Jump to Recipe Jump to Video
5 from 1 vote

Whip up these easy vegan sloppy joes for a quick, nutritious meal. These hearty sandwiches, made with pantry staples, come together in just 30 minutes, making them perfect for easy weeknight dinners.

Hands holding a sloppy joes with sprouts and a bean patty on a wooden board.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Nostalgic: This vegan take on the classic sloppy joe brings a comforting taste of childhood into a health-conscious era, making each bite a delightful trip down memory lane.
  • Flavorful: Packed with a harmonious blend of spices, savory vegetables, and a tangy tomato base, these sloppy joes deliver robust flavors that satisfy your taste buds.
  • Nutritious: Rich in plant-based protein from lentils and full of vitamins from fresh vegetables, this recipe not only fills you up but also fuels your body with essential nutrients.

Nutrition For Mental Wellbeing

Brown lentils are a staple in this recipe. Per cup, they contain 39.9g of carbohydrates, 15.6g of fiber, 17.9g of protein, and 0.8g of fat. They are rich in polyphenols, thiamine, vitamin B6, vitamin B5, folate, iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and manganese. Brown lentils are also a good source of niacin, magnesium, and potassium.

Brown lentils are rich in vitamin B6. A randomized control trial showed that supplementing with vitamin B6 reduced anxiety and depression symptoms. They are also a great source of polyphenols. Polyphenols have been shown to improve depression.

Ingredients

Enjoy the vegan version of traditional sloppy joes using the best plant-based ingredients for the best authentic sloppy joe flavor.

An assortment of cooking ingredients including lentils, chopped onions, tomatoes, and spices arranged neatly on a wooden table.
  • Brown Lentils: A staple in plant-based cooking, brown lentils are rich in protein and fiber, making them an excellent base for these vegan sloppy joes.
  • Water: Used to cook the lentils until they are tender, providing the perfect texture for the filling.
  • Avocado Oil: Chosen for its mild flavor and high smoke point, it is ideal for sautéing onions and bell peppers.
  • Onion: Adds a fundamental layer of flavor to the dish, becoming sweet and translucent as it cooks.
  • Bell Pepper: Bell pepper introduces a slight crunch and vibrant color, enhancing the visual appeal and nutritional content of the sloppy joes.
  • Garlic: Essential for its aromatic qualities, garlic deepens the flavor profile with its distinctive taste.
  • Chili Powder: Gives the sloppy joes a smoky undertone and a touch of heat, integral to the dish’s overall flavor.
  • Salt: Used to enhance the natural flavors of the other ingredients and balance the sweetness of the tomato and maple syrup.
  • Black Pepper: Ground black pepper adds a slight kick and depth of flavor, rounding out the spiciness of the chili powder.
  • Tomato Sauce: This sauce serves as the base of the sloppy joe, providing a rich and tangy backdrop that ties all the flavors together.
  • Tomato Paste: Thickens the sauce and intensifies the tomato flavor, making the sloppy joe mixture robust and hearty.
  • Dijon Mustard: Introduces a tangy complexity to the sauce, offering a subtle sharpness that complements the sweetness.
  • Maple Syrup: Adds a natural sweetness that balances the acidity of the tomato sauce, enhancing the overall depth of flavor in the dish.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these simple step-by-step instructions for the perfect lentil sloppy joes.

  1. Boil water in a small pot. Add lentils and simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender. Strain and set aside. 
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté onions and bell pepper for 4-5 minutes until they start to soften. Add garlic, chili powder, black pepper, salt and sauté for another 1-2 minutes. 
  1. Pour tomato sauce and remaining ingredients, including the cooked lentils, and stir until well combined.
  1. Simmer on medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes until sauce reaches desired consistency. 
  1. Serve on hamburger buns, and enjoy!

Recipe Variations

Enjoy this vegan sloppy joes recipe as is, or make changes as needed. Here are some options.

  • Sweetener: If you don’t have maple syrup, you can use brown sugar or coconut sugar instead. 
  • “Meat”: If you don’t have brown lentils or aren’t a fan, you could use ground-up walnuts, Beyond meat, green lentils, or red lentils. However, red lentils will break down a lot, so keep that in mind. 
  • Bell Pepper: You can use any bell pepper color you like, whether it be green, red, orange, yellow, or green pepper. 
  • Spice: You could add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper for even more heat.
  • Oil: This recipe uses avocado oil, but you can use coconut oil or olive oil if that is what you have on hand. 
Close-up of hands holding a sloppy joe sandwich with alfalfa sprouts and sliced onions, wrapped in paper.

Servings Ideas

This hearty sandwich is delicious served on whole wheat burger buns or even in a lettuce wrap.

Toppings

  • Dill Pickles: Add dill pickles on top for a delightful crunch. 
  • Slaw: ​Vegan Cole Slaw is a great topping on this vegan sloppy joe sandwich.
  • Onion: ​Thin-sliced red onion adds a welcomed crunch and bite to this tasty recipe. 

Sides

Storage Tips

Keep any leftover sloppy joe filling in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. For longer storage, freeze the mixture in a glass container for up to a month.

Two sloppy joe burgers topped with sprouts and sliced red onions on a wooden serving board.

FAQ 

What is the sloppy joe sauce made of? 

The sauce is a blend of tomato sauce, tomato paste, Dijon mustard, spices, and maple syrup for a perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors.

What is a fancy name for a sloppy joe? 

Some people refer to them as “Manwich” or “Sloppy Janes” when made with different ingredients.

What’s the best meat alternative for vegan sloppy joes? 

Beyond meat, soy curls, or vegan ground beef, ground walnut, or lentils are great alternatives for a meaty texture.

A sloppy joe sandwich topped with sprouts and red onions, served on a wooden board against a dark textured background.

Recipe

Woman picking up a sloppy joes burger.
5 from 1 vote

Vegan Sloppy Joes

Yield 6 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
These hearty sloppy joes are made with pantry staples. They come together in just 30 minutes, making them perfect for easy weeknight dinners.

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup brown lentils, uncooked
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 1 15- ounce tomato sauce, can
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Instructions 

  • Boil water in a small pot. Add lentils and simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender. Strain and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté onions and bell pepper for 4-5 minutes until they start to soften. Add garlic, chili powder, black pepper, salt and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Pour tomato sauce and remaining ingredients, including the cooked lentils, and stir until well combined.
  • Simmer on medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes until sauce reaches desired consistency.
  • Serve on hamburger buns, and enjoy!

Video

Notes

Please read through the above blog post for helpful tips and tricks!

Nutrition

Calories: 188kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 0.4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 935mg, Potassium: 665mg, Fiber: 12g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 933IU, Vitamin C: 22mg, Calcium: 55mg, Iron: 4mg
A lentil burger with sprouts and red onion on a whole wheat bun, served on parchment paper against a dark background.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




2 Comments