Fireworks Vegan-ish Sloppy Joe's with Steakhouse Butter

I'm always on the hunt for kid and family friendly recipes, showcasing Fireworks chefs butters. Ordinarily I wouldn't put lentils in the family friendly category, however we are on a spree with some winning lentil recipes. Here, I'm sharing a meatless main dish adapted from the Oh She Glows For Dinners Cookbook, which is mostly vegan, save for the butter on the buns. You can save time on this recipe by using canned lentils. I only recently learned there was such a thing and that they actually taste pretty great right from the can. No harm no foul. Another quick tip is the tomato sauce. It is most definitely a pantry staple that I'm likely to restock each week after trying this winning recipe. I have two kids who don't do tomatoes of any kind, except ketchup. However, they don't know tomato sauce (or strained tomatoes) is actually ketchup without the sugar and thickeners.

This recipe serves 4-6

Lentils Ingredients (I like to make extra for salad toppers so this is doubled)

  • 3 cups water

  • 1 1/2 cup red or brown lentils or whatever color you like, well rinsed (red lentils for quicker/more tender result or green lentils for more bite/texture)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • * 1 14 oz can of lentils equals 1 1/2 Cups cooked lentils 

Sloppy Joe's Ingredients

2 Tbs Olive oil

4- 6 Hamburger buns (We like the brioche kind)

1 medium red onion, half sliced thinly for topping on the bun, half diced small for the lentil mixture

4 med. garlic cloves minced

2 tsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

1 3/4 cups tomato sauce

3/4 cup jarred roasted red peppers, diced small

1/2 cup oil packed unsalted sun dried tomatoes, drained, chopped small

1 14 oz can lentils, drained and rinsed (or homemade lentils)

2-3 tbs Worcestershire sauce

2-3 tbs Fireworks Steakhouse butter, room temp 

1-2 tbs brown sugar, to taste

1 tsp salt


Fresh Ground Pepper to taste

* Optional 1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar to taste

Fresh romaine leaves for topping

Pickles for topping


1. Make lentils if you choose to do so, set aside until step 4. Heat oven to 400.

2. Heat skillet over medium heat and saute onion and garlic 4-5 minutes until soft. It's important that the onions are soft here so make sure they've released all their juices.

3. Stir in the flavoring powders and cook one minute more.

4. Add all the wet ingredients and salt, sugar and pepper. Not the butter. Bring to a rapid simmer by raising the heat to medium high to thicken sauce slightly. Lower heat after 5 minutes or so. Then gently simmer, uncovered, 5 more minutes.

5. While the lentil mixture is simmering, bake the buns. First, evenly spread the Steakhouse butter on each side of buns. Bake for 4-5 minutes. the buns should feel toasted and butter will melt.

6. Next, taste for the lentils doneness, add vinegar if using, more Worcestershire, salt, sugar if needed.

7. Serve with a big dollop of lentil sloppy joe mixture on the bottom of each bun. Garnish with pickles, red onion slices and romaine leaves. Sizzle. Spread. Boom.