Vegan Sloppy Joes


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Recently when I made Curried Ginger & Raisin lentils, I mentioned how much I loved Manwich growing up.

I tried to loosely replicate Manwich in my last lentil recipe, Ketchup & Mustard Lover’s Protein & Veggie MashBut no matter how much ketchup I added, it just wasn’t Manwich.

Sometimes it’s fun to re-invent the wheel, like making Raw Vegan Gluten-Free Girl Scout “Samoas” Cookies.

Raw Vegan Gluten-Free Girl Scout "Samoas" Cookies

Other times it’s not so fun, and you use what you know is tried-and-true, such as a can of Manwich.  Which is exactly what I did.  Manwich is vegan according to many internet sources.  Google it.

Vegan Sloppy Joes on plate with salad



Vegan Sloppy Joes with Lentils & Beans (Bun-less)


1 c dry Green Lentils (green lentils are much heartier and firmer than red which turn to mush much easier)

1 can beans (I used red kidney)

1 can Manwich

Optional: 1 to 1.5 c diced Vegetables (I used carrots and broccoli)

Optional: 1 med/large Potato (the potato helps to absorb any excess liquid since there is no meat to “soak up” the Manwich.  Skip/reduce potato amount as desired.)

Optional: Chili powder, cayenne, cumin, garlic, onions, tomatoes/tomato sauce, salsa, salt/pepper, EVOO, all to taste


Cook 1 cup dry lentils with 2 cups water on stovetop (Bring the lentils and water to a boil, then cover and reduce heat).  Simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until lentils are cooked.

While the lentils are simmering, cook the potato in the microwave.  (Large potatoes in my micro take about 8.5 to 9 minutes, turning potato over once midway through cooking.)  Dice the cooked baked potato into large chunks.

Once the lentils are cooked, add the everything except the cooked and diced potato and stir.  Simmer for 5-10 minutes on low heat, covered.

Then, fold in the (delicate) cooked potato chunks.

Stir to combine, and serve. (Being gluten free, I did not buy buns.  This would be great on buns, or even scooped up with chips)

Yields: Dinner for 3, plus leftovers for two more meals.




Here’s a Visual Guide

Ingredients need to make Vegan Sloppy Joes Vegan Sloppy Joe ingredients in potAfter the lentils are cooked, add in everything except the potato. Stir, cover, & simmer for 5-10 minutes

Fold in the cooked & diced potato

Diced potatoes added to pot

Serve the Bun-less Lentil Joes on buns, with chips, or as-is.  Simply next to a salad.

Finished Vegan Sloppy Joes on plate with salad

Close up of plated Vegan Sloppy Joes

The recipe is a one-pot meal, vegan, gluten free, ready in less than 30 minutes, makes planned leftovers, is packed with protein, and is cheap to make.

Vegan Sloppy Joes on plate with mixed vegetable salad

And oh yes, helps satisfy my childhood Manwich memories.   Minus the meat and gluten.

Close up of Vegan Sloppy Joes

The potato, beans, and added veggies help to “beef up” the recipe.  Pun intended. Even my Man (wich) didn’t miss the meat.  He wished for buns, but oh well, next time.

Planned leftovers are my savior.

Leftover Vegan Sloppy Joes in clear container
Check out my One-Pot Meals for a round up of recent lentil, rice, potato, veggie-bakes, casseroles, and recipe ideas that are variations on this theme.

From my last post, I’m glad you enjoyed Averie’s Alphabet.  It was fun hearing what your alphabet answers were.

Dessert: Wash your Lentil Joes down with Raw Vegan Chocolate MacaroonsDehydrator or oven-friendly.

Raw Vegan Chocolate Macaroons


1. Do you like Sloppy Joes?   Or Manwich?

I loved them as a kid.  I rarely ate meat as a child (just a personal preference thing from a very young age) but one way my mom could entice me to eat meat was when it was covered in Manwich.  The meat didn’t ever digest well, but I sure loved the sauce.

I am still a condiment loverBig time.  I like a little food with my sauce.

2. Do you have a favorite Sloppy Joes recipe?

I posted links to a couple of them as well as other lentil recipes, here, that I’ve seen and need to try.  Including the PPK recipe Snobby Joes.

