Vegan Sloppy Joes


Sloppy Joe is a famous American dish that is made with ground beef (can be substituted with ground pork), onions, ketchup, and other seasonings served on a hamburger bun. It is literally overflowing with ingredients. Hence, the term ‘sloppy’. As messy as it sounds, but that’s really what makes this sandwich different from the others. It is overflowing with goodness!

In the world of vegans and vegetarians, however, Sloppy Joes do not seem to fit in, mainly because of the ground meat that they contain. Not anymore, though. People who strictly excluded animal-based products from their diet can now enjoy Sloppy Joes without really adding ground beef or pork to the recipe.

What Is Vegan Sloppy Joe?

Well, the idea is the same. The sandwich still comes with lots of ingredients. But the ground meat needs to be replaced.


The secret? Lentils as the base, plus other whole food plant-based ingredients like organic ketchup and vegan Worcestershire sauce. Combined with green pepper, garlic, onion, olive oil, vegetable broth, as well as mustard, chili, and onion powder, no one can tell it doesn’t have the traditional ground meat! It is so amazing how plant-based products do the trick.

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Vegan Sloppy Joes

  • Author: Myles
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Using green or brown lentils as the base, your family will surely love this savory Vegan Sloppy Joe recipe.



2 c. lentils (green or brown)

1-quart vegetable broth

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 c. and 2 tbsp. organic ketchup

2 tbsp. and 1 tsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. salt

3/4 c. green bell pepper (diced)

4 garlic cloves

1 c. onion (diced)

1 tsp. mustard powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. chili powder

hot sauce to taste

For serving:

pickled onions

bread and butter pickles

8 whole-wheat buns (vegan)


  1. Put the lentils in a large saucepan along with 3 cups of vegetable broth, 2 cups of water, and 1/2 tsp. of salt. Once it starts to simmer, reduce the heat, and uncover for about 25 minutes until the lentils are tender enough. Drain the liquid once cooked.
  2. While cooking the lentils, start making the sauce. Dice the green pepper as well as the onion. Mince the garlic, too.
  3. Using a separate saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, followed by the vegetable broth, a cup of organic ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in the mustard, chili, and onion powder as well. Let it simmer until the sauce gets thick.
  4. Add the cooked lentils to the sauce and cook for another 5 minutes on low heat.
  5. Remove from heat and add the remaining ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and salt.
  6. Serve on toasted buns with pickles and pickled onions.


  • Make sure not to overcook the lentils. You can start checking it in 10 or 15 minutes after you uncover it.
  • Be careful when buying ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Be sure that they are vegan/organic.
  • Category: Sandwich
  • Cuisine: American


If you have leftover sauce, you can put it in the fridge. It should be good for up to 4 days. Simply reheat it and serve on freshly toasted vegan buns with pickles.

Is It Good for Kids?

Yes, it is! Vegan Sloppy Joes are good for the whole family, even the kids.


Closing Thoughts

If you are following the vegan diet, this Sloppy Joes recipe should be a part of your dinner list. It is healthy and super delicious! Never mind the little ‘mess’. 🙂

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