Not Your Average Joe

Of all the foods that Americans try to claim as their own, the Sloppy Joe may be one of the few that an actually trace their roots back to the good old U.S. of A. First referenced in the 1930’s and attributed to a cook only credited as “Joe,” it has humble beginnings befitting of original description of “loose meat sandwiches.” Doesn’t that just sound finger-licking good?

Many similar dishes exist abroad, owing largely to the simplicity of the concept, but few would recognize the childhood staple outside of these United States. However, the idea is still as foreign to me as tikka masala. I certainly enjoy it and appreciate its unique nuances, but can’t quite put my finger on what makes the best renditions so great. I must have been at least 20 years old before I ever assembled my own meatless melange. My mom never made it for our family meals, and I didn’t know enough to ask.

Lacking that essential reference point, it would be some bold claim to say that my illegitimate version is the best… But feels entirely fitting for this modern recipe revival.

That’s because instead of using the predictable, one-note tomato sauce base, I’ve pumped up the flavor volume with The Beet Goes On sauce from Bold Palate Foods. With a natural, subtle sweetness, deeply earthy savory notes, and bright spices, it’s a dynamite starter for any daring dining adventure. Simmered into an equally hearty and heart-healthy base of tender lentils and chopped cauliflower, there’s no contest when comparing nutritional stats.

Though you could very happily slap this thick stew on a bun and call it a dinner, I love the snappy, tangy bite of dill pickles on top. Conventional garnishes might call for a slice of day-glow orange American cheese, but I prefer to go bold, pouring No Cows on This Ranch dressing all over instead. It’s hard to beat that creamy, cooling, herbaceous contrast.

Tired of toting such big buns? Alternate serving suggestions run the gamut from spaghetti to baked potatoes, french fries, or even tacos. No need to stick to the beaten path when brighter, bolder, and smarter options are out there.

Be bold, and enjoy with reckless abandon.

Yield: Makes 4 Servings

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes

Simmering a subtly sweet, deeply earthy beet sauce into tender lentils and chopped cauliflower makes this meatless marvel both boldly flavorful AND brilliantly nutritious.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


Sloppy Joes:

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Yellow Onion, Finely Diced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, Seeded and Diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Pound Riced Cauliflower
  • 1 1/2 Cups Cooked Brown or Green Lentils
  • 1 (8-Ounce) Can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 (8-Ounce) Bottle Bold Palate The Beet Goes On
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Aminos
  • 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt

To Serve: (Optional)

  • 4 Hamburger Buns
  • Sliced Dill Pickles
  • Bold Palate No Cows on This Ranch


    1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, add the oil, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook until soft and beginning to brown, stirring frequently, for 4 - 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook until tender; 4 - 5 minutes longer. Incorporate the lentils, tomato sauce, beet sauce, tomato paste, aminos, paprika, and salt, mixing to thoroughly combine.
    2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently, cooking until the sauce is slightly thickened and bubbling; 4 - 6 minutes.
    3. Divide the sloppy Joe mixture between 4 hamburger buns and top each sandwich with pickles and ranch, if desired. Serve immediately, piping hot.


Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 - 7 days.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 322Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 894mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 9gSugar: 13gProtein: 13g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.

This post was made possible thanks to Bold Palate Foods. My opinions can not be bought and all content is original. This page may contain affiliate links; thank you for supporting my blog!

7 thoughts on “Not Your Average Joe

  1. This made me smile, Hannah, as just a short time ago my husband mentioned I hadn’t made sloppy joes for a very long time. So we had them earlier this week, although they were meat-based. These sound quite good too.


  2. I can’t tell you how many times I have made this and for how many people. I can tell you that your recipe is loved by absolutely everyone who tastes this dish. Thank you for a real keeper of a recipe.

    1. I’m so thrilled to hear that, Sheryl! Thank you so much. It really makes my day to know that you’re enjoying it. :)

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