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Vegan Sloppy Joes on a bun with pickles.
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5 from 8 votes

Vegan Sloppy Joes

These smoky, sweet, tangy, sloppy sandwiches will remind you of your childhood. A delicious retro meal made modern with a meatless twist and done in about 30 minutes! Grab some napkins and dig in to these Vegan Sloppy Joes!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Entrées
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegan
Servings: 6
Calories: 184kcal


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or ¼ cup vegetable broth or water, plus more as needed to prevent sticking
  • ¼ of a red onion peeled and diced
  • 1 green pepper seeded and diced
  • 2 small carrots diced small or shredded
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup organic brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce The Wizard's and Annie's brands are both vegan (or use 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon molasses)
  • 1-2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper or to taste
  • 2 ½ cups cooked brown or green lentils
  • 6 burger buns gluten free, if desired

Toppings of choice, optional

  • pickles
  • tomato slices
  • avocado
  • red onion slices


  • Heat the oil (or broth or water) over medium heat in a large deep skillet. Sauté the onion, green pepper, carrots, and garlic for 5 to 6 minutes until soft.
  • Add the tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, vegan Worcestershire sauce (or balsamic and molasses), liquid smoke, mustard and oregano. Bring to a low boil, decrease heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Taste and add salt/pepper (or more Worcestershire sauce or liquid smoke) if necessary.
  • Add in the cooked lentils and stir until evenly coated. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Serve on buns with your favorite toppings.



~ If you don't have pre-cooked or leftover lentils on hand, you can easily make them from scratch. See this post All About Lentils for cooking methods and times.
~ Pure maple syrup or coconut sugar can be used instead of the organic brown sugar.
~ If you don't have or can't find vegan Worcestershire sauce, use an equal amount of balsamic vinegar and molasses (regular, not blackstrap) for a similar flavor profile.
~ To make this recipe oil-free, use broth or water to sauté.
~ To make this recipe gluten-free, be sure to use gluten free vegan Worcestershire sauce (The Wizard's brand is both vegan and gluten free), gluten free liquid smoke (Colgin brand is gluten free) and gluten free buns.
~ You may choose to toast the buns before adding the Sloppy Joes mixture. This will help prevent the buns from getting mushy from the saucy filling.
~ Storage: Store any leftover lentil mixture in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
You can also freeze it in a freezer-safe bag for about 6 months. To reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight and then pop it in the microwave for a minute or two or heat gently in a pot on the stove.
~ Nutrition facts calculated without buns.


Serving: 6Servings | Calories: 184kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 9g | Sodium: 666mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 18g