Schooling in Pajamas

Slow Cooker Beef and Lentil BBQ Sloppy Joes

I remember the first time my older kids had sloppy joes from the can. I hated it but at the time it was budget friendly. You buy a can and dump in it some hamburger meat. Easy and friendly.  That all changed when I started getting recipe cards from some recipe mailer we signed up for. I began to fix homemade sloppy joes and we never went back. Our regular joes are made with ground beef, chili sauce, chili powder, brown sugar, white vinegar, chili beans. Yummy! I remember once when we went to visit my father-in-law and he had bought the canned sloppy joe mix. My oldest looked at him and said, “We don’t eat that nasty stuff.” and we promptly went 30 minutes away and bought the makings for homemade. I was embarrassed but what a testament to homemade food. Here is a pic or our homemade sloppy joes.

Homemade sloppy joe

While searching through Pinterest one day I came across a recipe for Slow Cooker Beef and Lentil BBQ Sloppy Joes.  You can find the original recipe here:
{Slow Cooker} Beef & Lentil BBQ Sloppy Joes.

INGREDIENTS (from the website)
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 small-medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, shredded (could substitute a carrot, other veg, or just leave out)
  • ¾ cup split red lentils, dry
  • 1½ cup water or broth (beef, chicken or veg)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 1-2 pinches red pepper flakes

Cook your ground beef and drain the fat/grease. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker and let cook for 8 hours on low.


Our ingredient list was slightly different.
For my lentils, I had a bag of multicolored lentils like you would buy to make a soup. It has green, red, and orange-colored lentils. We left out the red pepper flakes. It smelled really good while cooking but came out kinda dark looking. Also, I didn’t add the hamburger meat because I wanted a meatless dinner. It came out really good but a bit strong on the bbq taste. So I may leave a little out or try another brand.

Here is how ours looked when it was done.
BBQ Beef and Bean Lentils



Ease of Prep- ****  4 stars because it is really easy to fix and it all goes into the slow cooker.
Taste- **** 4 stars because it was really good. We had it on hamburger buns but could easily see it as a roll up, on nachos, or with corn bread.
Add to Menu- **** 4 stars because it will be on our next rotation. Right now we have left overs in the freezer so I will have to see how it comes out after being frozen.


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