The Best Vegan Sloppy Joes From Scratch – Carnivores Approve

Before we dive deep into this vegan sloppy joe recipe, I feel like it’s important to state that no Manwich can was used in the making of this recipe. Is Manwich vegan? Yes, it is vegan and vegetarian; however, it has high fructose corn syrup which is never a great thing to consume.

One of the key things I’ve noticed when cooking comfort vegan food is to make as much from scratch as possible. This helps season the meat alternative you are using and gives more flavor to the dish all around.

One of the sneaky things you will have to watch out for in this recipe is the bread. Many people just grab bread and assume it’s vegan when, in fact, most contain eggs, which means it is merely vegetarian.



  • 2 Packages Of Morning Star Beef Crumbles
  • 1 White Onion
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper
  • 2 Cartons Of Cremini Mushrooms
  • 4 Cloves Of Garlic
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 2 Can Diced Tomato – Garlic, Basil, Oregano
  • 1 Small Tomato Sauce
  • 1 TBSP Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 Can Green Chilis
  • 3 TBSP Vegan Worchester Sauce
  • 1 TBSP Cholula (add more if you want a kick)

Recommended Spices

  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt & Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Fennel (makes up for Italian sausage)
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder

I’m going to be honest with you, every time I ever follow a recipe, the measurements for spices are so off I swear people just make up a number and measurement to look genuine. A good rule of thumb is to start small, about 1 teaspoon, and add as needed.

You will want the most fennel in there because that is what will help give the recipe that sausage taste you will be missing from not using real meat.

Optional Ingredients:

  • Buns
  • Pickles

I typically do an open-faced sandwich to save my carb intake, and then I’ll just scoop a tidbit onto my plate afterward to really fill me up. I’m addicted to salt so I always put a pickle slice on top of my meat.


1. Step one is all about the prep work.

chopped mushrooms

I suggest buying an onion that is pre-diced; I started doing that and it has saved me so much time in the kitchen. Not to mention who like crying as they are cooking, not this girl.

Chop the mushrooms, onions, green pepper, red pepper, and garlic into small pieces. Not just any small pieces but extremely small squares, because this, is what is going to mimic the meat in the recipe, along with the Morning Star crumbles.

On a separate cutting board or plate, dice the pepper. I suggest deseeding the pepper and then rinsing it for those who don’t handle jalapeno well. For those who want a bit of spice just deseed it, and for those who love some heat in their mouth then leave a bit more of the seeds intact.

If you cut the jalapeno directly next to your other diced ingredients, seeds can go flying and contaminate your prepped veggies. Trust me, I’ve done it and I’ve paid for it later; talk about heartburn. If you cut the jalapeno first and then cut the other veggies over the area without wiping it down the same contamination will happen.

2. Saute Baby! 

Everyone has their own “base” they like to use to saute veggies. I personally like avocado oil or I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter (the vegan one, the original one contains milk).

Saute the garlic and onion together first. Instantly start to season with salt and pepper. Once the onions start to turn a bit translucent add in the green pepper, red pepper, jalapeno, and mushrooms. Add all the seasoning but the fennel as you sautee the rest of the veggies.

Next, add the meat crumbles and stir. 

3. Tomato Party 

Once your veggies and morning star crumbles are reasonably sautéed add your green chilis, diced tomatoes,

tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Mix thoroughly and add a bit more spice to the mix. Next, add the Worchester sauce and fennel, and once again, mix it up.

4. Simmer

Once all of these ingredients are together turn the heat down and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Taste throughout and add more spice as you see fit. Don’t go overboard on the mustard spice or you will ruin your masterpiece.

The key to a good recipe is tasting your dish throughout and adding spice as needed; cooking is an art, not a quickie.

5. Serve It UP

Your sloppy joes are now done and ready to be placed on top of some buns. Grab a knife and a fork because these sloppy joes are sure to be extra sloppy.

Add a pickle on top of the slop, and you’re ready to have yourself one good sloppy time.


You can get as complicated or as simple as you want when it comes to sloppy joe sides. I grew up on eating plain chips with my sloppy joes but as I got older I seem to enjoy eating cauliflower tots instead.

Tips For a Successful Recipe

  • Don’t add in any brand of meat alternative crumbles too soon or they will get tough and the crumbles will be chewy. The difference with morning star is they don’t get chewy; however, adding them too soon can make them almost soggy which isn’t the best thing either.
  • Don’t be lazy and make sure you chop the veggies small enough. Since the veggies in this recipe act as the “meat” of the dish you want them to be small adequately enough to resemble small meat crumbles or it will taste like you are eating Italian stir fry.
  • Taste your dish throughout. Chiefs food is always good because they taste it the whole way through and not just at the start or the finish.
  • You don’t really need the tomato paste, but some people prefer to cook with it. I sometimes skip it because it can easily, and quickly ruin a dish.
  • If you are seriously in love with ketchup or Manwich they can both be substituted for homemade sauce.
  • Wear gloves when you are cutting the jalapeño, the residue leftover on your hands can seriously burn if you accidentally touch your eye, nose or any other sensitive area. If you do happen to accidentally touch a sensitive area use milk to calm the burn. When I say to use milk I mean literally submerge the area in milk, it works! Don’t try water or it will make it worse.
  • Not all jalapeños are the same, some you get maybe a bit mild and others might be hotter.
  • Each recipe calls for its own meat alternative brand. You can use whatever brand your heart desires, I have just found that morning star beef crumbles work best for this recipe.
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