Vegan Sloppy Joes

A Veganised version of the American classic ‘Sloppy Joes’ using Lentils, Carrot and Courgette for a cruelty-free, healthier alternative. Served in a wholemeal bun with all the ‘trimmings’! 

Vegan Sloppy Joes

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Things have gotten all American over here but sadly I’ve not actually visited yet! I’ve heard lots of stories and fond memories from friends and family who have visited various parts of the United States, and I will get there one day but for now I will just hear the amazing stories and see the amazing food pictures.

Being from the UK, like many others, we probably think of American food to be of massive proportion (I was going to say big, but I think that might be an understatement) and rather decadent…but please do correct me if I am wrong?! Albeit, I know they have some of the best Vegan eateries.

I come across daily photographs of classic American food and the list of dishes I would like to try and create is never-ending to be honest, and I’ve most probably tried a few dishes without realising such as Mac and Cheese, Ribs, Cheese Steak, Cheese Fries, Buffalo Wings, Pulled Pork, Pumpkin Pie… I guess these are all American foods which are known worldwide too?

And when I say I’ve had Ribs, Cheese Steak, Buffalo Wings and Pulled Pork; I mean I’ve made Veganised versions with Seitan, Jack Fruit and Cauliflower! All these foods are bloody delicious though and I think you can safely say, they are full of flavour and will most certainly fill you up and leave you very satisfied, without the need for that bit of Oreo Cake (Dessert is definitely my downfall)

Vegan Sloppy Joes

I’m not sure if it’s the time of year and I’m in need of extra comfort food or if its a mix up in my lifestyle/diet over the past few months, but I’ve been making many more decadent recipes to my usuals, like Mac ‘n’ Cheeze, Tacos, Burrito’s, Quesadillas and ‘Sausages’ and ‘Steak’ in Buns. Not to mention the Brownies, Blondies, Waffles, Pancakes etc. but we’ll come back to those another day.

So back to more decadent Savoury recipes such as this ‘Vegan Sloppy Joes’, unlike many of my previous recipes, the main difference with my new love of comfort food is the addition of carbs to go with like Tortilla Wraps, Taco Shells, Pasta, Brioche Buns and Burger Buns. Previously this was unheard of for me but I seem to find myself stocking up weekly so I can have my fix and these delicious dishes wouldn’t be the same without them!

For those of us who aren’t familiar with ‘Sloppy Joes’, it is a classic dish in the United States which is a sandwich consisting of ground beef in a tomato sauce with Unami type seasonings. Of course, this isn’t Vegan in the slightest, being that the main bulk of the meal is the simmered Beef mixture, so to Veganise my ‘Sloppy Joes’, I have used my go-to plant-based ingredient; lentils, accompanied by courgette and carrot, purely because I like a bit of texture but obviously this is optional.

For my plant-based ‘Vegan Sloppy Joes’, I simmered the Lentils, Courgette and Carrot in a Unami-style Tomato based sauce but reduced the liquid right down during the cooking process as I had read comments that some Sloppy Joes can be too soggy for the Bun…you’ll be pleased to know, no sogginess over here!

Vegan Sloppy Joes

Of course, the main star of a Sloppy Joes is the filling, and in this case the Lentil filling, which I made to be a combination of sweet and spicy with the addition of a little sugar for sweetness with pepper flakes, cinnamon, cloves and cumin for a little quick of spiciness.
The combination of flavours was something I hadn’t tasted before a couldn’t quite put my finger on, but me and my OH loved it and I cant wait to make it for us again.  I love dishes that we can both enjoy and we both love equally and comment on how delicious it was!

I served my ‘Vegan Sloppy Joes‘ in wholemeal buns with Vegan Mayonaise, Pickled Cucumber, Red Cabbage and Salad Leaves. But you can serve your Buns with whatever sides you prefer most. For my OH I served it with a side of Fries because he isn’t a fan of the green stuff! Or if you have coleslaw, potato salad or hash browns; these would all be delicious!

If you love this recipe, you might like to try:

Lentil Meatballs

Vegan Mince Lasagne

Tofu Chilli Quesadilla

DIY Vegan Pizza 


I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you give it a go, leave a comment and let me know or post a picture on  instagram or  facebook and use #untaintedtastes and tag me @untaintedtastes as I’d love to see them 🙂 xo

Vegan Sloppy Joes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Serves: Serves 4
  • ½ cup uncooked lentils, cooked accoringly
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced small (steamed to soften)
  • 1 courgette, diced small (steamed to soften)
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, de-seeded and sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 dsp Vegan Worcestshire sauce
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ can tomato passata (approx. 1 cup)
To Serve:
  • Wholemeal burger buns
  • Vegan mayonaise or margarine
  • Pickled cucumbers/dill/gherkins
  • Pickled red cabbage
  • Salad leaves
  • Fries
  1. In a large saucepan, add a tiny splash of oil or water and add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and saute over a medium heat until softened (5-10 minutes).
  2. Then add the spices for a minute until fragrant, followed by the vinegar and Worcestshire sauce until evaporated, then add the tomato paste, ketchup and sugar and stir through for a minute or two until the sugar disolves.
  3. Then stir through the passata, followed by the pre-steamed carrots and courgette.
  4. Simmer the mixture until the passata is nearly all gone, then stir through the cooked lentils.
  5. Once all the passata has evaporated, set aside.
  6. Prepare your buns, cut them in half, spread each side with some vegan-mayo or dairy-free spread, then some salad leaves, followed by the 'sloppy joes' mixture, then top with the picked cucumbers and red cabbage, if desired.
  7. Toast the buns in the oven or until the grill for a few minutes to warm and crisp very slightly.
  8. Serve the buns warm with fries and extra salad if desired.

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