The following recipe and photography was provided by recipe developer and food photographer, Ashley Durand of Plate & Pen.
Whether you’re looking to eat lighter, follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle or are simply interested in exploring the world of plant-based cooking, this meatless spin on Sloppy Joes is for you!
Believe it or not, you can actually get your fill of essential protein without eating meat or fish. Certain plants, like lentils, are know for their protein and fiber content and can actually be a great substitute for animal protein in taste, texture and nutritional value.
Sloppy Joes were a staple meal of my childhood! Warm, meaty and overflowing (literally) with savory flavor, they were, and still are, one of my favorite meals. Now that I am an adult have developed a deeper appreciation for plant-based foods, I can confidently confirm that this plant-based version is just as good, if not better than the Sloppy Joes I remember from my childhood!
To elevate these sloppy sandwiches even further, I added mushrooms to the “meaty” mixture. Mushrooms are a great source of Vitamin D, and knowing that we don’t see the sun all that often during a Midwest winter, I figured that adding them couldn’t hurt. The flavor and texture that they offer the final dish is reason enough to use them.
Dry lentils can be a time-intensive ingredient to cook with, as they often require advanced soaking and a long cook time to soften. Heinen’s carries canned lentils, so if you’re making this dish in a pinch, grab a can and save some time.
- Cook time:
- Prep time:
- Total time:
- 6-8 Sandwiches
- 6-8 Heinen's brioche buns or sprouted grain buns (Club Fx approved)
- 2 Tbsp. Heinen's extra virgin olive oil
- 12 oz. cremini mushrooms, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped with 1 tsp. adobo sauce
- 3 Tbsp. Heinen's honey
- 2 Tbsp. Heinen's yellow mustard
- 1 Tbsp. Bob's Red Mill corn starch
- 1 Tbsp. Heinen’s mango habanero seasoning
- 1 tsp. Heinen's smoked paprika
- 1 Tbsp. Heinen's dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp. Heinen's cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 3/4 cups Heinen's crushed tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp. Heinen's tomato paste
- 2 cans Heinen’s brown lentils
- Lime wedges
- Add the olive oil to a large non-stick skillet and sauté the onions, bell peppers and mushrooms for 8-10 minutes.
- While the vegetables are cooking, combine the crushed tomatoes, mustard, adobo sauce, honey and tomato paste in a medium-size mixing bowl.
- When the vegetables are translucent, add the finely diced chipotle pepper and corn starch. Mix well to combine.
- Add all of seasonings to the skillet.
- Pour the tomato mixture into the skillet and stir to combine.
- Add the canned lentils and fold.
- Simmer on low for 10 minutes until the flavors meld and the mixture thickens.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and serve on brioche buns topped with spinach and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.