These nutrient dense sloppy joe stuffed peppers are a delicious way to feed your family without breaking the bank.
Last year may have been the Year of the Pulse, but here in 2017 you can still find me loving up on beans and lentils. I’m sure I will continue to for quite some time, too! Lentils are one of the staple foods I am constantly recommending to clients because of their nutrient density and culinary versatility. Those little pulses pack a huge nutritional punch of fiber, protein, iron and other vitamins and minerals. Their hearty texture and flavor means they can be added to a variety of dishes and even be used as a meat substitute for vegetarian meals.
With all that goodness, it’s no surprise that I turned to lentils to star in my dish for this month’s Recipe Redux. The theme is budget-friendly recipes, challenging reduxers to create delicious eats that won’t break the bank! At somewhere between $1-2 per pound, lentils are definitely a budget-friendly food. For the sake of keeping things simple and nutritious, I created a vegan version of Sloppy Joe’s, stuffed into a bell pepper rather than on a sammy.Using other cheap staple veggies like onions, carrots and tomatoes, I was able to add plenty of flavor. I skipped the ketchup traditionally used in Sloppy Joe’s and mixed in some soy sauce and vinegar instead. Just a touch of brown sugar added sweetness to the mix, before it all got stuffed into the peppers and baked in the oven.
My recipe below makes 4 servings, with each serving ringing at less than $2.50. That’s under $10 for a family of four! Not bad at all for a hearty and healthy meal. This one is vegan, but could certainly be beefed up (ha!) for meat lovers. After serving, I like to add a sprinkling of nutritional yeast for a little cheesy flavor.
For the record, these Sloppy Joe’s are not very sloppy….that’s just the way I prefer them! If you like an extra saucy mix, feel free to add more crushed tomatoes and a little vegetable broth to the lentil filling. Enjoy! Let me know if you make this one and don’t forget to click through all of the other budget-friendly recipes below.
- 1 cup green lentils
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 4 bell peppers
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 onion
- 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
- 1/2 cup carrots, diced (2 medium carrots)
- 1 14.5 oz can crushed or diced tomatoes
- 1 TBSP soy sauce
- 1 TBSP balsamic vingegar
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- In a medium pot, bring lentils and vegetable broth to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer until broth has been absorbed and lentils are tender, about 25 minutes. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375*F.
- Prepare bell peppers by slicing in half and removing seeds. Place peppers into a casserole dish or on a sheet pan, open half facing up.
- Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add mushrooms and sauté until brown. Stir in diced carrots, cook for 5 minutes. Add onion and stirring, cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Stir diced tomatoes, vinegar, soy sauce and brown sugar into mushroom mixture. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Stir cooked lentils into mushroom mixture until well combined.
- Fill pepper halves with lentil mixture, place in oven and bake for 35 minutes.*
- *If you prefer softer peppers, cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.
PIN IT FOR LATER: