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 extremely 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.
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.