Vegan Sloppy Joes: Slow Cooker Special

Vegan-sloppy-joe-1

Apparently, when I hear the words, “Super Bowl” and “slow cooker” my mind explodes into brainstorming fireworks.  I love slow cooker recipes, so when given the opportunity to flex my slow cooker muscles as part of wayfair’s Super Bowl Snack Off, I only had one problem.  Which favorite recipe of mine would I submit?   It was difficult, but I narrowed it down to two of my favorites.  This is the first of those two.  The second recipe will be posted later this week.

I ate sloppy joes a lot growing up.  My mom would make the traditional kind with ground beef.  It was a couple of years ago that I had a craving for them and so I tried making a vegetarian version for the first time.   I started off using soy, which certainly didn’t capture any magic… on several lackluster levels.

My trials with soy swiftly resulted in temporary defeat.  I grew weary of fake “meat” taste and cumbersome salt levels and after only three recipe attempts, it was obvious my raw materials were sub par.  Plain tofu just didn’t look right and the texture was too far gone; I’m pretty picky about these aspects of food, I guess.  It just wasn’t working for me.

I then had a moment of inspiration and tried making my sloppy joes with lentils.

Bingo!  …or, should I say, “Bazinga!” In honor of my honed food nerdiness.

I often will vary this recipe for what’s in season and what’s sitting in front of me.  I’ll sometimes add green peppers, or shallots, maybe some diced sweet potato, or chopped mushrooms in small handfuls.

If you follow the recipe, you’re going to nail this one on the head.  If you want to mix it up, or add a half a cup of this and that, it’s very forgiving and a great way to sneak in almost any vegetable.  It’s sweet, it’s tangy, it’s fresh, it has a little spice and a touch of heat.  It’s beautifully balanced, comforting and surprisingly vegan.

 

It also feeds an army.

 

 

Slow Cooker Vegan Sloppy Joes

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow or orange pepper
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 teaspoons salt (more to taste if desired)
  • 3/4 cup pale ale
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon espelette pepper (you may substitute hot paprika, if needed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 16 ounces dried lentils, sorted and soaked
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 4 cups vegetarian vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
  • 1/4 cup tomato puree
  • 2 cups water

For Serving: Toasted crusty soft sandwich rolls (optionally, brushed with garlic infused olive oil)

Garnish Options: sliced dill pickles, shredded lettuce, fresh or roasted tomato slices, scallions, cheese

Add the first four ingredients to slow cooker and cook until vegetables are fragrant or about one hour.  Add remaining ingredients, reserving one cup of water, and cook, covered until lentils are tender, adding water if mixture gets too thick.  Taste and add salt to taste, if needed.

Note: The time this takes to cook will vary depending on your slow cooker and how long the lentils were soaked beforehand.  My slow cooker takes about eight hours to cook this dish to perfection with the lentils being soaked for 6+hours before cooking.  It’s nearly impossible to overcook this, making it the perfect option for a hands-off, super easy meal for vegans and vegetarians, especially on Superbowl Sunday.

Vegan Sloppy Joes: Slow Cooker Special

Recipe Type: Vegan, Game Day, Football, Slow Cooker
Cuisine: American
Author: Kate Moran
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow or orange pepper
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 teaspoons salt (more to taste if desired)
  • 3/4 cup pale ale
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon espelette pepper (you may substitute hot paprika)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 16 ounces dried lentils, sorted and soaked
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 4 cups vegetarian vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
  • 1/4 cup tomato puree
  • 2 cups water
  • For Serving: Toasted crusty soft sandwich rolls (optionally, brushed with garlic infused olive oil)
  • Garnish Options: sliced dill pickles, shredded lettuce, fresh or roasted tomato slices, scallions, cheese
Instructions
  1. Add the first four ingredients to the slow cooker and cook until vegetables are fragrant, or about one hour. Add remaining ingredients, reserving one cup of water, and cook, covered until lentils are tender, adding water if mixture gets too thick (about six to eight hours). Taste and add salt to taste, if needed.
  2. Note: The time this takes to cook will vary depending on your slow cooker and how long the lentils were soaked beforehand. My slow cooker takes about eight hours to cook this dish to perfection with the lentils being soaked for 6+hours before cooking. It’s nearly impossible to overcook this, making it the perfect option for a hands-off, super easy meal for vegans and vegetarians, especially on Superbowl Sunday.
  3. This post brought to you by Wayfair.com part of their “Superbowl Snack Off”.

 

This post brought to you by Wayfair.com. As a participant in their “Superbowl Snack Off” I received a free slow cooker and grocery gift card.

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10 Responses to Vegan Sloppy Joes: Slow Cooker Special

  1. What a delicious sloppy joes! Flavor sounds amazing. I really wish to have a slow cooker!

  2. Dara says:

    What an inspired dish! I love anything with lentils, but a sloppy joe is such a great comfort food.

  3. This burger looks perfectly delicious – I love the filling :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  4. This looks delicious! My hubby would love me to make him this for Superbowl :)

  5. These look so delicious!! Definitely a good vegan/vegetarian alternative for the Superbowl.

  6. Kaley says:

    Yes! So sick of bacon and buffalo wings. Gimme some veggie lovin’! Fantastic recipe as always, Kate. I tried the jalapeno bites over the weekend. So flippin’ good. Ben ate all of ‘em …had to make more. haha!

  7. Karen Harris says:

    This looks delicious Kate. I love lentils and find they are the perfect substitute for meat many times. This is a great dish for Super Bowl buffets that often leave vegetarians and vegans grazing off of a plate of crudités.

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