Vegetarian Sloppy Joes featuring Tobee!

Did you know today is
National Sloppy Joe Day?

Sloppy Joes aren’t just for the meat eaters. It’s such a versatile meal that can be replaced with chickpeas, grains, or even lentils to make a hearty, vegetarian-friendly dinner that you and your kids will love. Turn them into Tobee, and now you have a home run meal of Lentil Sloppy Joes!  

But first, here are some sloppy joe facts:

The dish originated in the United States during the early 20th century, and usually features ketchup or tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce mixed with a ground meat or vegetable substitute as key ingredients. Before officially gaining it’s title in the 1930s, the Sloppy Joe has been previously referred to as Toasted Devilled Hamburgers, Hamburg a la Creole and Beef Mironton. Many restaurants have been credited with its invention including Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Keywest Florida, a cafe in Sioux City, Iowa with a cook named Joe or it could even have it’s origins in Havana, Cuba at the Sloppy Joe’s saloon! Wherever you eat it, or whatever you call them – here’s to the Sloppy Joe!

Packed with lots of hidden veggies and all that protein from green lentils, this is a sloppy joe you can feel good about. It’s the ultimate comfort food – all wrapped up in a warm bun and covered in cheese. What’s the best way to eat these Lentil Sloppy Joes? Watching Super Simple Songs! A perfect accompaniment would be Sing Along with Tobee‘s “If You’re Happy and You Know It” with the Candy Apple Jazz Band

Lentil Sloppy Joes


15 mins


25 mins


40 mins

serves: 4-6 Lentil Sloppy Joes


  • 1 c. green lentils, uncooked
  • 3 c. water
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • ½ green bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ c. carrots, diced
  • 1½ Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika powder
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes
  • ½ c. water
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar

For Tobee’s face:

  • thin cheddar cheese slice
  • 3 baby carrot slices (for hair)
  • 2 black peppercorns (for eyes)
  • 1 carrot slice (for nose)
  • ketchup (for mouth)
  • hamburger buns


  1. In a large skillet, bring the lentils to a boil with the water. Partially cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes. Drain.
  2. Bring that skillet back to the stove and over medium-high heat, sauté the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes. When they have tenderized, add the bell pepper and carrots.
  3. Stir in the spices and cook until fragrant (approx 30 seconds).
  4. Add the canned tomatoes, ½ c. water, tomato paste, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and lentils. Bring to a boil and allow the sauce to thicken. Cook until almost all of the liquid has absorbed (about 5 minutes).
  5. Toast hamburger buns. Layer the sloppy joe filling on top of the bottom bun. Place the 3 baby carrot slices for Tobee’s hair. Add the cheese slice and assemble the face.

Once the Lentil Sloppy Joes filling is made, putting together the Tobee face is simple! Just make sure you have all the ingredients prepped and ready to go so once you pile on the filling onto the bottom bun, you can work fast. Here is a photo tutorial of how to put together these Tobee-themed Lentil Sloppy Joes:

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Cara AnsisContributor

Cara Ansis is the creator behind the site Fork & Beans, a site decided to making fun and kid-inspired recipes. She encourages moms and dads to let their kids play with their food! She is also a cookbook author. Cara resides is Chicago, IL with her husband and 11 month old son. Follow Cara on Instagram or via her blog:

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