Vegan Sloppy Joes Recipe

Chef notes

I love this recipe because it’s so flavorful and hearty. This is a home run for people who are worried about walking away from the table unsatisfied. It’s great for large groups and serves up well, year-round.

Technique tip: Try to evenly chop the onion and bell pepper in the food processor so they cook in the same amount of time.

Swap option: Swap in chickpeas or kidney beans if you prefer over cannellini.



In a food processor, finely chop the garlic. Add the onion and bell pepper chunks and pulse several times until evenly (but not too finely) chopped.


In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion mixture and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring often, for 6 to 7 minutes, until tender.


Meanwhile, place the cauliflower florets in the food processor. Pulse several times until chopped into very small, but not fine, pieces. You’ll need 4 cups of chopped cauliflower.


Add the cauliflower to the skillet and cook, stirring often, for 5 to 6 minutes, until crisp-tender. Stir in the beans.


In a small bowl, stir together the tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, chile powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and the water. Stir into the cauliflower mixture. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, until heated through.


To heat the hamburger buns, in a large skillet, heat a thin layer of oil. Place the buns cut-side down in the skillet. Cook for about 1 minute, or until the undersides are golden-brown.


Dividing evenly, spoon the mixture among the hamburger buns and top with pickles. Serve with potato chips, if using.

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