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One vegan Sloppy Joe on a whole wheat bun topped with coleslaw.
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5 from 6 votes

Vegan Sloppy Joes

Enjoy a plant-based version of a childhood classic with these vegan sloppy joes. Lentils simmer in a sweet and smoky tomato sauce and then are piled on a bun for a quick and easy meatless meal that everyone will love!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vegan sloppy joes
Servings: 4


  • ½ cup dry brown or green lentils
  • 1 ⅓ cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 orange or red bell pepper diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 cup diced mushrooms
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 4 whole grain buns toasted
  • Toppings: onions pickles and/or coleslaw


  • Prepare lentils by rinsing them and adding to a pot with water and a bay leaf. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat down and simmer covered until most of the liquid is absorbed and lentils are tender (about 15-20 minutes). Remove from heat, discard the bay leaf, drain any excess liquid and set the lentils aside to cool. This step can be done in advance.
    Cooked lentils being drained for the vegan Sloppy Joes.
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic and mushrooms and sauté for 7-10 minutes, until softened.
    Vegetables sautéing in a skillet for the vegan Sloppy Joes.
  • Add the cooked lentils, tomato sauce, maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
    Ingredients for vegan Sloppy Joes in a skillet.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
    Lentils simmering in a tomato sauce in a skillet for vegan Sloppy Joes.
  • Serve the sloppy joe mixture on toasted buns with toppings of choice. Enjoy!


Serving: 1 sloppy joe, no toppings | Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 717mg | Potassium: 764mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 18g