Vegan Sloppy Joes

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Grab a couple cans of whatever beans you’ve got in the pantry, and whip up these easy and seriously tasty vegan sloppy Joes!

Some recipes are really tough to veganize. With others it can be done countless ways, and they all taste good.

Case in point: vegan sloppy Joes. You can use so many different ingredients to replace the meat! The sauce is the important part, and aside from that, all you need is some sloppy vegan food thing to put into your sauce.

For these sloppy Joes, you can use just about any can of beans you’ve got hanging around as your main ingredient. And since this is a two-can recipe, you can mix and match. Why not, it’s more fun that way?

So, lets talk about how these are made!

Jump to:
  • What You’ll Need
  • How to Make Vegan Sloppy Joes
  • Vegan Sloppy Joe Tips & FAQ
  • More Easy Vegan Dinners
  • Video!
  • Vegan Sloppy Joes

What You’ll Need

  • Olive oil. Feel free to substitute another high-heat oil.
  • Onion.
  • Bell pepper. You only need one, and any color works! I usually go for red.
  • Carrot.
  • Garlic.
  • Beans. Black beans, kidney beans, navy beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, pintos, and/or brown lentils would all be awesome choices.
  • Water.
  • Tomato paste.
  • Red wine vinegar. Apple cider vinegar works as well!
  • Vegan Worcestershire sauce. Annie’s, Edward & Sons, and Whole Foods Brands are all vegan.
  • Soy sauce. Substitute gluten-free tamari for gluten-free sloppy Joes!
  • Brown sugar. Use organic to keep the recipe vegan.
  • Liquid smoke. You can leave this out if you’re not a fan.
  • Chili powder.
  • Salt & pepper.
  • Burger buns. Dave’s Killer Bread burger buns are my favorite!

How to Make Vegan Sloppy Joes

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

  1. Heat up some oil in a large pot, then add diced onion, pepper, carrot and garlic. Sweat the veggies for a few minutes until they begin to soften up.
  2. Now you can add almost everything else! A couple cans of beans (drained and rinsed), water, tomato paste, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, liquid smoke and chili powder. Stir everything together.
  3. Let the mixture simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, giving it a stir every so often. You can add a bit more water if it thickens up too much.
  4. The mixture is finished cooking when the sauce is thick and the veggies are soft.

Stuff your vegan sloppy Joe filling into buns and pile on your choice of toppings. I like to use pickle slices and fried onions.

Vegan Sloppy Joe Tips & FAQ

  • Can this recipe be made gluten-free? Yup! Just substitute gluten-free tamari for soy sauce and use your favorite vegan and gluten-free burger buns.
  • The filling for these keeps well and can be made up to two days in advance. Store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
  • Adjust the seasonings to your taste! Not a fan of smoky flavor? Leave the liquid smoke out. Like a little heat? Add some cayenne pepper or hot sauce.
  • You can make this recipe with leftover beans if you’ve got some pre-cooked. I often make it with leftover lentils I’ve got hanging around. Whatever you use, just be sure to go with two 14 or 15 ounce cans, or about 3 and ¾ cups.
  • Don’t feel like regular old sloppy Joe sandwiches? Switch things up and stuff the filling into a sweet potato or use it to top some fries or a vegan hot dog — store bought or homemade, like my carrot dogs, portobello dogs or marinated tofu franks.

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