New-to-Me Recipe: Crockpot Snobby Joes

Warning: non-foodie recipe and food photos to follow

I’m going to be pet-/house-sitting for the next few weeks, so I’ve been spending some time getting 20+ dinner entrees assembled. I’ve got about 9 servings of Mexican chicken and a couple servings each of barbecued chicken and beef taco filling. (If I’d skip a few dinners this week, my inventory would grow faster.)

Today I assembled a recipe I’ve been meaning to make for a long time: Snobby Joes. Translation: Sloppy Joes with lentils instead of meat. I first read about them in a Whole Foods circular late last year and set it aside for later. Do you think I could find it today, when I needed it? (Do I even need to answer that?)

I only made Beef Sloppy Joes a couple of times, but I like them well enough that I decided to add the same ingredient seasonings, spices, and other stuff to basic cooked lentils and then tinker.

snobby joes: assembling, complete, and on a wheat bun

There are two steps to this recipe: 1) cooking the lentils, and 2) turning them into Snobby Joes. It’s all easy.

Cooking the lentils

I decided to cook the lentils in the slow cooker after hearing on a podcast episode of America’s Test Kitchen that all that bubbling and boiling on the stovetop might be what causes lentils to lose their shape and get mushy. Instead, they suggested cooking them in the oven, but I’m guessing it’s not 95° where they live. I went with the crockpot.

1 cup of rinsed lentils
2 cups of water
an onion
some combination of peppers (green, red, yellow, etc.)

It’s a little known Cammy-Squick that I don’t like to eat fresh peppers that have been cooked in the crockpot. They develop a rubbery texture I find off-putting. I do, however, like the flavor of fresh peppers, so I cut them into big hunks and use them during the cooking process only. Then I pluck them out. Non-neurotic types should feel free to dice ’em up and toss them in there for keeps.

At the last minute, I tossed in a 4-oz. can of green chiles just because I love them. You could also add garlic, carrots, and/or celery.

Give it all a stir, set the temp to low and then leave it alone for about 4-5 hours. When the lentils are soft, they’re done.

Snobby Joes

To your cooked lentils, add some variation of the following:
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1/3 c. tomato paste
2 tbsp dark chili powder
2 tbsp maple syrup (or you could use brown sugar)
1 tbsp yellow mustard

Stir, stir, stir, plop the top on the cooker and let it go for another hour or two on low temp. If it’s a bit juicy for your liking, you can take the top of the cooker for a half hour before serving. If it’s extra juicy, like mine was initially, you can add a little cornstarch/water slurry to the pot to help with thickening.

For serving, I added a slice of cheese and broccoli slaw on a nice(ish) wheat bun.

Result: Rich, spicy, and smoky deliciousness. The slight heat in the lentils works really, really well with the creaminess of the slaw. I’m already looking forward to tomorrow night’s supper! If I’m not careful, I’ll have to make another batch to complete my 20+ entrees. LOL

I’ll have to defer calories and nutrition info until later. I haven’t divvied up the recipe into individual servings yet, but I’m guessing it’s going to be 6-8 hearty servings at about 120-150 per serving, sans bread. Not bad at all for an entree!

Do you eat Sloppy Joes? How do you make yours? I’m open to to new, non-rubbery, ideas.

13 thoughts on “New-to-Me Recipe: Crockpot Snobby Joes

    • Oh, I remember that “recipe” from HG. I was trying to avoid using the Manwich stuff. It’s so much more clean and whole and better for you to open a can of tomato sauce, a can of tomato paste, and a can of green chiles. :)

      The recipe I hadn’t noticed was the one right below the sloppy joes: Pineapple Black Bean Protein Topper. That might be taking up space in my fridge this weekend. Thanks for the link and the comment, Karen!

  1. This sounds good. I bet John would like this as he eats a lot more veggie meals now.

    • Next time, I’m thinking of trying with just a little meat added in for a more protein-y dish. It’s filling, but I wonder if that will be the case when I’m not taking a couple days off of lifting.

  2. Yum! I also tried one recipe for sloppy lentils that wasn’t a repeater. I am going to try making one of my meat based sloppy Joe’s recipes over to vegan. I will let you know how it turns out. We love lentil tacos and I do make them on the stove top-no problem with over cooking the lentils.

    • I’ve only had problems with the mushy lentils once, and it wasn’t from cooking too long. After listening to the podcast from ATK, I think it was just the full boil stage that broke the skins. An added benefit of the slow-cooker (and, I’m sure, the oven method) is that there’s more time for the flavor absorption. These are the richest lentils I’ve had yet.

      Hope your recipe turns out to your liking!

  3. We don’t have them often but we do make the meat kind – I’ve tried several recipes. One that I made in the crock pot totally burned – it was awful (and my boys still ate it to be nice – I felt bad!).

    • I once forgot I had chicken breasts barbecuing in the slow-cooker and cooked them for about 15 hours. I had chicken jerky by the time I remembered! LOL

  4. This is a pretty interesting recipe. I never eaten lentils before but I think I may want to try them out after looking at your recipe :) I LOVE sloppy joes and I always like looking for healthier alternatives from the traditional ones made by Manwich. So next week I may just try making your snobby joes with a little bit of chopped lean skinless chicken or turkey breasts added in, mainly for my family who will not eat anything without some kind of meat in it lol

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