Black Lentil Sloppy Joes

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x




  • 1 cup black lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups water or broth

Sloppy Joes

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, finely chopped (portobellos work well, but any mushroom variety will do)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground mustard powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 cups tomato sauce

To Serve:

  • Whole grain hamburger buns, lettuce cups, atop brown rice, stuffed in roasted sweet potatoes
  • Condiments: pickled cucumbers, pickled onions, cabbage slaw, mayo


  1. Cook the lentils. Combine lentils and water in a small pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 20 minutes. Lentils should be tender, but slightly al dente. Drain through a fine mesh strainer and lightly rinse with cold water.
  2. While the lentils cook, heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add mushroom, garlic  and a pinch of salt and pepper and sauté for a few more minutes, until mushrooms are tender and starting to brown. Add spices and salt, stirring to coat the vegetables. Add miso, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup, scraping up any brown bits from the pan. Stir in tomato sauce and cook until mixture is bubbling. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  3. Once the lentils are cooked and drained, add the lentils to the pan. Stir to combine, taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if necessary. Reduce heat, cover pan and cook for about 10 minutes to allow mixture to thicken slightly and flavors to meld together.
  4. Serve with toasted buns, tucked into lettuce cups, served atop brown rice or stuffed into sweet potatoes. It’s versatile! Top with condiments of choice — pickled onions, mayo and cabbage slaw are particularly delicious.