My vegan black bean, sweet potato and green lentil sloppy Joes are a fun, tasty, nutritious family meal. A batch can be ready to enjoy in less than an hour.
Use the sloppy joe mix in place of a veggie or bean burger, and serve scooped onto a bread bun, with potato wedges and a side salad.
Sloppy joes are a perfect lazy, summer meal especially when you fancy a homemade burger but don't have the time or energy to prepare them.
What is a Sloppy Joe?
Many people in the UK may not have encountered a sloppy Joe before and may think of a sloppy joe as a type of jumper/sweater! I only discovered sloppy joes a few years and glad I did.
Sloppy Joes are claimed to be invented during the 1930s, in Iowa, where a chef in Sioux City called Joe created a sandwich that had a filling of ''loose meat''.
During the 1940s sloppy Joes made appearances in many public eating places and soon became very popular. The term sloppy Joe also used to refer to fast food joints or 'greasy spoons'.
In 1969 cans of sloppy Joe sauce named 'Manwich' were being produced and sold in the US.
Sloppy Joes are essentially ground beef cooked in a tomato based sauce. Often the sauce is BBQ flavour.
A family member described it as a ''collapsed burger'' and I think that sums it up nicely!
Vegan Sloppy Joes
Vegan sloppy Joes can be made with a variety of substitutions for the ground beef.
I have used the trio of black beans, sweet potatoes and green lentils as they are one of my favourite combinations and they just taste so good together. The green lentils and black beans can be substituted for vegan mince, tempeh or tofu pieces.
Vegan sloppy joes are a great source of plant-based nutrition especially iron.
Often people new to plant-based diets worry about how to get enough iron.
Plant-based meals that contain beans and lentils are fantastic sources of iron. A serving of my vegan sloppy joes packs in 3mg of iron which is a fair whack of your daily requirements!
The NHS recommend that per day males over the age of 18 need 8.7mg of iron, woman 18-50 years 14.8 mg, and woman over 50 years 8.7mg.
The Mayo clinic has a useful table which states the iron requirements for children aged between 7 months-18 years.
Vitamin C and Iron the perfect plant-powered couple
Research has shown that consuming vitamin C rich food with iron rich food can help the bioavailability of the iron. Our body finds it easier to access the iron and absorb it when consumed with vitamin C rich foods.
It can be as easy as enjoying some fruit after an iron rich meal or serving vitamin C rich veggies alongside your meal. Homemade potato chips/wedges/fries have a good amount of vitamin C. So that's a good excuse to eat chips.
As are broccoli, kale and Brussel sprouts great sources of vitamin C and delicious accompaniments to sloppy joes.
Vegan Sloppy Joes Recipe Notes
- Serve your sloppy Joes with your favourite toppings. Anything you normally have with a veggie burger if perfect. Such as crispy lettuce, cucumber, tomato slices, pickles/gherkins, coleslaw, vegan mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, vegan cheese slice, are all tasty additions to the sloppy joes.
- Vegan sloppy Joes will keep fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Freeze portions for a future speedy meal for those extra busy days.
- Reheat until piping hot. Add a splash of water if the sloppy Joes have gotten too thick but not too much liquid.
- Got leftovers? Try a sloppy Joe toastie or grilled cheese sandwich. Add some plant-based grated cheese to a bread roll or slice of bread, top with some sloppy joe mix, and place another slice of bread on top. Toast, grill or dry pan fry until golden and melted. This is one of my sons favourite lunches.
- For mini or individual sized sloppy joe pies, add leftovers to little pie dishes and top with mashed potatoes. Pop in the oven until piping hot and potatoes have browned. Some nutritional yeast sprinkled over the potatoes is extra tasty.
- Use leftover sloppy Joes to top a carrot hotdog using this extra tasty carrot hotdog recipe. If you have never tried a carrot hotdog then do try suspend any scepticism and give them a go. They will surprise you!
More Delicious Plant-Based Vegan Meal Ideas:
Vegan Black Bean, Sweet Potato and Green Lentil Sloppy Joes
- Sauté pan/skillet
- 200 gram onion 1 large
- 4 whole garlic cloves or 2-3 teaspoon garlic powder
- 440 gram sweet potatoes 2-3 small-medium sized. Chopped into bitesize chunks/diced.
- 115 gram celery 2-3 sticks, diced
- 1 can green lentils 400g/14oz can, or about 350-400g cooked
- 1 can black beans 400g/14oz can, drained. Or 240g cooked beans
- 250 gram passata or 1 400gram/14 oz can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree paste
- 1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce or regular soya sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcester sauce use a vegan brand. Alternatively use an extra tablespoon of soya sauce.
- 2 teaspoon smoked paprika or regular paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup or soft brown sugar/your usual sweetener
- 3 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 500 millilitre vegetable stock extra if necessary
- 5 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes optional
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke optional
- 6 bread buns or rolls/baps.
- Add all the ingredients to your pan, excluding the optional nutritional yeast and liquid smoke.Bring to the boil and lower the heat.
- Simmer for 30-40 minutes until the mix is thick and veggies soft.Stir every now and again.If necessary add a little splash of extra veggie stock to prevent sticking to pan.
- Give everything a wee mash with a potato masher.Keep some texture so don't mush it all up.
- If using add the nutritional yeast flakes and liquid smoke.Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve heaped into bread rolls/buns.
- Nutritional data is for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- To lower the sodium content use a reduced sodium veggie stock.
- Leftover sloppy joes can be kept in the fridge, in a covered container, for 3 days.
- Or in the freezer for 4-6 months.
- To reheat place in a pan, with a small amount of veggie stock or water just enough to loosen up, bring to a simmer, and heat for 2-3 minutes or until piping hot throughout. Or enjoy chilled straight from the fridge.