Kids in the Sink

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

on March 8, 2012

Typically we don’t eat a lot of “fake meat” in the Kids in the Sink kitchen.  Sometimes I even turn up my nose at recipes that call for soy crumbles or faux chicken.  Gross.

But seriously… after about 15 years of being a vegetarian,  sometimes a woman randomly gets a craving for something like sloppy joes.  I don’t ever even remember eating actual sloppy joes when I was a meat-eater so how I got a craving for them, I’m not sure.  Either way, one day I craved them and decided to make it happen for myself. Fake meat and all!

The result? A pretty delicious, filling meal.  I served it last night for Heather, her husband David, and our toddlers.  The only vegetarian in that group was me but I cater to myself, apparently.  David, the typical meat-eating male, decided to give the fake meat mixture a try.  I was proud of him.  Lots of people don’t even want to give veggie stuff a try.  But he dug right in and get this… ate TWO! Score!

That’s where I went from being proud of him to being proud of me. A vegetarian meal that even meat-eaters enjoy isn’t always easy to accomplish and this one definitely did.  I served them with oven baked french fries on homemade honey wheat hamburger buns.  I think they’d go great with a side salad too.  Mix it up!


Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

Serves 4-6 sandwiches


1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bag veggie crumbles (Boca or Morningstar are our favs)
1 tbsp tomato paste
⅓ cup BBQ Sauce
¼ cup ketchup
⅛ cup soy sauce
⅛ cup Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to be translucent.
  2. Add frozen veggie crumbles to skillet and heat until your “meat” is no longer frozen and is warmed through, about 4-5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together BBQ sauce, ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and black pepper to taste. Set aside.
  4. Stir in tomato paste and coat the crumbles.  Add the sauce mixture to the skillet and stir until all crumbles are coated in sauce.  Cook another 4-5 minutes until sauce begins to thicken.
  5. Serve sloppy joes on hamburger buns and get ready for a mess.

Source: Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe


6 responses to “Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

  1. Looks pretty yummy! I think I’ll have to try this on my favorite “manwich” nachos!!

  2. […] mouth.  You’ll never buy those veggie burger crumbles again (unless you want to make these sloppy joes, in which case, you should). And feel free to eat as many as you want because it’s all […]

  3. taniadluna says:

    Thanks for this recipe! I’m a long-time vegetarian and my meat-loving, Texan husband is still having a hard time adjusting since he doesn’t like vegetables (he’s also a very, very picky eater). I made these last night with steamed corn on the cob, and we both loved them! I’m excited to try your other recipes.

    • We are so glad that you both enjoyed them! I (Melissa) am a vegetarian and Heather eats a mostly vegetarian diet, but both of our husbands are also hardcore meat-eaters, so we understand! We just posted another recipe for lentil tacos, which have pleased both veggie lovers and meat-eaters around here! Thanks for trying us out!

      • taniadluna says:

        Oh, yes! I’m already all over that recipe. I’ve had lentils in the pantry for months with no good plans for them. Thanks again.

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