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A man holding a burger with lentils.

Vegan Loose Meat Sandwich

These Vegan Copycat Sloppy Joes combine earthy mushrooms and lentils with roast capsicum, spices and chopped spinach to create a full-bodied meatless bun.
Course Lunch/Dinner
Servings 6


  • 200 grams Swiss mushrooms chopped in to small pieces (think mince meat texture)
  • 1 x 400 ml can lentils drained and rinsed
  • 20 grams dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup 60ml boiling water
  • 200 ml a half can canned chopped tomatoes 
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon 20ml soy or tamari sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • a good handful of baby spinach finely chopped
  • 2 -3 bullhorn peppers or one large red capsicum
  • 6 small burger buns
  • sea salt to your taste


  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Slice the peppers in half and remove the core and seeds. Slice in to ribbons, drizzle with a little oil and place on a roasting tray. Roast for 20 minutes or until soft. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, pour boiling water over the dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl, stir, and set aside for 10 minutes. 
  • In a small pan, heat the oil on medium heat and add the garlic. Cook for one minute before adding the bay leaves, paprika and oregano. Cook for another thirty seconds.
  • Add the chopped mushrooms and stir to coat. Cook the mushrooms for three minutes until they are beginning to soften. 
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and strain the mushroom liquid from the porcini mushrooms in to the pot. Add the soy sauce and stir through.
  • Finely chop the now hydrated porcini mushrooms and add them to the pot too.
  • Add the lentils and stir through.
  • Cook the mixture for around 20 minutes or until the liquid has cooked down and the mixture resembles a beef ragu. 
  • Take it off the heat and stir in the chopped spinach leaves.
  • To assemble the sloppy joes, lightly toast the burger buns on a griddle. Lay a few pepper ribbons on the bun base and top with a good few spoonfuls of the ragu. Top with the bun top and serve.