These vegan sloppy joes are a fun, plant-based take on a popular sandwich. They’re hearty, spicy, and super healthy!
Sloppy joes are a really fun sandwich. They’re rich, spicy, salty, and packed full of flavor. Unfortunately, they’re also usually packed full of meat. So I came up with this vegan sloppy joes recipe to try and make a meat-free version that was just as good as traditional sloppy joes.
These vegan sloppy joes are just as hearty as the meaty ones, thanks to lentils and quinoa. And they’re full of fun, strong flavors like mustard, maple syrup, and hot sauce, which make the dish mouth-watering. And best of all, the recipe is made in a slow cooker, which means it requires basically no work at all! Just throw the ingredients in the slow cooker, turn it on, and a few hours later you’ll have vegan sloppy joes that even a meat lover would be obsessed with.
What You’ll Need
Here are all the ingredients that you need to make these spicy lentil sloppy joes. Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the article to see the exact amounts of each ingredient.
- Mushrooms – Any kind of mushroom will work.
- Onions – You can use any type of onion for this recipe.
- Brown lentils – Other types of lentils will work fine for this dish, but brown lentils have a nice flavor, and best replicate the look of sloppy joes.
- Tomato sauce
- Maple syrup – Make sure to use pure maple syrup.
- Hot sauce
- Chili powder
- Vegetable broth
How to Make Slow Cooker Vegan Sloppy Joes
Here’s how you can easily make these hearty vegetarian sloppy joes.
- Combine the ingredients. Add all of the ingredients into a slow cooker, and stir to combine.
- Cook. Cook the sloppy joes on high heat for 2-3 hours, or on low heat for 5-6 hours.
- Serve. Sloppy joes are traditionally served on a bun, but they’re also great on a biscuit or inside spaghetti squash.
Tips for Success
Here are some tricks and tips for making the best lentil sloppy joes.
- Make your own broth. One of my tips for taking recipes to the next level is to use homemade stock. You get so much more flavor when you make your own broth. I recommend using Instant Pot mushroom vegan bone broth when making this recipe.
- Adjust the heat. I like my sloppy joes on the spicy side, but everyone has different heat preferences. This recipe has hot sauce and chili powder in it, so there are multiple ways to adjust the heat. Add more or less of either ingredient depending on your taste, or choose a hot sauce that is super spicy or pretty mild.
- Adjust the liquid. This recipe calls for 3-4 cups of broth. Start with just 3 cups, and once the sloppy joes have been cooking for a few hours, check them and adjust as necessary. You want the mixture to be thick, but still gloppy.
What to Serve With Vegan Sloppy Joes
You can serve lentil sloppy joes with whatever foods you would normally eat with a sandwich. Here are a few recipes that I love to make when I’m cooking vegan sloppy joes.
- Vegan nacho cheesy kale chips
- Healthy zucchini chips
- The best crispy roasted potatoes
- Favorite healthy potato salad
- Healthy carrot slaw with sesame dressing
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
These vegan sloppy joes will last for 4 days in the fridge if stored in an airtight container. Reheat over medium heat on the stove for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, or in 30-second increments in a microwave set to 80% power.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
It definitely can! Store the vegan sloppy joes in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge or defrost before reheating.
More Vegan Slow Cooker Recipes
I'm a big fan of my slow cooker. It's a great way to deep flavors with minimal work! Here are a few other great vegan slow cooker recipes to make.
- Slow cooker vegetarian chili
- Vegan red lentil dal
- Chili roasted sweet potato + black bean quinoa salad
- One-pot root vegetable + lentil quinoa stew
- Vegan quinoa & lentil taco meat
Slow Cooker Vegan Sloppy Joes
- 1 cup finely chopped carrots
- 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
- 1 cup finely chopped onions
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 1/2 cups brown lentils
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 8oz can tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup organic ketchup I used agave sweetened
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons mustard
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Pinch of salt & pepper
- 3 – 4 cups vegetable broth
- Add everything into the slow cooker, starting with 3 cups of broth. Stir to combine, cover and set to high. Cook on high for 2 – 3 hours (or low for 4 – 6). Check and add more liquid as needed.
- Serve warm with a bun, biscuit or in a spaghetti squash!