A twist on a classic, these Vegan Sloppy Joes will knock your socks off! Loaded with lentils, a soy based crumble and spices, this one pot comfort food meal will satisfy the hunger bug every time!
Sloppy joes are a classic comfort food meal that’s traditionally made with ground beef, tomato sauce, onions and some simple spices.
I grew up on those and totally enjoyed them. These days, though, I often mix things up a bit and love to try vegan and vegetarian versions of some of my faves.
With the ingredients that I’m using for this vegan version, even meat lovers will devour them. Promise.
What Are The Ingredients for Vegan Sloppy Joes?
Well, what makes these vegan sloppy joes ‘vegan’?
For the main component of these meatless sloppy joes, I used canned lentils and Yves Veggie Ground (which is a soy-based crumble and resembles somewhat the look and texture of ground beef). This is not sponsored or anything, I just regularly enjoy this product.
I usually always have the soy-based crumble on hand because it freezes well too.
This healthy sloppy joe recipe takes about 20 minutes to make. Yep, 20 minutes! And it’s made in one pot for easy clean up. So, it’s awesome for an easy weekday dinner or make ahead meal for game day.
So, aside from canned lentils and the soy-based crumble, to make this easy sloppy joe recipe you’ll need –
- Olive oil
- Dried spices, like chili powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, and oregano, as well as some salt and black pepper
- Fresh chili (or cayenne)
- Tomato paste
- Veggie stock
- A touch of balsamic vinegar
- Burger buns (and any garnish that you enjoy)
How to Make Sloppy Joes With Lentils
1: Cook onion for a little until tender.
2: Add veggie ground round (soy based crumble) and cook a little.
3: Stir in lentils.
4: Add spices and fresh chili and cook for a few minutes
5: Stir in tomato paste and heat through.
6: Pour in stock and cook until heated through and you’ve reached your desired consistency.
7: Finish with balsamic vinegar. At this point, if you want a looser consistency, add a little more stock and heat through, if needed.
8: Pile on buns and garnish (if you like). Enjoy!
Full recipe details in recipe card below.
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What Type of Lentils to Use?
I used canned lentils in this recipe and I regularly have them stocked in our pantry. They are just so darn convenient, and super budget friendly.
Just make sure to rinse and drain them before using to get rid of any excess liquid and salt.
You can use dried lentils, if you prefer, but they take a little longer to prep. Just cook ’em first and then proceed with the recipe.
Can I Make These Lentil Sloppy Joes Ahead of Time?
Totally! You can easily make ahead and store in the refrigerator. Reheat when it’s time to enjoy.
You may just have to add a little stock to loosen to your desired consistency upon reheating.
Tips & Variations for Making these Meatless Sloppy Joes
If you want to add some veggies to your sloppy joes, some diced bell pepper would work lovely! Add when you start to cook onion so they soften a bit.
I used Thai chili pepper here, but you could omit or replace with cayenne powder to taste (if that’s what you have on hand).
I used veggie stock in this recipe, but mushroom stock would work lovely too.
If you want even more tomato flavour add another tablespoon or so of tomato paste. Alternatively, you can add some tomato sauce or ketchup to replace some or all of the stock.
Other Easy Lentil Recipes you may Enjoy
Cheesy Lentil Quesadillas – This hearty quesadilla recipe is delicious for a meatless meal all on its own or with a side salad.
Vegan Shepherd’s Pie – Such a delicious twist on a classic! Made with veggie ‘meat’ and lentils and topped with sweet potatoes, this is total comfort food in every bite.
Spicy Lentil Soup with Kale – Hearty, delicious and easy to prepare, this comforting soup will warm ya up on a cold day.
Slow Cooker Curried Lentils and Kale – Enjoy as is or with rice and naan for an even more substantial meal. Budget friendly and delicious!
Hope you love this homemade sloppy joe recipe as much as I do!
Until next time take care and chit chat again soon,
P.S. If you think these vegan sloppy joes will make your belly happy too, please be sure to hit that little Pin button. Many thanks, you guys! XO
Best Vegan Sloppy Joes (made in about 20 minutes)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion , peeled and roughly minced
- 340 grams soy based crumble (Veggie Ground Round)
- 19 ounce can of lentils , rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 Thai chili peppers , minced (or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup unsalted vegetable stock (or more for a looser consistency, if desired)
- 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 4 burger buns
Optional Suggested Garnishes
- vegan cheese shreds (to taste) (or regular if you want vegetarian)
- hot peppers (to taste)
- In a non stick pan on medium heat add olive oil. Cook onion 3 to 5 minutes until translucent. See 'Notes' below if you want to add more veggies to your sloppy joes.
- To onion add soy based crumble. Break up with a back of a wooden spoon. Cook 3 to 5 minutes.
- To pan, add lentils and stir to combine. Add chili powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, oregano, salt, pepper, chili peppers (or cayenne) and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Cook 2 to 3 minutes.
- Stir in stock and simmer for a few minutes or until you've reached your desired consistency (add more stock if you like your sloppy joes more 'loose').
- Stir in balsamic vinegar. Serve on warmed/toasted buns. Garnish, if desired. Enjoy!
- If you want to add some veggies to your sloppy joes, some diced bell pepper would work lovely! Add when you start to cook onion so they soften a bit.
- I used Thai chili pepper here, but you could omit or replace with cayenne powder to taste (if that’s what you have on hand).
- I used veggie stock in this recipe, but mushroom stock would work lovely too.
- If you want even more tomato flavour add another tablespoon or so of tomato paste. Alternatively, you can add some tomato sauce or ketchup to replace some or all of the stock.