Try our vegan sloppy joes for a plant-based twist on the classic, all-American sandwich! Our easy sloppy joe vegan recipe is made with pantry staples and comes together in less than 30 minutes – perfect for busy weeknights!
We’ll use lentils instead of ground beef to make this vegan version of the childhood staple. Lentils are a great source of fiber and protein, so you can feel good about enjoying this vegan sloppy joe sandwich!
Vegan Sloppy Joe Recipe Ingredients:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 cups cooked green lentils
- 1/2 cup vegan ketchup
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 hamburger buns or rolls, split open
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent.
- Add the smoked paprika, lentils, ketchup, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Stir everything until the sauce has thickened slightly and the ingredients are combined – about 5 minutes.
- Toast your hamburger buns lightly, if desired.
- Spoon the mixture into the hamburger buns or rolls, and enjoy!
Serve your vegan sloppy joes with fries, chips, slaw, salad, or pickles for a complete meal. Alternatively, you could enjoy these sandwiches for a larger vegan cookout or picnic.
These sandwiches can also be made ahead, stored in an airtight container, and reheated when ready. Enjoy!
Tips & Substitutions
- If you don’t like lentils, other legumes, such as kidney beans or black beans, can be substituted. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- For an extra zing of flavor, add a teaspoon of hot sauce.
- Top your sandwiches with chopped onions, pickles, or even vegan bacon to add some crunch.
- If you don’t have smoked paprika, try substituting 1/2 teaspoon of chipotle powder for some heat.
- For a gluten-free version, use gluten-free hamburger buns or rolls.
- Add a bit of vegetable broth or water to make your sloppy joes extra saucy.
- White wine vinegar can be substituted if you don’t have apple cider vinegar.
- Double the recipe for larger crowds!
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 3 days—reheat before serving.
Want to make your sloppy joes even more special? Try the following variations.
- Add a tablespoon of vegan Worcestershire sauce for a bit of umami flavor.
- Use sweet potato instead of lentils for added sweetness and texture.
- Swap out the ketchup for barbecue sauce for a smoky flavor.
- Add a teaspoon of liquid smoke for an even smokier flavor.
- Use diced tomatoes instead of tomato sauce for added texture and nutrition.
- Mix in some finely chopped kale or spinach leaves for additional greens.
- Try adding some vegan cheese shreds before serving for an extra indulgent treat.
- Swap out the ketchup and smoked paprika for salsa and chili powder for a Mexican twist.
- Add diced bell peppers or mushrooms to make your sloppy joes more hearty.
- For an Asian-style version, use hoisin sauce instead of ketchup and add a teaspoon of grated ginger.
Tips for Meal Prep and Storage
Planning your meals can save you from last-minute cooking fuss. Here are some tips to make your vegan sloppy joes meal prep-friendly:
- Sloppy joe filling can be made and frozen for up to 3 months. Just thaw and reheat before serving.
- Preassemble your sloppy joes and wrap them individually for a leisurely grab-and-go lunch.
- The sloppy joe mix reheats well in a microwave or stovetop, making it ideal for packed lunches.
In addition to being incredibly delicious, vegan sloppy joes offer several health benefits:
- Lentils, rich in protein and fiber, feel full and aid digestion.
- Tomatoes are a great source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
- Onions and bell peppers add to the dish’s nutritional value by supplying vitamins C and K, folate, and potassium.
Enjoying Your Vegan Sloppy Joes
We hope you’ve found this vegan sloppy joe recipe helpful and inspiring. Now, it’s your turn to step into the kitchen and give it a whirl! Do you think you might try the barbecue version? Or perhaps the Mexican twist has captured your imagination? Whatever you choose, we’d love to hear from you.
Please rate this recipe and let us know what you think. 🌟 Was it easy to follow? 🍽️ Did the result taste as good as you’d hoped? 😋 Your feedback is valuable to us.
And remember, food is an adventure we’re thrilled to share with you! 🚀 Don’t be shy – experiment, have fun, and even make a mess. The kitchen is your playground. 🎉
Thank you for being a part of our friendly foodie community. We can’t wait to hear about your culinary adventures. 🙌 Until our next tasty recipe, happy cooking! 🍳
Frequently Asked Questions
This sloppy joe recipe is vegan because it uses lentils instead of meat, and all the other ingredients used are plant-based.
You can freeze the sloppy joe mix for up to three months. Transfer it into an airtight container or freezer bag before storing it in the freezer. When ready to serve, thaw overnight in the fridge and follow the instructions given in this recipe. Enjoy! 🤗
While this recipe explicitly uses lentils, other beans, such as chickpeas or black beans, could be used. However, it may change the texture and flavor of the sloppy joes.
Any bread can be used for vegan sloppy joes. However, ensure the bread contains no animal-derived ingredients to keep it vegan.
If you’re allergic to tomatoes or don’t like them, you can mix red bell peppers and beetroot to give a similar texture and color.