Years ago, I dabbled in lentils. Indian spiced lentils, lentil burgers, lentil chili…all lentils all the time. One of my favorite recipes at the time was for “Snobby Joes,” or, sloppy joes made with lentils in place of ground beef. They were–they are–fantastic. Smoky and sweet and comforting while also remaining healthy and vegetarian.
If you like lentils, by all means–go ahead and make this recipe for lentil sloppy joes. Truth is, they sop up all the flavor of the spiced tomato sauce, so you’ll be left with very little earthy, lentil flavor. But if you’re not one hundred percent digging the idea of making a lentil-only dish, or if you’re just getting your family into the world of vegetarian options, this is a recipe to help you take a step in that direction.
*Similarly, if the very thought of lentils disgusts you, feel free to use all beef in this recipe.
Using half beef, half lentils means fewer calories, less fat, and lots more fiber. And, you’ll keep that lovable beefy flavor intact.