The other day I read a post from a blogger with a list of reasons why they didn’t like the Instant Pot. Chief among them was the fact that something billed as a 15 minute recipe actually takes much longer than that, because you have to allow for the pressure to build, and in many cases, to release naturally, which also takes time. In the end this person decided to pass their IP on to someone else, which of course was their prerogative (cue Bobby Brown song).
So, I’m going to be up-front about something right here, right now. This recipe for Instant Pot Vegan Sloppy Joes (that’s a mouthful) has a cooking time of 13 minutes, but it will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure, and about 25 minutes for the pressure to release naturally when the cooking time is up. So, it’s about an hour-long recipe when it’s all said and done. But, friends, the majority of that hour requires NO ATTENTION FROM YOU. Zero. No monitoring the stove, no staying in the kitchen at all, for that matter. Go for a walk. Read a book. Do some dishes (that is SO not what I would do, but I should). Anyway…I’m sure the pros and cons of the Instant Pot could be debated all the live long day, but for me, the pros highly outweigh the cons. Here we go!
Ok, here’s a weird question. Do you like the ingredient photos in my posts? I love doing them, but they’re more for looks than anything else, since no one besides me would artfully lay out their lentils just so in order to show that they are part of a recipe. And I’ll probably keep doing them no matter what, but I was just curious if anyone else actually likes them. I have issues.
Getting these Sloppy Joes ready to cook is a snap – quickly chop some onions and bell peppers, and measure out the lentils and seasonings. The recipe calls for things that will most likely already be in your pantry, because I want to make your life easier. You’re welcome. Then you just saute onions and peppers in the Instant Pot, stir in the lentils, seasonings and liquid, lock the lid, set the timer, and wait.
If you are super prepared and already have some Vegan Ground Beef on hand, stir it in after you unlock the lid and let it simmer for for couple of minutes before serving. It’ll add that ground beefy texture and some extra nutrition and no one will be the wiser. This is a perfect thing to serve to carnivores, because they won’t believe you when you tell them there is no meat. If you’re not super prepared (like me) you can make it while the Sloppy Joes are cooking and freeze the extra to use later (there will be lots). Whether you add it or not, these are super tasty and filling.
For fun, I plated these with red bell pepper “fries”, because I think we can all agree that Sloppy Joes are of the brown and ugly food variety. But it also made me feel healthier too, so there’s that. 🙂 My other favorite thing to do is top them with Vegan Southwestern Coleslaw, because HELLO, creamycrunchspicy deliciousness. Or serve some Vegan Southwestern Potato Salad on the side. I totally want it to be summer already. Watermelon…fresh tomatoes from the garden…GAH. I can’t think about it anymore.
So, friends, pull out your Instant Pot or other pressure cooker and whip up these tasty plant-based Sloppy Joes! They are worth the effort, in my oh so humble opinion. Oh and it freezes well too, in case you have extra. And when you make em’, leave me a comment here a or tag @eatwithinyourmeans/#eatwithinyourmeans on Instagram. Sharing is caring, dontcha know. 😉
Instant Pot Vegan Sloppy Joes
- 1 cup green/brown lentils
- 1 cup red lentils
- 3 cups water
- 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes (I love the Muir Glen Fire Roasted variety)
- 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 Tablespoons Vegan Worcestershire sauce (I love The Wizard’s brand or Annie’s Naturals)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 1 sweet bell pepper or poblano pepper (chopped)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil or grapeseed oil (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup (optional)
- 1 cup Vegan Ground Beef (optional)
- Sauté onion, salt, and bell pepper for 3 minutes.
- Add cumin and oregano and cook for 1 minute.
- Add tomato paste and stir to coat and cook for another minute or two.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir throughly, making sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Bring to high pressure and cook for 13 minutes.
- Allow for a natural release, stir, and serve over toasted hamburger buns.
- Optional: Stir in 1 cup of vegan ground beef after pressure is released and simmer on sauté function before serving.
Heads up, these nutrition facts don’t include the bun or any additional toppings. They are based on 1/8 of the recipe, about 1 cup.