If you are in the mood for sloppy Joes but want to stick to your meatless monday tradition, we've got the perfect recipe for you. Sloppy lentil casserole is a meat-free version of the classic American sandwich with the same robust flavor. Instead of making individual sandwiches or sliders, this version works great as a casserole. Dinner rolls or slider buns are split in half with the bottom piece layered with lentils and cheese while the top half is covered in a glaze. The result is a family friendly meal that satisfies both kids and adults.
Sloppy Lentils Casserole
For the sloppy lentils:
2 cups dried orange lentils
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium sized yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
4 cups vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1 (10 oz.) can of diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 (10 oz) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce or tamari
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon dark agave nectar
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 slices cheddar cheese or other favorite cheese
12 dinner rolls or slider buns
non-stick cooking spray
For the glaze:
6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce or tamari
1 teaspoon molasses
1/2 teaspoons mustard powder
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Step 1: Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook until onions appear translucent and vegetables soften, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the lentils, bay leaf and stock to the pan and bring the mixture to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and partially cover the lentils with a lid.
Step 2: Simmer for 40 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but hold their shape. Stir in the tomatoes and green chiles, tomato sauce, agave nectar, molasses, mustard powder, and chili powder. Raise the heat to medium and bring the lentils to a boil. Continue to cook the lentils until the sauce has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes more, stirring frequently. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Set aside and let cool.
Step 3: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 4: Mix all the ingredients for the glaze in a sauce pan over medium heat until melted, smooth and combined.
Step 4: Coat a casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Later the bottom of the dish with the bottom half of the buns. Spread the lentil mixture evenly over the buns and top with the sliced cheese. Cover the cheese with the remaining bun halves. Add the sauce over the buns and bake the mixture for 20 to 25 minutes until glaze has set.
Editorial Disclosure: The photo only to serve as a representation of the dish.