These easy-to-make Vegan Sloppy Joes are filled with tomato sauce, chickpeas, and fresh veggies. They’re delicious, simple, and take about 20 minutes start to finish.
Oh, the Sloppy Joe!
This messy, tomato sauce and beef sandwich was a school lunch favorite, and honestly, that alone should probably convince me to never touch it again.
I do, however, remember it fondly, and was thrilled when I saw a vegan chickpea version on the menu at a local cafe.
As delicious as their sandwich was, and even though I wanted seconds (and thirds?), it DID NOT taste like a Sloppy Joe! I left the cafe determined to make a more accurate version.
To make a vegan or vegetarian Sloppy Joe, you could actually just go buy a can of Manwich and add chickpeas. Yes, you could do that, because surprisingly– the Manwich sauce on its own does not seem to contain any animal-based products.
However, if you’re trying to avoid the dreaded High Fructose Corn Syrup, you might prefer to make your own sauce. This Vegan Sloppy Joe is delicious, simple, and takes about 20 minutes start to finish.
Making Vegan Sloppy Joes
If you want your sandwich to taste like the original Sloppy Joe, you’re going to have to use ketchup.
I tried to avoid it– I tried other combinations– but those versions were either overly complicated, or didn’t actually taste like a sloppy Joe.
Quick Tip: Most organic ketchups use sugar instead of corn syrup. Check the ingredients on the brand you’re buying to double check! I usually buy organic Heinz.
If, however, you aren’t concerned about duplicating the classic Joe taste, you can most definitely substitute the ketchup for a can of fire roasted tomatoes.
Your vegetarian sandwiches will still be delicious, but will have a slightly different flavor profile.
To make these vegan sloppy joes, start by roasting chickpeas (sometimes labeled garbanzo beans) for 10 minutes– just long enough to make them slightly crunchy.
While the chickpeas cook, sauté onions, garlic, and bell pepper, and then stir in the rest of your sauce ingredients.
When the chickpeas are done roasting, stir them in, and you’re finished!
Pile the sloppy Faux-Joe onto whatever light and fluffy sandwich buns you prefer, and chow down.
Want more VEGAN recipe ideas? Try these: Vegan Quinoa Burgers, Veggie Wraps with Buffalo Cauliflower, Vegetable Korma
Vegan Sloppy Joe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained + patted dry
- ½ onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
- ½ green bell pepper, diced
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard (prepared)
- ½ cup organic ketchup
- 4 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon salt, to taste
- 4 sandwich buns to serve (sub gluten-free bread if necessary)
- Preheat oven to 450ºF.
- Line a baking sheet with foil and brush with 1 TB oil. Spread chickpeas on baking sheet and roast 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in medium to large saucepan. When oil begins to ripple, add onion and cook 2-3 minutes until it starts to soften. Add garlic and green pepper, and sauté 2-3 more minutes.
- Add mustard, ketchup, and tomato sauce. Sauté until heated through, then add sugar, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Remove chickpeas from oven, and mash about half of them with a fork. Add to the sauce and stir to incorporate.
- Toast sandwich buns. Serve mixture hot on toasted buns.
I’ve made this recipe a few times and am a big fan of how quick and simple it is! Very good for a last-minute meal, especially since the ingredients are ones I pretty much always have on hand.
We love it for a last minute dinner 🙂 I’m glad you liked it!
These are delicious. I always keep a can of chick peas around to make this with.
That’s a good idea! I’m glad you loved!
This is a delicious recipe! I made yesterday. My hubby liked it!
Aww yay!! I’m so glad you loved it! ????????
Meg | Meg is Well
YES!!! I have so many fond memories of sloppy joes and I think I made a from scratch crock pot version once and it was good. But I’m at the point in my life where a bun topped with a whole bunch of ground meat is just a little much. I love this chickpea version!
All the deliciousness, none of the nastiness! One of my favs!
I love chick peas in all forms! This was unbelievably delicious. And super quick and easy. Thank you! I’m thinking this would probably make for good service lunch in pita or bread. It’s probably good cold too.
Aw I’m so happy you liked it! And you’re probably right- a perfect service lunch! Except, I wouldn’t know for sure, because the hubs devours it all before I can have leftovers hahaha
It tastes like I remembered it to be as a kid. It’s also really easy and fast to make
Glad you liked it!
-Alisha at Champagne Tastes