Do you have a bag of lentils and no idea what to do with them? My first piece of advice is not to soak them in water prior to boiling. The skin on lentils are a lot softer than most legumes causing the soaking process to diminish their natural flavor. There are many ways to eat lentils, but today I'm going to tell you how to make Sloppy Joe's using red lentils.
-1 cup of red lentils
-1 cup veggie broth (I used a bouillon cube and water)
-1 tbsp vegetable oil
-1/2 medium white or yellow onion, minced (plus more for serving)
-2 cloves garlic, minced (2 cloves yield ~1 Tbsp)
-1/2 medium red or green bell pepper, diced
-Sea salt and black pepper (to taste)
-1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
-1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
-2 tbsp Sweeetheat Kansas City Classic Barbecue Sauce (optional)
-1-2 tsp chili powder (plus more to taste)
-1 tsp ground cumin (plus more to taste)
-1 pinch paprika
This recipe comes together in roughly 30 minutes, including cooking your lentils! It’s so simple and quick that it’s sure to become a weeknight staple in your home.
Start by boiling the lentils in your veggie broth. Do not soak them. As soaking the beans will cause their soft, outer layer to weaken and ultimately affects the taste. Cover with 2 inches of broth, about 1 cup. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Before all the water runs out, sprinkle in salt, pepper, a little paprika, and a little chili powder. Stir to keep the lentils from sticking together. Cook until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Monitor to make sure they do not become too mushy.
In a skillet, heat oil, garlic and onions until tender. Add in the rest of the seasonings, stir and let heat up. Add in tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce and BBQ sauce. Once at a boil, add in lentils. Drain off any cooking liquid; stir well to combine. Let sit on low heat.
Toast hamburger buns in the oven. Then, scoop 1 cup of the lentil mixture on each toasted bun and serve with sweet potato fries or a salad!
These are great to freeze and eat later in the week.