Recipe: Easy Veggie Mince Sloppy Joes

Last Updated on June 12, 2023 by HodgePodgeDays

During those long lockdown days, I fell deeply out of love with cooking. Having a house full of people who weren’t legally allowed to go out meant that I was head chef for rather longer than I liked. As a result, the meals I produced became lazier, which is not always a bad thing.

My now 12 year old had discovered American YouTube at around that time, so my need to cook less often happily coincided with him making requests for simpler, American style food, like Sloppy Joes.

If you’re not sure what a Sloppy Joe is, it’s essentially savoury mince served in a burger bun, sometimes with a slice of processed burger cheese, sometimes not. It does sound a bit odd, but actually it turns out it’s a great way to launder extra veg into our family without them realising. It’s also pretty cheap to make and very quick to throw together after a long day of toil.

It’s now a pretty regular treat meal. My son goes nuts for it. I think it’s quite nice, but often prefer to top a jacket spuds with the mince than eat it like a burger, but that’s also fine.

Easy Veggie Mince Sloppy Joes

I’m vegetarian, so I make our version with veggie mince, and you can very easily make it vegan if you want to. My meat eating son never notices that it’s fake meat, but if meat is what you need, then just swap the veggie mince for lean beef mince and that would work really well too. Just make sure you brown it separately before adding it to the veg mix.

Although I’ve not yet made this in the slow cooker, it is the kind of recipe that would work well I think. I always think veggie mince gets more flavour in the slow cooker. I tend to use the Morrisons Plant Based Mince, it holds its texture pretty well and has a good flavour which works well in tacos and Sloppy Joes, but use whatever your preferred veggie mince brand is.

Easy Veggie Mince Sloppy Joes


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium carrots, finely diced, or grated
1 pepper, finely diced
1 finely chopped medium sized onion
A stick of celery, finely chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
400g veggie mince
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
200mls passata
1 tablespoon of tomato purée
1 tablespoon mushroom ketchup (this is optional)
Generous splash of red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of dried mixed herbs
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 veggie stock cube
Salt and pepper to taste
Chilli or hot sauce, optional
Burger buns, oven bottom rolls work well for this
Burger cheese slices, optional

Easy Veggie Mince Sloppy Joes

How to make your veggie mince Sloppy Joes

In a deep frying pan with a lid, heat your oil and cook your diced vegetables, but not your garlic, gently until soft. Stir often and add a splash of water if you feel the pan is too dry. Once the veg is soft, add the garlic and stir in.

Add the veggie mince, chopped tomatoes, passata and the rest of the seasonings, stir well and put the lid in your pan leaving it to simmer gently for half an hour. Check if you’re happy with the seasoning, you can add more salt, pepper or whatever until you’re happy.

I like to use mushroom ketchup, as it adds a real depth of flavour to veggie mince dishes. It can be hard to get hold of, so you can maybe try Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce instead.

We like our Sloppy Joes to have a little bit of warmth, so you might want to add some of your favourite chilli sauce to give it a kick. It’s fine if not though, we don’t go wild with the hot sauce, but it is better for a little bit of it.

Easy Veggie Mince Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are quite messy to eat, so before you serve it’s worth checking to see how wet your mixture is. You don’t want it too liquid, it’s best and less messy to eat when it’s a fairly dry consistency. I usually remove the lid towards the end of cooking just to let some of the liquid evaporate off. Likewise, if it’s too dry for your tastes, you can always add a splash of water to loosen it up.

To serve, split your burger buns, pile in a respectable amount of the Sloppy Joe mixture and if you like, top with a cheese slice. Serve with fries, or salad, or both!

Like I said earlier, savoury mince dishes are great for hiding veg in. I usually dice a carrot and then finely grate a carrot into the mix. You can add more peppers if you like, or mushrooms and courgettes work well too.

It’s a simple meal, but a popular one for good reason. This panful makes a hearty amount for three and there’s always enough for lunch the next day. It also freezes like a dream, so it’s worth doubling up and freezing some for a rainy day!

Recipe: Easy Veggie Mince Sloppy Joes

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