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One-Pot Vegan Sloppy Joes

These vegan sloppy joes are so easy to make and require just one pot. The mix is made with lentils and cauliflower for a nutritious plant-based dinner. Best served on a toasted bun, lettuce wrap, or over potatoes!

Vegan sloppy joes made with lentils and cauliflower. Topped with coleslaw in a sesame seed bun.

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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.

Ingredients for plant based sloppy joes on a wooden tray.

Ingredients

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!

  • Bell pepper: I prefer green bell pepper.
  • Yellow onion
  • Brown lentils: Red lentils will not work for this recipe.
  • Cauliflower: half of a head, chopped into small pieces
  • Tomato paste
  • Vegan Worcestershire sauce: or soy sauce.
  • Soy sauce
  • Garlic powder
  • Dijon mustard: I really love the tangy flavor of a little mustard in this recipe.
  • Brown sugar: Regular sugar or maple syrup can be substituted.
  • Optional toppings: onion, cabbage mix or coleslaw

How to Make Vegan Sloppy Joes

  • In a medium-large pot, sauté the bell pepper and onion in oil (or water if you don’t consume oil) 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!
Vegan sloppy joe mix made with lentils and cauliflower in a large blue cast iron pot.

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.

Toppings

Here are some topping ideas:

Serve With

A sloppy joe sandwich with coleslaw on a plate.
High-protein vegan sloppy joes

Vegan Sloppy Joes

Karissa Besaw
Easy Vegan Sloppy Joes made in just one pot with lentils and cauliflower for a delicious plant-based dinner.
4.92 from 36 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Vegan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 cup dried brown lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 head cauliflower chopped into small pieces
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional toppings: onion, cabbage mix or coleslaw

Instructions
 

  • In a medium-large pot, sauté the bell pepper and onion in oil 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!

Video

Notes

If you cannot find vegan Worcestershire sauce, here is a recipe for homemade.
Did you try this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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