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My recipe for vegetarian sloppy joes uses TVP (textured vegetable protein) mixed with a thick and tangy tomato sauce to make this spin on a classic sandwich. Delicious and healthy! It's so flavorful that even avid meat-eaters won't notice there's no meat! | Tiny Kitchen Cuisine | https://tiny.kitchen/

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

Delicious and healthy! This recipe for vegetarian sloppy joes uses TVP and a tangy tomato sauce to this classic sandwich.
INGREDIENTS AT A GLANCE

Sloppy Joe "Meat"

  • 1 1/2 cups TVP
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion , chopped
  • 2 stalks celery , chopped
  • 1/2 medium bell pepper , chopped

Sloppy Joe Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flake (optional)
  • dash cayenne (optional)

Sloppy Joe Sandwiches

  • 8 slices american cheese (optional)
  • 8 hamburger buns
Total Time:
25 minutes
Serves:
8 sandwiches

My recipe for vegetarian sloppy joes uses TVP (textured vegetable protein) mixed with a thick and tangy tomato sauce to make this spin on a classic sandwich. Delicious and healthy! It's so flavorful that even avid meat-eaters won't notice there's no meat! | Tiny Kitchen Cuisine | https://tiny.kitchen/ Sloppy Joes are a quick and easy meal that both kids and adults love! Typically made with ground beef, these sandwiches consist of loose meat mixed with a thick and tangy tomato sauce on a hamburger bun. My spin on Sloppy Joes uses TVP (textured vegetable protein) to make it low-fat and vegetarian—making this classic sandwich both delicious and healthy! It’s so flavorful that even avid meat-eaters won’t notice it’s vegetarian.

Technically, in order to make vegetarian sloppy joes, you could just rehydrate the TVP and then add a can of Manwich or some other pre-packaged sloppy joe sauce. Those pre-made sauces contain a bunch of junky ingredients though. Plus, you’ll never get the texture right if you use TVP because the few vegetables those pre-made sauces include are usually overcooked. Fresh is always best!

TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) is dried soy protein that can be rehydrated and used as a substitute for ground meat in many different kinds of recipes. | Tiny Kitchen Cuisine | https://tiny.kitchen/

What is TVP?

TVP (a.k.a. textured vegetable protein) is dried soy protein that can be rehydrated and used as a substitute for ground meat in many different kinds of recipes.

In most cases, the TVP falls apart into a granules. You can use a thickening agent such a egg and breadcrumbs to get it to stick together if you wanted to use it as a substitute for meatballs or as a meatloaf. When used straight, it’s best used in recipes where the ground beef is expected to be finely ground—such as tacos or these vegetarian sloppy joes.

TVP is fragile. When buying TVP at the grocery store, look through the available bag and fix the largest flake you can get. This will get you the closest texture to ground meat. TVP by Bob’s Red Mill consistently has largest TVP flake size that I’ve found and I recommend their brand. It’s also pretty easy to find in the grocery store in either the organic/natural food section or in the baking aisle.

When making vegetarian sloppy joes with TVP, don't forget the crunch! Chop up lots of onion, celery, and green pepper! | Tiny Kitchen Cuisine | https://tiny.kitchen/

Other Creative Uses for Sloppy Joe Filling

My eyes are already bigger than my stomach when it comes to both sloppy joes and tacos. I always make too much! Vegetarian sloppy joe “meat” is great as leftovers. It’s just a minute or two in the microwave or about 4 minutes on the stovetop to reheat. Obviously you can make more sloppy joe sandwiches when you have extra meat, but that’s not all you can do!

Here are my favorite ways to reuse vegetarian sloppy joe leftovers:

  • Make vegetarian sloppy joe quesadillas
  • Dip potato chips in it
  • Use it as a topping for a baked potato
  • Add it to pasta for a quick ragout sauce
  • Use it as a pizza topping

Looking for the best vegetarian sloppy joe recipe?! This is it! Make meatless sloppy joes using TVP tonight! | Tiny Kitchen Cuisine | https://tiny.kitchen/

My recipe for vegetarian sloppy joes uses TVP (textured vegetable protein) mixed with a thick and tangy tomato sauce to make this spin on a classic sandwich. Delicious and healthy! It's so flavorful that even avid meat-eaters won't notice there's no meat! | Tiny Kitchen Cuisine | https://tiny.kitchen/

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Serves 8 sandwiches

Ingredients  

Sloppy Joe "Meat"

  • 1 1/2 cups TVP
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion , chopped
  • 2 stalks celery , chopped
  • 1/2 medium bell pepper , chopped

Sloppy Joe Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flake (optional)
  • dash cayenne (optional)

Sloppy Joe Sandwiches

  • 8 slices american cheese (optional)
  • 8 hamburger buns

Instructions

  • In a large skillet, melt butter and olive oil together.
  • Sauté chopped onions, bell pepper, and celery until soft. Reduce heat.
  • Add vegetable broth, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, chili powder, dry mustard, garlic powder, ginger powder, thyme, red pepper flake (optional), cayenne (optional), and ketchup. Stir together and heat until simmering.
  • Add TVP to the mixture. Mix well until TVP is completely coated. Cover and simmer on low for 10 minutes.
  • Adjust seasonings to taste.
  • Spoon mixture on a lightly toasted hamburger bun. Add a slice of american cheese on top (optional) and serve warm.
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: sandwich, vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

My recipe for vegetarian sloppy joes uses TVP (textured vegetable protein) mixed with a thick and tangy tomato sauce to make this spin on a classic sandwich. Delicious and healthy! It's so flavorful that even avid meat-eaters won't notice there's no meat! | Tiny Kitchen Cuisine | https://tiny.kitchen/

Making Vegetarian Sloppy Joes in a Tiny Kitchen
Even though the name says “sloppy” joes, these vegetarian sloppy joes are one of the cleanest meals to prepare in a tiny kitchen. The entire recipe happens in one large skillet. You’ll end up washing a cutting board, knife, skillet, spoon, and the plates you eat on. (If you’re really shameless—like I can be sometimes—you can skip the plates entirely and eat right over the skillet. It’s all good. No one will judge you.)

Because the “meat” is made of TVP, any leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to a week. It reheats well in microwave or on the stovetop, but don’t stir it too much when you’re reheating or you could make it mushy. I don’t recommend freezing it. It’s so easy to make fresh that that’s not worth it. I think freezing TVP does bad things to the texture anyway.

So there you have it—vegetarian sloppy joes! Give this recipe a try and let me know how you like it by leaving me a comment below.
 

That’s it!

Give this recipe for Vegetarian Sloppy Joes a shot and let me know what you think. Don’t forget to come back and give me your rating. If you have any questions or find other substitutions that are yummy, feel free to add those in your comments! As always, if you like this recipe, please share on social media so other people know about it too.
First Published On: February 16, 2018
Last Modified On: May 25, 2019
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One Response

  1. This meatless Sloppy Joes recipe was reeaally good, I had no tempeh so I used the frozen meatless crumbles I had in the fridge and it was perfect! The spice signature in the sauce was very flavorful, maybe a tiny bit too bold for me- I actually had to add some sugar to tone down the hotness a bit and then it was great. I didn’t find the meat to be dry. I used a little less veggie stock/broth and added about a half cup of prepared spaghetti sauce to get the consistency closer to what I wanted- that was before I added the filling. and it worked out just great! Thank you for coming up with the recipe.

Tiny.Kitchen
Valerie is the author of Tiny.Kitchen. With mouthwatering recipes and useful techniques, she combines her experience living in an RV with her professional cooking skills and love of food to address the unique concerns of those who want to make delicious meals in their tiny kitchen. Learn more »

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