Sloppy Lennys

published Apr 9, 2022
Sloppy Lennys Recipe

This vegetarian take on sloppy joes is made with red lentils and an assertive blend of seasonings. Serve it between buns or in bowls, topped with Fritos.

Serves4

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Credit: Mark Weinberg

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For this vegetarian spin on sloppy Joes, red lentils — the “Lennys” in the recipe title — are seasoned with a bold mixture of pickled peppers, mustard, soy sauce, chili powder, and ketchup. The result is excellent between buns but also by the bowlful. Either way, Fritos make a great topping!

Sloppy Lennys Recipe

This vegetarian take on sloppy joes is made with red lentils and an assertive blend of seasonings. Serve it between buns or in bowls, topped with Fritos.

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    large yellow onion

  • 3

    pickled peppers (cherry, Peppadew) plus 1 tablespoon brine

  • 1/4 cup

    extra-virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon

    chili powder

  • 1 cup

    red lentils

  • 1/2 cup

    ketchup

  • 2 tablespoons

    Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon

    dark brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon

    low-sodium soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 4

    burger buns

Instructions

  1. Coarsely chop 1 large yellow onion and 3 pickled peppers (cherry, Peppadew), flicking away any seeds (hold on to the jar).

  2. In a large Dutch oven, heat 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil over medium. Add the onion and peppers, season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cook until softened and starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon chili powder and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add 1 tablespoon pickled pepper brine and stir, scraping up browned bits, until nearly evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes.

  3. Add all this stuff: 4 cups water, 1 cup red lentils, 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.

  4. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring to unstick any lentils, until the lentils are tender and start to fall apart, 20 to 25 minutes. If you want less slop, keep simmering until it’s as thick as you want. If the mixture looks dry and the lentils aren’t done yet, add more water. (Keeps for up to 4 days in the fridge. Rewarm with water to loosen.)

  5. Eat the sloppy lentils—excuse me, Lennys—on toasted burger buns with more sliced pickled peppers.

Recipe Notes

For crunch, top with Fritos or fried onions.

Reprinted from I Dream of Dinner (so You Don’t Have To). Copyright © 2022 by Alexandra Slagle. Photographs copyright © 2022 by Mark Weinberg. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.