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Thai Lentil Sloppy Joes

in Other, Sandwiches

Long time, no talk, y’all!  I am back from my conference in South Dakota, which feels nice.  It was a great experience and I learned a lot (plus, being away from the office can be so nice sometimes), but being able to relax and chill at home feels great.  I am ready to get back into the swing and things and back into some “normalcy.”  And what could be more normal than food blogging?!?  Let’s get to it!

Thai lentil sloppy joes 8 y






In case you had not noticed, lately I have been a bit obsessed with Thai-inspired foods.  So, let’s keep the trend rolling with this next recipe.  While working on my Magazine Monday recipe clean-up project, I came across a recipe for Thai Sloppy Joes in the March 2013 issue of Vegetarian Times magazine.  I loved the idea of using Thai flavors in sloppy Joes, but wanted to make a twist on the recipe (which originally calls for using tempeh), and was inspired by Chelsey’s recipe for lentil Sloppy Joes (which are amazing, by the way!).  This recipe turned out to be incredibly tasty, so I am thinking that my adaptation was a mighty fine one!

Thai lentil sloppy joes 3 y






Thai Lentil Sloppy Joes

Adapted from Vegetarian Times magazine.

Servings: 2 sandwiches


1/2 cup dry lentils
1 1/2 to 2 cups water (for cooking lentils)
water, for cooking
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup bell peppers, diced (I used red and green)
1/2 cup coconut almond milk (or light coconut milk)
3 tsp Thai red curry paste
1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp light brown sugar
1/2 TB fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp curry powder
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
4 slices of whole wheat bread or 2 whole wheat buns


1. Cook lentils according to package directions.

2. Once the lentils are cooked, line a large skillet with a thin layer of water and heat over medium-high heat.  Once hot, lower the heat to medium and add garlic, onions, and peppers.  Cook for approximately 6 to 8 minutes, or until softened.

3. Add cooked lentils, coconut almond milk, curry paste, soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, and seasonings.  Stir until well-combined.

4. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for approximately 5 minutes, or until the lentil mixture is at your desired consistency.

5. Serve the Thai Lentil Sloppy Joes mixture on 2 slices of toasted whole wheat bread or on a whole wheat bun.

Thai lentil sloppy joes 6 y






Now, of course, you must serve your Thai Lentil Sloppy Joes with a side of your favorite vegetables (and a dill pickle spear, too! ;)).  I served my sandwich alongside The Happy Herbivore’s spinach saag, which I slightly adapted by adding mushrooms and peppers.  Why not combine the flavors or Thai food and Indian food all in one meal?  I am definitely known to not keep it to one “type” of food.

Thai lentil sloppy joes 4 y






I really love eating Sloppy Joe-type sandwiches on toast (as opposed to on a bun), but in all honesty, the carbs are not even necessary.  I ate my second serving as leftovers for lunch the next day and ate them with a spoon and without the extra carbs.  So, if you are someone who is watching their carb intake (definitely not me!), you can eat them plain, or they would be fabulous in the form of cabbage rolls or lettuce wraps.  Be creative!

Thai lentil sloppy joes 10 yy






This twist (both with the use of lentils and Thai flavors) on the traditional Sloppy Joe sandwich turned out to be amazingly delicious.  I was already a convert to the idea of using lentils in the place of ground beef, and now that I added the spicy (but do not worry…they are not that spicy!) and flavorful Thai spices to this dish, I am not sure that I will ever go back to the more “traditional” Sloppy Joe sandwich.

Thai lentil sloppy joes 7 y






Lentils are amazing and Thai flavors are amazing.  If you have never cooked with either, then this very well may be the perfect recipe for you to give them a try.  The flavors that result from such an easy dish are truly remarkable.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I did! 🙂

