Slow Cooker BBQ Chickpea Vegan Sloppy Joes
Stormy weather has hit Washington state. Wind, rain, and no sign of letting up – in fact, quite the opposite. Eek! I am a storm wimp. When I was a kid, storms were just adventures, but now they’re only about 10% fascinating and 90% scary. I guess the older you get, the more you see, and then you realize that bad things actually can and do happen. At least that’s my theory.
Or maybe I’ve just become a class-A weenie with age.
Fall came fast here in the Pacific Northwest, and this storm has pretty much sealed the deal. I’m in full-on cozy-making mode, obsessing over plaid throws and sweater rugs and Crock Pot meals. Segue to these Slow Cooker BBQ Chickpea Sloppy Joes!
This vegan sloppy joe recipe might just be the easiest around. Dump some stuff in the slow cooker, cook it all day, come home and toast up some buns and serve it up. With chickpeas and a few red lentils thrown in, they’re super hearty. Oh AND of course they cook up in the slow cooker, so you know. Awesomesauce and all that. (For what it’s worth, that’s the first and last time I will use “awesomesauce.”)
Chickpeas add “meatiness” and stick-to-the-ribbishness while the red lentils help thicken things up enough to pile it on. And with what’s basically a BBQ sauce base, these vegan sloppy joes are tangy and just a little different. In a good way, I think.
And now I’m off to batten down the hatches. Eek – wish us luck! (And if you, too, are on the Northwest Coast, please stay safe!)
Slow Cooker BBQ Chickpea Sloppy Joes
Tangy, hearty, and easy! Chickpeas and red lentils cook up thick and rich in a tomato-BBQ base.
For the BBQ Chickpea Sloppy Joe filling:
- 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained
- 1/2 cup uncooked red lentils, rinsed
- 1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 3 medium cloves garlic, diced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce (can use regular Worcestershire if not vegetarian or vegan)
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon red crushed pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt + more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper + more to taste
For the buns:
- 4 hamburger buns*
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Sliced red onion
- Dill pickles or sweet pickles
- Add all ingredients to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high 5-6 hours, until the lentils are cooked through and the mixture thickens. Open the slow cooker and, using a potato masher, mash about 1/3 of the filling. Give it a good stir, replace the lid, and let it cook for another 30 minutes or so until thickened.
- Meanwhile, toast the buns. Brush insides with olive oil and place cut-side-up under the broiler in your oven. Broil 30 – 60 seconds until golden.
- Place buns on plate and spoon filling over the top. Add toppings if desired. Serve.
- Leftover filling keeps well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Use gluten-free buns or you can go the bunless route – the filling is also great over brown rice or spaghetti squash.