These Lentil and Cauliflower Vegan Sloppy Joes are my lightened up version of traditional Sloppy Joes and I’m confident they’re just as good as what you remember from childhood.
- 1 small head of cauliflower
- 2 cups cooked French green lentils (about 3/4 cup dry lentils)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Few twists of black pepper
- Pinch of cayenne (optional)
- Vegan hamburger buns, for serving
- Shredded cabbage, for serving (optional)
- Begin cooking the lentils if you aren’t using pre-cooked lentils.
- Chop the cauliflower into florets and add them to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to break up the chunks. You want the pieces to be slightly larger than you’d make them for cauliflower rice.
- Drizzle the olive oil into a large, deep skillet and warm over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté until the onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook 2 minutes more.
- Add the cooked lentils, tomato paste, tomato sauce, maple syrup, brown sugar, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, and spices to the skillet and stir to combine. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the mixture has thickened. Adjust flavors to taste.
- Preheat a dry pan (I used a cast iron skillet) over medium-low heat. Toast the tops and bottoms of the hamburger buns, about a minute on each side.
- Spoon some of the vegan sloppy Joe filling onto each bottom bun. Garnish with sliced cabbage and place the top buns on top. Enjoy warm.