Vegan Sloppy Joes

Ah Sloppy Joes……  What can I say about Sloppy Joes?

How about…… I have never actually had one!

I think I haven’t anyway, the first time I had heard of one is when Roseanne worked in that sandwich shop selling them with that weird moustachioed bloke and her sister from Scream. Turns out after a quick google search, they weren’t even sloppy joes!!, which means the only time I have ever heard of them is in the Simpsons episode when the woman says “I know how you like them sloppy, Joe”.

So, not knowing what they taste like, I am diving head first into making my own vegan version. I apologise if they are nothing like real sloppy joes, but quite frankly, I don’t care, these are awesome!

I treated them much like a Bolognese sandwich, which I have definitely had many of! To replace meat, I used good old lentils. French lentils to be precise, but you can use green ones if that is all you have. Make sure you toast the bun on the inside and try and track down the vegan Worcestershire sauce, it is a REALLY good “spice” to have, especially in Bolognese style recipes. I also use jarred tomato sauce in these, to me this is a quick and tasty lunch and you don’t want to be slow cooking your own sauce.

Sloppy Joes 3

Sloppy Joes 2

Serves 4

Nutritional Information (not including the bread):

  • Calories = 284
  • Protein = 14.8g
  • Fat = 5.9g
  • Saturated Fat = 1g
  • Carbohydrate = 35.3g
  • Cholesterol = 0g


  • 1 cup French lentils, rinsed (or green)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½ red pepper (capsicum), diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 400 – 425g jar of your favourite tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (if your tomato sauce is sugar free, omit if not)
  • 2 tablespoons vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 buns (2 each), gluten free if preferred and 1 or 2 of – caramelised onions, sliced/chopped onions, avocado slices, vegan bacon, lettuce, tomato

Sloppy Joes 5

Sloppy Joes 4

Cook it:

  1. Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan and add the lentils, bring back to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes and check the lentils are cooked, if not keep going for up to 10 minutes more, adding more water if required
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil and in a frying pan over a medium heat
  3. Add the onions and fry for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly
  4. Add the peppers and fry for 3 minutes
  5. Add the chilli and garlic and fry for 2 minutes
  6. Stir in smoked paprika
  7. Pour in the jar of sauce and sugar if needed, stir and simmer for 5 minutes
  8. Add the now cooked lentils to the pan and stir thoroughly, leave to simmer for 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens
  9. Season with salt and pepper. Go easy with the salt if using jarred sauce
  10. Toast some buns on the insides where you load the filling, I like to use some vegan butter here to give it a fast foody feel
  11. Layer a good spoon of the lentil mixture onto a bun. I used caramelised onions and avocado to go with these. It worked perfectly
  12. Serve to you and your mates and become ridiculously popular
  13. Get it into ya!!!

9 thoughts on “Vegan Sloppy Joes

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