This vegan sloppy joe is incredible and you won't believe it's not like a regular Manwich sloppy joe. If you are looking for a burger that is low-fat, delicious and kid-approved this is the burger for you!
When I was a kid, my mom made Manwich Sloppy Joes. But, of course, our parents poisoned us with SpaghettiOs and 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 healthy vegan versions of the food my family loved, I won the battle, and everyone joined my plant-based journey.
One of my first successes was a vegan sloppy joes recipe. As a result, vegan sloppy joes are one of my family's favorite meals.
Even though traditional sloppy joes don't contain any vegetables, I've added other vegetables to my vegan sloppy joes other than an onion. Also, instead of using ketchup, I use a combination of ingredients that are healthier and tastier than ketchup.
- Baby portobello mushrooms
- White onion
- Red bell pepper
- Celery stalks
- Cooked lentils (I used Trader Joe's steamed, cooked lentils)
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Pure Maple Syrup
- Chili Powder
- Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
- Organic Tomato Paste
- Montreal Steak Seasoning
Step by Step to Making Vegan Sloppy Joes
These sloppy joes are easy to make, and they all cook in one skillet. Like 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. 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. The mixture will thicken as the moisture from the tomatoes and vegetables cooks down.
I used Annie's Worcestershire Sauce, but any vegan Worcestershire will work. The combination of the pure maple syrup and the Worcestershire sauce's tanginess 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.
Easy Meal Prepping!
Since I prefer to plan, I made vegan sloppy joes to heat them quickly for dinner. Leaving the flavors to brew in the refrigerator makes the vegan sloppy joes better.
Substitutions, Freezing, & Reheating
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. Believe it or not, the bread in the bakery section of the local grocery store carries a lot of oil-free bread options. So, stay out of the bread aisle and check out the bakery bread.
Other Oil-Free Bread Options
- 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
Gluten-Free Bread Options
- Ezekiel / Food for Life (check the label; most are gluten-free)
- Kinnikinnick Foods
- Manna Organics
- Mission Corn Tortillas
- Nature's Own
- New Grains Bakery
To freeze sloppy joes, 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 one 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. So, 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 Related Dishes? Check these out.
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Vegan Sloppy Joes
- 16 small diced baby portobello mushrooms
- 1 can organic drained black beans or pinto beans
- 1 cup White Onion diced
- 2 cloves minced Garlic
- 2 small diced Red 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]
- Vegan Hamburger Buns choice
- Saute Vegetables:Sauté garlic and onion in a large skillet until translucent.
- Add red pepper and celery; cook for approximately three more minutes.
- Add mushrooms, and cook until brown and liquid dissipates.
- Add cooked lentils
- Add all remaining ingredients: black beans (or pinto beans), red wine vinegar, maple syrup, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste.
- Let simmer.
- As the ingredients simmer, the consistency will thicken.
- If you make it ahead, place a top on the pan and place it in the refrigerator.
- Re-heat when ready to serve
- Using a vegan bun, toast and pile a large scoop of sloppy joes on the bun.
- Top with your favorite toppings. I served with sprouts.
- Popular toppers: Coleslaw, pickles, tomatoes, onions; the possibilities are endless.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