These Vegan Sloppy Joes Will Take You Straight Back To Childhood

Photo by Shelly Westerhausen

This delicious sloppy joe recipe, excerpted from the gorgeous, seasonally driven Vegetarian Heartland, swap heart-healthy beans for the traditional ground beef. They’re also packed with tons of other great-for-you ingredients, like inflammation-busting walnuts, skin-loving carrots, and savory, detoxifying spices. Whip ’em up and let your inner child rejoice!

Sloppy Janes

Serves 4

Although this isn’t the best fare if you are traveling far, it’s perfect for afternoon picnics in the backyard or on the porch. Sloppy Joes have a reputation for being "camp grub," and these Sloppy Janes are the vegan version of the classic. Although we can’t all go back to camp (I wish!), we can re-create the experience through food in our own kitchens. The taste of these will take you back to the first day of camp, when you had butterflies in your stomach.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 medium celery stalks, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • ½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
  • One 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • One 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed
  • One 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 burger buns or 12 slider buns (you can also use lettuce wraps)


  1. In a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, celery, and carrots, and sauté until very soft, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin, and sauté for 30 seconds more. Add the oregano, vegetable stock, red-pepper flakes, tamari, tomato paste, vinegar, honey, walnuts, pinto beans, and kidney beans, and simmer until the sauce is thick and fragrant, 12 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Divide the Sloppy Jane mixture among the buns and top with 2 or 3 pickle slices and/or any other desired condiments. Serve immediately.

Have you tried this superfood summer fruit yet? It helps with inflammation, sleep, and more.

Based on excerpts from Vegetarian Heartland by Shelly Westerhausen, with the permission of Chronicle Books. Copyright © 2017.

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