- 1 1/2 cup brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 1 yellow onion, diced (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 1 red bell pepper, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 (6-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
- 8 whole wheat hamburger buns
- 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until onion is golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add chili powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne and tomato paste. Cook, stirring constantly, until spices and tomato paste are fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add vinegar and then use a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Add 2 cups water, garlic, apricots and crushed tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low and let sauce simmer until it thickens, at least 30 minutes.
When lentils are cooked, drain off any excess cooking liquid. Add lentils to the pan with sauce; stir well to combine. Mash some or all of the lentils using a wooden spoon. Toast hamburger buns in the oven, if desired. Ladle 1 cup of the lentil mixture on each toasted bun and serve.
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