Taco Joes (Healthier, Taco-inspired Sloppy Joes)

This evening I couldn’t decide if I wanted to make Sloppy Joes or Taco Filling, so decided to combine the two into a kicked-up version of Sloppy Joes with a little South of the Border inspiration. It was quick, easy, and flavorful. It was also packed with protein and lower in fat because I used lentils in place of extra meat. I made it with ground venison, but you could easily use lower-fat beef or other ground meat. Dinner in a hurry, anyone?

Taco Joes
by A Chat Over Coffee

What You’ll Need:

  • one cup of dry brown lentils
  • a tablespoon or two of cooking oil (needed for very lean meat like venison, maybe not needed for beef or other meats)
  • 1 pound ground venison (or other lean ground meat)
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 2 dashes ground red pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 14.5 oz cans salsa style fire roasted tomatoes
Taco Joes (South of the Border Sloppy Joes) are a healthier option for a quick, easy, flavorful supper. | A Chat Over Coffee

Taco Joes (South of the Border Sloppy Joes) are a healthier option for a quick, easy, flavorful supper. | A Chat Over Coffee

What to Do:

  1. In a medium sauce pot, cook the lentils in boiling water until the lentils are soft, then drain the lentils.
  2. In a larger pot, cook the meat (in the oil, if needed) until browned and crumbled. Add the lentils and spices and stir to thoroughly combine.
  3. Add the tomatoes and stir to thoroughly combine. Simmer for a few minutes to let the flavors marry.
  4. Serve on toasted buns. Makes enough filling for approximately 12 sandwiches.

Taco Joes go together quickly and the ingredients are things I routinely keep in my pantry. If you’re looking for something healthier and family-friendly for supper, this is a yummy option!

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Update: This post was shared at Taco Tuesday Blog Hop #1, The Art of Home-Making Mondays #115, Home Matters # 96, Happiness is Homemade (7/24/16), and What’s for Dinner? Sunday #54.

This post was featured at Taco Tuesday #2.

It's an honor to be featured at Taco Tuesday by The Lazy Gastronome! | A Chat Over Coffee

15 responses to “Taco Joes (Healthier, Taco-inspired Sloppy Joes)

  1. It’s funny but this is more like the sloppy Joe’s I grew up with but we called them hot tamales, don’t ask me why. No lentils, but ground meat (could of been beef, could of been venison) seasoned with tomato sauce (sometimes stewed tomatoes) and chili powder. My husband grew up with the sweet and sour version (catsup and brown sugar etc). We go with those now and we call them sloppy joes. Now everybody knows what tacos are but I never had one until I was in college. Or a burrito. Or salsa.

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