When I was a kid, my mom made “Manwich” Sloppy Joes. Of course, we were also poisoned with SpaghettiOs as well as ring bologna. And, we lived. After becoming plant-based, I struggled to get my family on board. Fortunately, once I figured out how to make vegan healthy versions of the food my family liked, I won the battle and everyone joined my plight. As a result, vegan sloppy joes are one of my family’s favorite meals.
Even though traditional sloppy joes don’t contain any vegetables, other than an onion, I have added additional vegetables to my vegan sloppy joes. Instead of using ketchup, I use a combination of ingredients, which are healthier and tastier than ketchup.
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN VEGAN SLOPPY JOES?
- 16 small, diced baby portobello mushrooms
- 1 white onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 2 cups cooked lentils (I used Trader Joes steamed, cooked lentils)
- 1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoon Pure Maple Syrup
- 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Organic Tomato Paste
- 1 Tablespoon Montreal Steak Seasoning
STEPS IN COOKING VEGAN SLOPPY JOES RECIPE
Not only are vegan sloppy joes easy to make, but it all also cooks in one skillet. Similar to many of my one-pot recipes, vegan sloppy joes are cooked in stages to keep the vegetables and other ingredients from becoming overcooked. And, if you are looking for a quick and easy way to cut your veggies, I strongly suggest investing in an inexpensive vegetable chopper.
First, I saute the onions and the garlic until the onions are translucent. Then, I add the mushrooms, celery, and red bell peppers.
My version of sloppy Joes caters to both adults and children. The combination of flavors is what makes it so wonderful. Loaded with a lot of vegetables, this sandwich fools the average carnivore. In fact, I served this at a party once and no one realized the “meat,” was mushrooms.
Once the vegetables are sauteed, add the rest of the ingredients. As the moisture from the tomatoes and vegetables cooks down, the mixture will thicken.
I used Annie’s Worcestershire Sauce, but any vegan Worcestershire will work. The combination of the pure maple syrup and the tanginess of the Worcestershire sauce works well with the garlic and tomato paste to create a beautiful sauce. I like to add a diced jalapeño for a hint of spice, but if you don’t like it hot, don’t add the jalapeno.
MEAL PREPPING MAKES COOKING AND PLANNING MUCH EASIER
Since I prefer to plan ahead, I made vegan sloppy joes, so I could heat them up easily for dinner. As a matter of fact, leaving the flavors to brew in the refrigerator only makes the vegan sloppy joes better.
SUBSTITUTIONS, FREEZING AND REHEATING VEGAN SLOPPY JOES
If you are avoiding bread, by all means, use a lettuce wrap for your sloppy joes. Although most bread is vegan, not all bread is oil-free. If you are following an oil-free diet, there are a variety of oil-free bread as well as gluten-free options sold in the supermarket.
- Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 bread, English muffins, and tortillas
- Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Tuscan Pane
- Trader Joe’s Corn and Wheat Tortillas
- Vermont Bread Company (get the organic whole wheat varieties)
- Engine 2 Tortillas
- Ezekiel / Food for Life (check the label; most are gluten-free)
- Kinnikinnick Foods
- Manna Organics
- Mission Corn Tortillas
- Nature’s Own
- New Grains Bakery
In order to freeze vegan sloppy joes, make sure you leave an inch of air between the top of your freezer container to avoid freezer burn. However, vegan sloppy joes will last in the refrigerator for 1 week, which has NEVER happened at my house.
Although I have fond memories of childhood “Manwich” sloppy joes, vegan sloppy joes are hearty and tasty. If you are struggling to make vegan dishes your whole family enjoys, give this one a try. My kids love it, and I never have enough left to freeze for later.
Of course, you should serve vegan sloppy joes with Steak Fries; Air Fried and Crispy, Skinny AF Sweet Potato Fries, or Oven Baked Fries & Perfect Crispy Oil-Free and Garlic.
LOOKING FOR RECIPES THE WHOLE FAMILY WILL LOVE? CHECK OUT THESE RECIPES:
- Veggie Stuffed Shells
- Vegan Lasagna
- Vegan Hungarian Goulash
- The Best Ultimate Vegan Lentil Black Bean Burrito Ever
- Mushroom & Chorizo Tacos
- Mexican Lasagna
- Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo
- Vegan Meatloaf Meatless Lentils!
- Creamy Spicy Vegan Sausage Pasta
- Skinny Oil-Free Pizza Sauce and Pizza Dough
- Kathy’s Yummy Vegan Chili Mac; Kid Tested; Mother Approved
- Vegan Enchiladas