3. Do you have any foods from childhood that no matter how much you grow up, you just have to have that particular food?

Yes!  Things like Sloppy Joes and Girl Scout cookies come to mind.

TGIF gang!  Any plans for the weekend yet?


About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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  1. I’m a 20 year old college student and I eat a healthy diet but sometimes it gets repetitive, I made this using your recipe yesterday and loved it! Thank you! :)

  2. You created a few good factors there. We looked on the internet for that issue and located the majority of people goes together with together with your web site.

  3. We love sloppy joes! I just made some maple BBQ turkey ones last night from a Rachael Ray mag. Sarah was the only one that wasn’t too fond of the taste. I later found a can of Manwich in my pantry so I told her I’d use that next time. ;)

  4. I love love love sloppy joes (well not the REAL kind) no meat please! so these will sure fill that craving :D.. I HAVE to have mac and cheese (I always ate it as a real kid!) so now that I can make vegan versions ROCKS

  5. This looks delish… there really is something about that canned Manwich sauce that is so delicious!

  6. I don’t know why, but it never occurred to me that Manwich sauce would be vegan on it’s own! I personally am not a sloppy joe fan (never have been!) but I think that’s really interesting and definitely something cool to tell my friends about;) haha they’ll be impressed (maybe!)

  7. I love sloppy joes but I don’t think I’ve ever had manwich! In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had a real sloppy Joe, just chili or vegan sloppy joes, lol.

    I loooooooooove samoas, omg, I could eat a whole box!!

    It’s been a crazy long week! I’m exhausted.

  8. Ahhh, Manwich! I never had it growing up. My mom always bought the dried spice packet that you mix with tomato paste and water…bleh! I bought it once after I moved out on my own because it was on sale and I was like, “Whoa, where have you been all my life??” Lol

    I haven’t had it in a year or so. If I get a craving, I always turn to HEAB’s sloppy joes! Soooooo yummy!

    No plans for the rest of the weekend, but I did make a TJ’s/WF’s run today! Had to get my fix…it’s been almost a month since I’ve been to either store!

  9. Only place I ate sloppy joes growing up was at school so they are not a fond childhood memory. Do you use TVP at all? That would give you a texture much closer to a traditional Manwich when mixed with the lentils?

    1. dont usually cook with TVP but good suggestion; I bet it would definitely add ‘authenticy’ if I get inspired.

  10. I think I told you before, I like my vegan joe’s with pearled barley. My husband loves them and requests them all the time. Yours look great, too!

    1. yes, i remember but thanks for the reminder! barley isn’t GF so i havent used it but i used to LOVE barley when i ate more gluten. Yum!

  11. I have only had sloppy joes once, and I didn’t like them … mostly because I didn’t like the soggy bun.

  12. Smart Manwich makeover.

    I liked them as a kid, too. As an adult, I’ve made them with ground turkey and chicken. A vegan version sounds great.

  13. I always loved sloppy joes growing up, but nobody in my family is a fan.

    funny story about manwich, I bought a can a while back and my husband broke into it…thinking he’d make us dinner one busy night and was really upset that they left the meat out.

    I don’t remember them ever adding meat to the can stuff but I could be wrong.

    I think your vegan-lentil version needs to be added to next week’s menu for sure.
    sounds perfect, and who doesn’t appreciate a one pot meal on a work night???


  14. Yum I have never had sloppy joes but these look amazing, as do those coconut macaroons right below them! haha im totally craving chocolate right now I need to get off blogs everyone I see has something chocolate that I want to make! By the way I was wondering how you get cookbooks to review, I am interested in doing a book review on my blog and was not sure if there is a company to go through or if you contact the publisher directly! Thanks <3 your blog!

    1. The publishers contact me now. In the beginning, I used to contact them every once in awhile. Now, 99% of everything I review on my blog now…they contact me. Have fun doing your book reviews!

  15. who knew about the manwich being vegan…awesome
    I love sloppy joes using lentils..even better on a toasted bun:)
    I use the PPK recipe or Vegan Dad’s recipe

    Ps I tried your curried ginger and raisin lentils. It’s a fave already. Made it twice since you posted about it:)

    I’m studying for an upcoming organic chem final. I’m trying to be a good student and not leave it all to a last minute cramming session:)

    Have a great weekend!!

