Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

As EBF grows I often look back on old posts and cringe. All blogs go through the early phases and I’m sure every blogger out there has old posts they’d like to remove from the internet, yet for some reason I can’t bring myself to delete them. It’d be like ripping the pages out of a journal. I just can’t.

Anyhow, that doesn’t mean I can’t update some of the old recipes that have ugly photos or no photo at all. Most of these recipes are actually really good, they just haven’t had a chance to shine. Sooo I’m remaking them (to ensure the recipe is still tasty) and reshooting the photos. This is one of those recipes.

Everyone who has made these vegetarian sloppy joes loves them. I think you will too!

Vegan Sloppy Joes // A childhood classic made healthier with lentils and a flavorful tomato sauce.

I grew up eating sloppy joes. They were usually from a can — I honestly can’t remember if my mom just used the Manwich sauce or if meat was in the can with it?!? I’m getting grossed out thinking about it so I’m just going to stop.

Let’s talk about this vegetarian version that’s made with lentils and doesn’t come from a can! It’s similar to the sloppy joes you grew up with –still absolutely delicious just a bit more sophisticated. The cooked lentils give the mix a perfect sloppy joe texture and the tomato based sauce is flavorful, sweet and savory. And don’t worry, they’re still just as messy to eat so grab a bunch of napkins before serving these.

The idea for these came from the Snobby Joes recipe in Veganomicon and I didn’t really change much. As I mention in the recipe, you can serve the sloppy joes on a bun, over a mound of whole grain rice or even over a bed of wilted greens. Totally up to you!

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Sloppy joes made healthier with lentils and a flavorful tomato sauce. Vegan + gluten-free friendly.
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup uncooked green (brown) lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard
  • 4 to 6 buns, brown rice or greens for serving
  1. Rinse lentils, drain and add to a pot with 4 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until lentils are soft and cooked through. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in another pot over medium heat, add the oil and cook the onion and pepper about 6-7 minutes, until they are soft and fragrant. Add in the minced garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
  3. Add the cooked lentils, chili powder, oregano and salt to the sautéed veggies. Give it a good stir and add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cook for another 10 minutes. Add the maple syrup and mustard and heat through.
  4. Turn the heat off and let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve on a (gluten-free) bun, over rice or on a bed of wilted greens.
Inspired and adapted from the Snobby Joe's in Veganomicon.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ of sloppy joe mix (without bun) Calories: 213 Fat: 5g Carbohydrates: 42g Sugar: 17g Fiber: 9g Protein: 12g

Do you have any childhood favorites that could use a recipe makeover? I can think of quite a few!

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  1. Oh my gosh these look so delicious! I feel like even my very meat-eating boyfriend would love this. Definitely making them soon! Got them pinned 🙂

  2. These looks delicious and the perfect comfort food on a chilly winter day! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Yum, these sound great! As a vegetarian, I’m always on the lookout for dishes to recreate into vegetarian versions and this is definitely ideal!

  4. Elizabeth Dillman says:

    I love bean recipes! These look wonderful. Thanks.

  5. I have more than my fair share of ugly/scary posts. But, like you, I can’t seem to allow myself to delete them. It is honestly kind of fun to look back and see how far you have come!

  6. I used to make this recipe from your site a lot years ago when I was just getting into healthier cooking. It IS a great simple recipe. An oldie but a goodie!


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