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5 from 3 votes

Cauliflower Lentil Sloppy Joes

Recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod

Kids and adults love these easy vegan and gluten free cauliflower lentil sloppy joes! They are great for lunch or dinner.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins


  • 1 cup red lentils rinsed and picked over
  • 2 cups water
  • small head cauliflower
  • tablespoons olive oil
  • small yellow onion chopped
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 celery stick diced
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced 
  • 15 oz cans crushed tomatoes 
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup we use Annie's
  • 2 tablespoons  worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 whole wheat hamburger buns


  • In a medium saucepan or pot, bring lentils and water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and let lentils cook for 18-20 minutes, just until lentils are tender. Drain water and set the lentils aside.
  • While the lentils are cooking, slice the cauliflower in half, removing the thick center core. Cut into large chunks.
  • Using a food processor, break up the cauliflower into small pieces. Pulse the cauliflower until it looks crumbly. Put cauliflower in a bowl. If you don’t have a food processor, you can finely chop the cauliflower into pieces.
  • In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, red pepper, celery, carrot and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cauliflower to the pot. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, ketchup, worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, sugar, chili powder, ground mustard, smoked paprika, and cumin. Stir in the cooked lentils. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Cook on low for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
  • Serve the sloppy joe mixture on buns. You can also serve the sloppy joe mixture over spaghetti squash, quinoa, or make lettuce wraps.
  • Note-for vegan and gluten free-make sure you choose a worcestershire sauce that is vegan and gluten-free! The sloppy joe mixture will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also freeze it for up to 1 month. You might have to add a little liquid to the mixture when you reheat it.