Sloppy Joes were one of the dishes my Mom made quite frequently when I was a kid. Frankly, at the time I thought they were over rated, and did not appreciate them. As a busy adult my feelings have changed. Sloppy Joes not only give me a nostalgic look back on my childhood, but they’re quick and easy. Especially when they’re made in a slow cooker. All you have to do is throw the ingredients together the night before, and remember to turn it on in the morning. This recipe is loosely based off of the Sloppy Joes my mom would make. She says she never used a recipe to make them, so I’ve just gone off of my memory of what she did and the overall taste. This recipe features coca cola and ketchup, so if you’re looking for a healthy Sloppy Joe recipe you’ve come to the wrong place today. The key difference between this and my mom’s Sloppy Joe “recipe” is that we used lentils in ours, and not ground beef.
The key to making a good Sloppy Joe not only lies in a delicious sauce, but also in the type of buns you use. If you choose a bun that is too structurally sound, like a pretzel bun for example, it likely won’t work well for your Sloppy Joe eating experience. If the bun is too strong every bite you take just pushes the Sloppy Joe filling out. You want good, cheap, white bread buns for this. The bun should really soak up the Sloppy Joe sauce a bit, and tear off nicely with every bite. Just make sure you check the ingredients, and make sure the buns don’t contain whey or other dairy products. For some reason a lot of store bought breads contain dairy. I’ve found that pretty much every Pepperidge Farm bread product, and a lot of other name brand breads, contain whey. A good rule of thumb is to always thoroughly read the ingredient list on any product that is not already marked as certified Vegan.
Slow Cooker Lentil Sloppy Joes
- 2 cups No Beef Bullion or other vegetable broth
- 1 cup brown lentils
- 12oz original Coca Cola
- 1/2 cup Heinz Ketchup
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- additional seasonings to taste
- Sift through lentils to make sure there are no pebbles/gravel, and rinse thoroughly.
- Dice the onion. You can sautee it up in some vegan butter if you want for a stronger flavor, but it’s not necessary.
- Assemble all the ingredients in the crock pot, and refrigerate overnight. This will give the lentils the chance to soak up some of the liquid, and ensures that they’ll become tender after cooking.
- Give the ingredients a good stir, and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4 hours.
- Serve the Sloppy Joes on soft buns. Add any desired condiments. I really enjoy topping mine with pickles.