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These vegan sloppy joes are so easy to make and require just one pot. The mix is nut-free, gluten-free, and oil-free. Best served on a bun, lettuce wrap, or over potatoes!
You may be asking yourself, what is 1) comforting, 2) tasty, and 3) made in just ONE POT? Vegan Sloppy Joes!
My love affair with lentils continues with these plant-based sloppy joes. But we aren't just showing love to that wonderful legume, cauliflower is also a key component in this recipe!
As shown with this bolognese and this vegan wellington, I like to combine two or three main ingredients to achieve a "meaty" texture. On their own, the texture of lentils can often be...boring. But in combination with something else, they shine! Cauliflower offers a lovely crisp texture paired with the tender lentils.
And hey, if you have picky kids, this recipe allows you to sneak in those veggies.
How to Make the Sloppy Joe Mix?
You can absolutely create vegan sloppy joes that taste like the "real deal". Without the additional ingredients, traditional sloppy joes are just...beef. As always, the key to a recipe is really in the seasoning!
This sloppy joe mix is made with tomato paste, vegan Worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion, bell peppers, and brown sugar. Not many recipes contain mustard, but I really love the tangy flavor of a little mustard in my sloppy joes so we are going for it here. To bring out the flavor of the tomato and a little richness, brown sugar is a great addition. You can substitute with maple syrup if you wish.
How do you eat a Sloppy Joe?
Typically, as I'm sure you know, sloppy joes are served on a burger bun (many are vegan, just check.)
However, if you are cutting out processed carbs and/or gluten you have a couple of other options. 1) Serve the mixture over a baked potato! I've tried this and omg, SO GOOD! 2) Roll it up in a lettuce wrap - not as comforting but lettuce is a low-carb option if you need it.
Vegan Sloppy Joes
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- ¼ cup water OR 1 tablespoon oil for sautéing
- 1 cup dried brown lentils
- 3 cups water
- ½ head cauliflower chopped into small pieces
- 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 2 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce*
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 3 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2-3 tablespoon brown sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- optional toppings: onion, cabbage mix or coleslaw
- In a medium-large pot, saute the bell pepper and onion in oil or water until onion is translucent.
- Add in the lentils and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and stir well. Bring to a simmer again and cover. Let cook for another 10 minutes, or until the lentils and cauliflower are tender. Stir frequently every few minutes. Add additional water if needed.
- Serve on a toasted bun, lettuce wrap, or a baked potato!