Meatless Monday: Vegan Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

by on November 10, 2013

Low Fat Vegan Chef's Meatless Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes (1)

It is snowing like crazy where I am right now and I am making good use of my slow cooker these days. Sometimes it’s just too chilly to spend much time in the kitchen, so I like to chop up some veggies and throw some beans into the slow cooker for an easy meal. These meatless sloppy joes are a super easy recipe that I guarantee ANYONE can make… if you have a knife and a slow cooker (or alternatively a pot and a stove) you can make this recipe. Promise.

For more slow cooker recipes I just throw things in with some herbs and spices and then adjust the seasonings at the end, but if you’re new to using the slow cooker for plant based recipes I know you’ll appreciate actual measurements! So that’s why I’m happy to help and share this recipe which is featured in my cookbook Vegan Comfort Foods From Around The World.

You can also serve this plant based sloppy joe recipe on rice or quinoa as well and eat it more like a chili too! Just tweak the spices to your liking and you can use this as a guideline for many different variations. 🙂

Low Fat Vegan Chef's Meatless Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes (2)

Vegan Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

Serves 8


2 15 oz. / 425 g. cans no-salt red kidney beans (or 4 cups fresh cooked)
2 large onions, sliced and chopped
2 large red bell peppers, sliced and chopped
1 14.5 oz. / 411 g. can fire roasted, crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
8 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ cup / 60 ml. organic ketchup (low sodium)
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
½ Tbsp. blackstrap molasses
1 tsp. chipotle or chili powder
½ tsp. roasted cumin
½ tsp. smoked paprika
8 hamburger buns or rolls (Gluten free if desired)

Slow Cooker Directions:
1. Drain the kidney beans and pour into a shallow dish.
2. Arrange the ingredients in the slow cooker starting with the onions, then beans, peppers, tomatoes, with garlic and seasonings on top.
3. Cook on low for 5-6 hours, or high for 3-4 hours. Stir and taste. Add more spices if desired. Mash part of the stew with a potato masher to thicken the sauce.
4. Serve with large hamburger buns or rolls.

Stove top Directions:

Add some vegetable broth to the bottom of a large pot and when hot add the onions and cook for 5-6 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until tender. Mash part of the mixture until chunky to thicken and serve.

This recipe can double as a quick chili. Just add more beans or diced vegetables and remove the ketchup and mustard. Alternately you can serve this with rice or quinoa for a 100% whole food meal.

Additional Tips:
Mash the beans really well as they need to absorb the liquid. If you don’t, it’ll be too runny. 🙂

For more delicious recipes check out my cookbook Vegan Comfort Foods From Around The World (with many many recipes you won’t find on the blog!)

Have you ever made sloppy joes before? What about meatless ones?  

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kelly L March 9, 2017 at 9:45 AM

YUM! I just made this for lunch. I cooked it on the stovetop and halved the recipe (I live by myself). The only changes that I made (because I didn’t have these two items) was to exchange kidney beans for northern beans and I used Stevia instead of molasses. I also added shredded carrot to my bun. Very yummy!!!!!


2 Veronica Grace March 14, 2017 at 5:30 PM

Glad you enjoyed it!


3 Joselynn August 13, 2015 at 10:09 PM

I have been trying to find more low fat vegan recipes and this site is really great!:)


4 Carey November 12, 2013 at 6:03 AM

Hi Veronica,

I never got a chance to thank you for the Comfort Foods book that I finally picked up a couple of weeks ago. I am looking forward to putting it to good use.

This recipe looks really good, too. I am just wondering if there is an extra part to step one where you put the beans into a shallow dish. Do they need to be mashed before putting them into the crockpot, or can they simply be drained and put into the crockpot in the proper order?



5 Matthew Ciuccio November 11, 2013 at 2:47 PM

You post this absolute best foods. I am so excited to make this! Thanks for all the great recipes!


6 Veronica Grace November 18, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Thanks Matthew 🙂 I hope you enjoy


7 Terri Cole November 11, 2013 at 11:13 AM

I’ve made the Snobby Joes (with lentils) from Veganomicon a few times. I like the idea of a crockpot version, I think this would be great for potlucks. Plus the seasonings look perfect! Pinning!


8 Joelle November 11, 2013 at 3:55 PM

Hi, I have this book, but I have not tried too many things from it. Do you have any favorites that are worth trying? And for whatever reason, my digestive system does not like lentils!


9 Veronica Grace November 11, 2013 at 4:06 PM

It usually takes people a little while of eating lentils and beans regularly for their digestive tracts to develop the right amount of enzymes to digest them. I would suggest using digestive enzymes until then to help you out, but I have zero problems with lentils or beans now because I eat them regularly. See if that helps.


10 Maggie November 11, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Sounds great – I have also made them with lentils. Not sure what I will use with this recipe – I may try pinto beans.


11 Jacqui November 11, 2013 at 9:42 AM

The photo is making me salivate!


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