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{ 49 comments… add one }
  • blonde hair blue eyed runner May 5, 2013, 9:08 am
    This is such a great alternate recipe to actual sloppy joes. Me and my husband love thai food, can't wait to try these! thanks
  • Nicole @ FruitnFitness May 5, 2013, 11:22 am
    I'm glad your back, I was worried when you hadn't blogged since Tuesday. Was going to email you to make sure everything is okay but didn't see it on here. These lentil sloppy joes sound amazing! I have a bag of lentils that have been waiting to be used. I got yellow coconut curry sauce in my foodie pen pal box, do you think that would work in place of the red curry paste?
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl May 5, 2013, 1:48 pm
      Aww, thank you for your concern! :) I think that the yellow coconut curry sauce would be delicious in this! You would likely need to experiment a bit with how much to add since it is a sauce, instead of a paste, though. If you give it a try, please let me know how they turn out!
  • Allison @ Life's a Bowl May 5, 2013, 12:50 pm
    I just opened a packet of TJ's precooked lentils this morning - I don't have any of your suggested Thai spices but you have inspired me to try making my own spinoff... Thanks :D
  • Michelle @ Eat Move Balance May 5, 2013, 3:01 pm
    Thai flavored sloppy joe's sound really tasty. Bob and I have been craving lentils like crazy lately--there's something about them that's been hitting the spot!
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl May 5, 2013, 3:30 pm
      LOVE lentils! They are so darn tasty, and I love how much protein they have in just a single serving :).
  • Lindsay @ The Functional Foodie May 5, 2013, 3:45 pm
    Gaaaah I love sloppy joes. Seriously so good. My roommate made me some from a vegan packaged mix once, but these look even better. I love using clean ingredients in cooking and lentils are so delicious.
  • Jan @ Sprouts n Squats May 5, 2013, 7:15 pm
    This looks yum. I've been told I can't eat legumes anymore so I might try this with beef or chicken mince instead.
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl May 5, 2013, 7:23 pm
      No legumes? What a bummer! :( Yes, these would likely be good with beef or chicken, or even tofu!
      • Jan @ Sprouts n Squats May 6, 2013, 4:27 am
        I know right and I so love my chickpeas and lentils but my body doesn't love them back :( Tofu is a great idea too :)
  • Jeremy DeHague May 5, 2013, 8:13 pm
    Glad your back! Those look tasty!
  • I've made lentil sloppy joes in past but never thought to add some Thai flavors to it- great idea, Hannah :)
  • cookingfortheotherhalf May 6, 2013, 6:46 am
    This looks SO good. I love lentils and I love the (idea of) sloppy joe's. Must try!
  • Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies May 6, 2013, 7:25 am
    Thai flavors in a sloppy joe is a GREAT idea and I love the idea of eating them as lettuce wraps. Pinned it, can't wait to try this out!
  • Liz @ I Heart Vegetables May 6, 2013, 8:07 am
    Yum!!! I've only had one veggie sloppy joe and I think it was made with TVP. It was pretty good, but lentils are one of my favorite things!! I'm so trying this!
  • Tiff May 6, 2013, 8:09 am
    I wish lentils agreed with my belly. I'd eat them all the time. So yummy!
  • Em @ Love A Latte May 6, 2013, 10:10 am
    Oh this looks sooo good!!! And I love lentils! :)
  • Laurie @ Love, Laugh, Laurie May 6, 2013, 10:52 am
    I'm really getting more into lentils, so I'm excited to try this out!
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl May 6, 2013, 12:11 pm
      I think that I could eat lentils with every meal! ;) Please let me know if you give it a try :).
  • kitchentreaty May 6, 2013, 11:01 am
    What a great take on veggie sloppy joes! I've tried making them with beans and they're just not quite right. Lentils are a fabulous idea - and Thai flavors too!
  • makingthymeforhealth May 6, 2013, 11:37 am
    These look awesome! Can you believe I have never made lentil sloppy joes before? What kind of vegetarian am I? Yeah, I'll be picking up the ingredients for next week's meal plan for sure. Thanks for the inspiration! :)
  • megbek May 6, 2013, 11:45 am
    Now I'm sold on the lentils! Thai flavors are the best. The more spicy, the better!! Welcome back to blogging! I missed your recipes lol!
    • cleaneatingveggiegirl May 6, 2013, 12:20 pm
      Thank you!! And yes, lentils are seriously amazing. They make for some fabulous sloppy joes :).
  • jessiebearwhat May 6, 2013, 12:35 pm
    Mmm I love a good sandwich
  • Alex @ Cookie Dough Katzen May 6, 2013, 12:49 pm
    I love Thai food so I'm on board with your Thai foods lately. :) Hope your conference went well- what do you do for your job?
  • Her Happy Balance May 6, 2013, 1:02 pm
    Girl, you are an impressive never-ending wealth of recipes! And they're always so darn good looking too! Never in a billion years would I have substituted lentils in for pulled beef/pork. Plus, Thai food is one of my new obsessions!
  • Melanie @ beautifullynutty May 6, 2013, 7:12 pm
    Nummy, these sound AWESOME! I love sloppy joes and I love lentils! This looks like a winner!
  • Sara @ Nourish and Flourish May 7, 2013, 2:28 am
    Mmm I love the idea of jazzing up sloppy joe's with Thai flavors! I've never met a Thai dish I didn't like, so I'm sure I'd enjoy this recipe--especially alongside a side of Indian-inspired spinach saag. I'm a firm believer in mixing cuisines! ;) Happy Monday, m'dear! <3 xoxo
  • Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen May 8, 2013, 11:12 am
    This is so great. One of my favorite friends-through-blogging makes a DELICIOUS Thai Curry that she uses lentils in, and this just takes it to a new level. I even have some green curry paste open in the fridge...wonder if GREEN 'joes' would work?
  • Sarah May 13, 2013, 9:14 am
    I'm a traditionalist, I love the Apple (apple pie? apple cinnamon?) Larabar. But that tropical fruit one looks pretty awesome.

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