Pickle-ific Lentil Sloppy Joes

How to make a probiotic lentil sloppy joes with fermented vegetables

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Lentil sloppy joes are rich, satisfying, and delicious. The secret to the amazing flavor of this classic comfort meal is pickles! See the section above for a few other serving suggestions.


Units Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups of dried brown or green lentils
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 cup dill pickle brine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can of tomato paste (5.5 oz)
  • 2 Tbsp of soy sauce (or wheat-free tamari)
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Salt, to taste (will depend on the saltiness of the brine)
  • 6 to 8 dill pickles, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 hamburger buns or 8 slices of bread


  1. Rinse the lentils, then boil in a large pot until they are soft, but not mushy, about 15 minutes. In the meantime, wash and dice the vegetables.
  2. When the lentils are cooked, pour them into a strainer and rinse out the soup pot. 
  3. Return the pot to the stove and add the oil and onions. Saute on medium heat, until the onions are starting to soften. Add the carrots and garlic. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes, then add the green pepper and chili powder. Saute until the chili powder is fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the pickle brine, water, tomato paste, and soy sauce to the pot. Stir until the tomato paste is well mixed into the liquid. Add the lentils, herbs, and spices. Bring everything to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the carrots are soft and the flavors are well blended. Turn off the heat.
  5. Taste, and add salt, if needed.
  6. Serve lentil sloppy joes on an untoasted bun and top with diced dill pickles.


  • I tested this recipe with homemade fermented pickles and store-bought vinegar pickles. It was delicious both ways! However, I did need to add more salt when using store-bought pickles.
  • While white hamburger buns are traditional for sloppy joes, there are other options! See the section above for a few of our favorite alternatives.
  • We use a not-so-spicy chili powder. Feel free to switch the chili powder to paprika if you want to avoid the spice altogether.