    1. “curried ginger and raisin lentils. It’s a fave already. Made it twice since you posted about it:)”—-
      thanks for LMK, Melissa. Good luck with your studying this weekend.

  16. Manwich def brings back some child hood memories! I have been wanting to make sloppy joes out of lentils! This sounds supper yummy! I also am drooling over those chocolate macaroons

  17. woooo! I like your Sloppy Joe recipe! I have one too using tempeh but I really like the sounds of yours. :)
    Happy Friday!

  18. You just went up some serious cool points in my book for using manwich.

    Hamburger Helper, Friday fish fries, my gandma’s 7 layer bars, Potato chips with French’s sour cream and onion dip, jello, bacon wrapped chicken nuggets (my favorite meal frowing up), baked pizza burgers.

    Can you tell I’m from the midwest? ;)

    1. manwich = MN and WI childhoods for sure

      ALL of these are my childhood too: Hamburger Helper, Friday fish fries, my gandma’s 7 layer bars, Potato chips with French’s sour cream and onion dip, jello!! YES!

  19. I recently made the “Sloppy Josephines” from and whiel they were very good for what they were, something authentically-Sloppy-Joe-ish was missing. LOTS of sauce (tomato paste, tomato sauce, Worcestershire, soy) in the recipe, but, despite the chili powder, the spicier-meat-taste was missing. Perhaps taco seasoning would have helped. Again, everyone loved it — and though the texture was right, just didn’t taste to me that much like Sloppy Joe’s, which I did enjoy on occasion as a kid!

      1. thanks for the review and info. I saw her recipe and rather than reinventing the wheel, i just cracked a can of (vegan) manwich. Thanks for the detailed info!

  20. Awesome job, this recipe looks wonderful! Ah yes on trying recipes, I have a few work-in-progress ones that hopefully I’ll get right one day. :-)

    1. They’re okay, but huge sandwiches tend to be gut bombs for me. I would serve it as a side and not in a bun.
    2. Not really, I’ve tried a few in the past.
    3. Probably cereals, I have such found memories of Lucky Charms, Fruit Loops, etc. But I haven’t had those in ages. Oh, and tempura because we used to have family tempura nights around a fryer.

  21. Isn’t it funny that I just assumed Manwich had meat in the sauce because that’s what it shows on the can? Wow. I have never had it–obviously :) xoxo

  22. I love sloppy joes — my parents used to make them all the time — with Manwich of course. Never knew it was Vegan — you learn something new every day!

    Childhood foods: I’ll always love pancakes since my dad used to make them every Sunday, and stuff like mashed potatoes/gravy/stuffing from holidays always bring back memories of being a kid.

    Have a great weekend Averie!

  23. How interesting that Manwich is vegan?? I never would have thought that! I didn’t even know what it was I always assumed it was sloppy joe mix and it had meat. Good to know! This looks awesome. I am a HUGE lentil fan :-)

  24. I do like sloppy joes. I used to make a version with soy crumbles, but I need to do the lentils now. Yours looks perfect!

  25. I’ve tried PPK’s version and it was pretty good. I love your simple, one-pot meals! There are some secret family recipes that I’ve grown up eating that I’ve tryied to veganized and they came out pretty delicious!

  26. I’ve never had mamwich before.. but I’m pretty sure I’d like it.

    Sometimes, I crave instant mashed potatoes with margarine. Total comfort food that reminds me of my grandmother.

  27. Haven’t had a Sloppy Joe since high school. I don’t really miss them either. I think my parents served them because it was a quick & easy way to feed 3 growing kids.

    Childhood foods: rice pudding (the way my granny made it)

  28. LOVE this idea! Definitely going to give it a whirl and I’m going to the store immediately for the ingredients for the dessert (it’s just that kind of day!) Love your blog, glad I stumbled by :)

  29. I just made your Ketchup and Mustard Lovers Veggie Mash – it was great and I will post about it soon!

    I used to like sloppy joes when I was little and when I was older I pretty much avoided them but recently I did have a craving for a sloppy joe type sandwich.

    Christmas Cookies bring me back and Apple Pies around Halloween, my mom would always made homemade apple pie after we picked them from an orchard.