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Green Chili Lentil Sloppy Joes

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close up photo of a green chili lentil sloppy joe sandwich with a cold beer in the background

Use whatever green peppers you can find at the grocery store to make our delicious green chili lentil sloppy joes.

Lentils are the best

If you’re looking for a good source of vegan protein, I’ve found them for you. Lentils are one of the easiest and cheapest protein-dense foods the world has to offer. I go back and forth on my favorite style of lentils, but lately, I’ve been gravitating toward green lentils

I like green lentils because they hold their shape after cooking so you really get to feel the texture in your mouth while eating. The green lentils come in handy for green chili lentil sloppy joes because they help hold the green chili salsa together with the filling just enough so it’s not a complete mess on your hands. 

What ingredients are in green chili lentil sloppy joes?

The ingredients for this recipe are kind of a wild card because of grocery store demand. I know not every grocery store carries the specific peppers I used and let’s be real, if I had my way, I probably would’ve tried to get my hands on some hatch green chilis. But there were none at the grocery store and beggars can’t be choosers in these weird times.

There are a couple of components to the sloppy joes. First is the roasted tomatillo salsa and the second are the lentils, pasilla pepper, and onion. The third is the bread, I guess! 

ingredient spread for green chili lentil sloppy joes featuring tomatillos, serrano peppers, jalapeño peppers, padrón peppers, limes, lentils, vegetable broth, olive oil, pasilla peppers, limes, buns, vegetable broth, garlic, mexican oregano and salt and pepper.

For the roasted tomatillo salsa, you have some flexibility. You’ll need about a pound of tomatillos and an array of other ingredients ranging from garlic and onion to various types of green peppers. Whatever you can find at the grocery store will work. In my case, I found a few serranos, a jalapeño, some fresh pasilla peppers, and a few padrón peppers. You could use almost any green pepper under the sun for this as long as you’re able to find some mild ones and some spicy ones. I’ve even used green bell peppers before and it turned out great!

The key is to find a variety of peppers, so if your store doesn’t have anything beyond jalapeños, serranos, and bell peppers, you may want to find a more specialty spot to shop for your green peppers. Since I live in Arizona, they’re kind of everywhere, but I know that’s not the case for many of you.

The second component to the green chili lentil sloppy joes is the rest of the filling which includes a roasted pasilla pepper, some cooked lentils in vegetable broth, half of an onion, Mexican oregano, and salt and pepper. If you find your mixture could use some brightening, you can use a little squeeze of lime or some cilantro leaves to enhance the flavor. 

Once you have your tomatillo salsa and the lentil mixture together, you’ll add everything together in a pot and simmer until the mixture is thick enough to be called sloppy joe mix. 

How to make green chili lentil sloppy joes

What I love the most about this recipe is how low effort it is. You’ll need a few kitchen tools: a baking sheet, a pot, a skillet, a food processor, and a toaster. Nothing too out of the ordinary. The first step to making green chili lentil sloppy joes is preheating your oven to 425 degrees. While you wait for your oven to preheat, destem and slice your peppers in half lengthwise, poke a hole in each tomatillo, and halve one onion. Place all of these ingredients along with a few garlic cloves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You’ll want to roast the salsa for about 45 minutes or until all of the components show browning.

roasted tomatillos, onions, garlic, and peppers on a baking sheet against a bright yellow background

While the salsa ingredients roast, you’ll make the rest of the filling. Add 2 cups of vegetable broth to a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil. Add your rinsed green lentils, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender – about 30 minutes. While the lentils cook, you’ll want to sauté the other half of the onion you didn’t roast in the oven until translucent. Once the lentils are fully cooked, add the onions and set aside. 

When your tomatillo salsa components are cool enough to handle, reserve one half of a pasilla pepper or other mild deep green pepper you might be using, and add the rest of the ingredients to a food processor. Pulse to create a beautiful tomatillo salsa. 

Next, you’ll return the lentil and onion mixture to the heat and add the tomatillo salsa, Chop the reserved roasted pasilla pepper and add that to the mix as well. Now it’s time to season. Add salt, pepper, and Mexican oregano to taste along with optional lime juice and cilantro. Simmer the mixture scraping the bottom with a spatula often to ensure burning does not occur. Once the texture resembles sloppy joe, remove from heat. 

Lastly, you’ll assemble your sandwiches! Toast some buns and add the mixture to the middle. 

an overhead shot of tomatillo salsa in a food processor

What sides go with green chili lentil sloppy joes?

We love these so much and often serve them with:

Recipe jam

In this segment, I suggest a song for you to listen to while you make green chili lentil sloppy joes! You can even stream it right here in your browser. Today’s Recipe Hang Up by Prolifigate. 

If you try this recipe, I want to hear about it! Feel free to post your creations to Instagram or Facebook and tag Hell Yes It’s Vegan or #hellyesitsvegan. I look forward to seeing your creations!

overhead view of green chili lentil sloppy joe mix in an orange pot on a yellow background
overhead shot of two green chili lentil sloppy joes on a yellow background
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Green Chili Lentil Sloppy Joes

Use whatever green peppers you can find at the grocery store to make our deliciously healthy green chili lentil sloppy joes!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 25 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Main Course, Sandwich
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: green chili, green chili lentil, green chili lentil sloppy joes, green chili sloppy joes, lentil sloppy joes, sloppy joes, vegan sloppy joes
Servings: 6
Calories: 340kcal

Ingredients

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa*

  • 1 lb tomatillos
  • 2 serrano peppers
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 2 pasilla peppers
  • 7 padrón peppers
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 4 garlic cloves

Sloppy Joes

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Destem peppers and slice in half, poke each tomatillo with a knife and quarter the onion reserving half for the lentil filling. Leave garlic cloves shelled. Spread all ingredients out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 45 minutes or until browning occurs.
  • While the veggies roast, rinse the lentils. Add vegetable broth to a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil. Add rinsed lentils, cover, and simmer for about 25 minutes until the lentils are tender. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, chop the reserved half of the onion and add to a skillet with olive oil. Sauté for five minutes or until onions are translucent and set aside.
  • Once the salsa ingredients are cool enough to handle, reserve one half of a pasilla pepper and add the rest of the ingredients to a food processor, pulsing until you reach a salsa-like consistency.
  • Chop the reserved pasilla pepper. Bring lentils back to the burner and combine salsa, reserved pepper, and sautéd onion. Add Mexican oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until the mixture resembles a sloppy joe consistency (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and add optional lime juice or fresh cilantro
  • Toast the buns and add a healthy scoop of lentil sloppy joe mix to the middle.

Notes

*For the tomatillo salsa you can use really whatever green peppers you can find at the grocery store. Just buy a variety of some mild ones and some spicy ones. I’ve used poblano peppers, anaheim peppers, and even green bell peppers. 
This mix keeps for about a week in the fridge.
Nutrition is an estimate and does not include optional ingredients.  
Just a heads up – this page contains some affiliate links which means I make a little bit of money if you click on select links and make a purchase. I only recommend products that I use on the reg!
 
Nutrition Facts
Green Chili Lentil Sloppy Joes
Amount Per Serving (303 g)
Calories 340 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 699mg30%
Potassium 614mg18%
Carbohydrates 61g20%
Fiber 10g42%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 16g32%
Vitamin A 327IU7%
Vitamin C 29mg35%
Calcium 87mg9%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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