Vegan Sloppy Joes – Simple Vegan Blog

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Vegan Sloppy Joes, delicious and easy to make. They’re ready in just 30 minutes and require simple ingredients, and they’re packed with lots of protein!

Photo of vegan sloppy joes served with hamburguer buns

I’d wanted to try vegan Sloppy Joes for a long time and I finally did it a few weeks ago. All I can say is WOW! They may be the best sandwiches I’ve ever had, as they are nutritious, tasty, and SO good!

To veganize this traditional American dish, I used lentils instead of ground beef and the texture comes out really good and satisfying. This recipe is healthier and lighter than the original one too, but it’s equally filling.

Besides, you can customize it with your favorite ingredients and add the veggies and spices you want to. It’s a perfect meal to serve at a party or to have as a regular lunch or dinner!

Vegan Sloppy Joes, delicious, satiating, and super easy to prepare! They require simple and inexpensive ingredients, and to make them you only need 30 minutes!

How to make vegan Sloppy Joes – Step by step

Step-by-step photos of how to make vegan sloppy joes
  • Heat the oil in a pan (photo 1) and add the veggies and the cayenne powder (photo 2). Cook over medium-high heat until golden brown (photo 3), stirring occasionally.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients (photo 4), stir, and cook for about 10 minutes (photo 5).
  • Serve the filling over the buns (photo 6).

Pro tips

  • Feel free to use any veggies you have on hand.
  • You could also make this recipe with other legumes, textured vegetable protein, or seitan instead of lentils.
  • Add any spices or herbs you’d like.
  • Although the buns are optional, they work amazingly well with the filling. You can also heat them in the oven, a pan, or a toaster.
  • Use water instead of oil if you prefer a low-fat version of this recipe.
  • If you don’t eat soy, feel free to use some salt to taste or coconut aminos instead of tamari or soy sauce.
  • The tomato sauce can be replaced by tomato puree or even ketchup, but I think tomato sauce is the best choice.
  • These Sloppy Joes will be less likely to fall apart if you cook the filling long enough to get a thick paste.
Close-up shot of a sandwich made of vegan sloppy joes

How long will these vegan Sloppy Joes keep?

You can keep the leftover filling in an airtight container in the fridge and it will last for 3-5 days. You could also store it with the buns, but they would probably get too soft.

Can I freeze these vegan Sloppy Joes?

Yes, but you can only freeze the filling! Just let it cool first, put it in an airtight container, and transfer it into the freezer. You can either freeze it in individual portions or all the batch at the same time. It will last for up to 3 months.

To defrost, just transfer it into the fridge until thaw and reheat it in the microwave or in a saucepan over medium heat.

How to serve vegan Sloppy Joes

This recipe is a very complete meal and it has lots of nutrients and vitamins because of the veggies and protein thanks to the lentils. However, I love to serve it with some red cabbage, carrot, fresh chili peppers, and avocado slices on top.

Looking for more lentil recipes?

Side shot of a sandwich made of vegan sloppy joes

Did you make this vegan Sloppy Joes recipe?

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Square photo of a sandwich made of vegan sloppy joes

Vegan Sloppy Joes

  • Author: Iosune
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Total: 30 mins
  • 6 1x
  • Main Dish
  • American
  • Vegan

Servings 6 1x

Scale Tap or hover over number to scale servings

Vegan Sloppy Joes, delicious and easy to make. They’re ready in just 30 minutes and require simple ingredients, and they’re packed with lots of protein!

Ingredients

  • 12 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne powder (optional)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 15 oz canned or cooked lentils (400 g)
  • 1 1/2 cup tomato sauce (250 g)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 6 whole-wheat hamburger buns (optional), gluten-free if needed

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a pan and add the veggies and the cayenne powder. Cook over medium-high heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add more oil or a little bit of water if needed.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients, stir, and cook for about 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  3. Serve the filling over the buns and add your favorite veggies (I added some red cabbage, carrot, fresh chili peppers, and avocado slices).
  4. Keep the leftover filling in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Notes

  • Feel free to use any veggies you have on hand.
  • You could also make this recipe with other legumes, textured vegetable protein, or seitan instead of lentils.
  • Add any spices or herbs you’d like.
  • Although the buns are optional, they work amazingly well with the filling. You can also heat them in the oven, a pan, or a toaster.
  • Use water instead of oil if you prefer a low-fat version of this recipe.
  • If you don’t eat soy, feel free to use some salt to taste or coconut aminos instead of tamari or soy sauce.
  • The tomato sauce can be replaced by tomato puree or even ketchup, but I think tomato sauce is the best choice.
  • These Sloppy Joes will be less likely to fall apart if you cook the filling long enough to get a thick paste.
  • Recipe adapted from Laura in the Kitchen.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe (without the buns)
  • Calories: 140
  • Sugar: 7.5 g
  • Sodium: 822 mg
  • Fat: 2.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 22.7 g
  • Fiber: 7.2 g
  • Protein: 8.3 g

Curved “made this” textMADETHISRecipe?

Update Notes: This post was originally published in February of 2017, but was republished with new photos, step by step instructions, and tips in September of 2020.



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