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Vegetarian Sloppy Joe on a whole wheat hamburger bun on a plate

I know when you think of Sloppy Joes you think of a sweet ground beef mixture smothered in a red, ketchup type sauce.  These Sloppy Joes are far from that! I use lentils as the base and from there add red beans and garbanzo beans, diced sweet red peppers, lots of onions and garlic, all mixed together and cooked in my crock pot.   No need to cook the lentils ahead of time, just let them slow cook all day and mingle with all the other flavors.

Talk about good!

One of the best things about this recipe is that you can substitute any kind of beans you like, mix it up or use what you have on hand.  No rules…I love that!

Vegetarian Sloppy Joe with shredded cheese on a whole wheat hamburger bun on a plate

These vegetarian Sloppy Joes are loaded with flavor and are extremely high in nutritional value.

Place a hefty scoop of the lentil and bean combination on a toasted whole wheat bun and you’ve got a fabulous meal.  Since I don’t eat bread, I ate mine without the bun.  You can even top it with a little shredded cheese, if you’d like.  We didn’t want to waste a bit so later we scooped some of the sloppy joe mixture onto tortilla chips and it made a great salsa-type dip.

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 7 hours
Total: 7 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
This recipe for vegetarian sloppy joes contain lentils as the base. Cooked in the crockpot it makes a delicious vegetarian meal.


  • 1 1/2 cups green lentils
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 14 ounce red beans drain and rinse - 12 - 15 ounce cans will do
  • 14 ounce garbanzo beans drain and rinse - 12 - 15 ounce cans will do
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • whole wheat buns


  • Rinse and sort the lentils. Place them into the crockpot.
  • Add to the crockpot all the remaining ingredients except for the buns.
  • Stir well. Place the top on the crockpot and cook for 3.5-4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low.
  • After the amount of time, test to make sure the lentils are cooked through. They should have a slight al dente bite to them. If not, cover the pot again and cook for 30 minute increments and check for doneness.
  • Serve on toasted buns.
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Hi, I’m Joanie and welcome to ZagLeft where we share favorite recipes as well as exciting travel experiences that we’ve enjoyed while always trying to take the road less traveled.

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