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vegetarian sloppy joes on wooden plates with blue towel in background.
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4.75 from 4 votes

Sweet and Tangy Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

This nostalgic sloppy joe recipe features a ground plant-based meat substitute cooked with chunky vegetables in a sweet and tangy tomato sauce flavored with lots of delicious spices!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 sanwiches
Calories: 304kcal
Author: Ashley Boyd


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
  • ½ medium yellow onion diced
  • ½ green or red bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lb plant-based meat substitute such as Impossible Foods or Beyond Meat*
  • salt + cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon herbs de provence or Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric or ground mustard
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon liquid aminos or lite soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • hamburger buns for serving


  • Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and bell pepper and cook until onion is translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook about another minute until fragrant.
  • Add meat and break apart with wooden spoon. Season with salt + pepper, garlic powder, herbs de provence, smoked paprika and turmeric. Cook until meat is browned and almost cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, liquid aminos or lite soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, liquid smoke and brown sugar to meat mixture. Stir to combine all ingredients. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until thickened and reduced, stirring occasionally, about 10-15 minutes depending on your desired consistency. Remove from heat.
  • Toast four hamburger buns in the oven and top each bottom bun with a few spoonfuls of sloppy joe mixture. Add toppings if desired and enjoy!


*See notes in blog post above for other meat substitution suggestions. You may also make this recipe with ground beef, turkey or chicken if you are not vegetraian.


Serving: 1Sandwich with whole wheat bun | Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 32.1g | Protein: 19.1g | Fat: 11.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.7g | Sodium: 682mg | Fiber: 4.6g | Sugar: 11.9g | Calcium: 160mg | Iron: 2mg