Sloppy Joes (using only 1 lb of ground beef for all 6 of us!)

Main Dishes | June 19, 2013 | By

sloppy joeI have a confession.

I put lentils in my sloppy joes.

My kids think this is normal.

I realize it is not….made evident when one of my son’s friends was over for dinner and asked, “what are those little round things in our sloppy joes?”

Meat is expensive, especially the kind I purchase (grassfed, no chemicals, pastured, etc). So, for our family of 6, I have various tricks up my sleeve to stretch the meat as far as possible.

For example, when I make tacos, I usually do 1 lb ground beef mixed with black beans.

And for my sloppy joes, I throw in some lentils. I promise that if you already eat a few “weird” things, your kids probably won’t even notice. I dare you to try it.

Here’s how I make it happen:


1 lb ground beef (best quality you can find)

1 cup  (or so?) of lentils, cooked until soft (I’ve used either green or red lentils with good results – I’m sure any would work).

1/4 cup onion, chopped small

2 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup ketchup

1/8 cup mustard

1/8 cup water (or more, if needed)

1 1/2 Tbsp sucanat (or other natural sweetener)

3/4 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce (optional)

salt and pepper to taste


1. Cook the ground beef, onions and garlic until cooked through.

2. At the same time, cook the lentils. I had soaked mine the night before so they cooked fast. If you forget to do that, it will just take a bit longer. Drain them once they are cooked and soft. (Note: some of you might see that I actually used SPROUTED lentils in this above recipe – see the little “tails” on my lentils?). I had some left over from another recipe I was making, so I just cooked the sprouted lentils. For more on sprouted lentils, see my post on that at Sprouted Lentil Salad.

3. Mix the meat mixture and lentils together in pan. Add remaining ingredients until mixed well. Taste it and add anything more you think it might need (usually salt).

4. Serve on buns and enjoy!


Do you sneak anything weird into your family’s meals?


This is shared at: Weekend Whatever, Hearth & Soul Hop, Weekend Wonders



  1. Leave a Reply

    mis kay
    January 20, 2014

    Very good idea! šŸ™‚ thx. I will add this to my tricks for stretching stuff. I also have a tendency to add shredded carrot, turnips, zucchinni, and/or squash to sloppy Joes, spaghetti, chili and such šŸ™‚

    • Leave a Reply

      January 22, 2014

      Awesome! Good additions to spaghetti, chili and others stuff too! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Leave a Reply

    September 20, 2013

    My family loves lentils. By far the best bean. This sounds so amazing I cant wait to try it….

  3. Leave a Reply

    August 13, 2013

    Great idea. I’ve made vegan joes (using lentils) and they were NOT a hit. I may try this next time to stretch that meat.

    • Leave a Reply

      August 15, 2013

      Thanks for stopping by! Let me know how it turns out for you!

  4. Leave a Reply

    April @ The 21st Century Housewife
    August 5, 2013

    I think adding lentils to Sloppy Joes is a great idea – it boosts the nutrition, adds flavour and is frugal too. Thank you for sharing your recipe with the Hearth and Soul hop.

    • Leave a Reply

      July 31, 2013

      Thanks Robin! Stop back and let me know how it goes! Thanks for visiting – hope to see you back next week too!

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