Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

by zoeibarker

The other night Joe expressed a craving for Sloppy Joes, but knowing they’d be vegetarian for me, he coined the term “Sloppy Zoes”


They were AMAZING and even though there are quite a few spices going on, the ingredient list is actually very simple and it’s overall super fast and easy.  And it’s both vegetarian and dairy-free so it meets both of our dietary needs! So here’s my recipe for Vegetarian Sloppy Joes aka Sloppy Zoes:


One package fake ground beef (we used “Beefless Ground Beef” from Trader Joe’s, but MorningStar Farms also makes really good Crumbles)

One can Tomato Sauce (also from Trader Joe’s)

1/4 c ketchup

1 1/2 TbspWorcestershire sauce (I’ve heard of vegetarian versions, but I use the regular since I still eat fish – up to you! You can also sub a little vegetarian BBQ sauce mixed with a tiny bit of vinegar)

1/4 c minced onion OR 1 small minced shallot OR 1 Tbsp onion powder (I only had onion powder but it turned out very good)

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp minced garlic

1/2 tsp mustard powder

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp thyme (or more to taste)

1 tsp paprika (optional, but we used it)

2 tsp chili powder (optional, but we used it… probably more than 2 tsp actually)

Salt and pepper to taste


In a large sauté pan or large pot (whatever you have that has decent surface area and a lid), over medium heat combine fake ground beef, onion (or onion powder or shallot), and at the last minute garlic. Get it all nice and hot and fragrant. The fake ground beef is already cooked so you’re just heating it and mixing it with the onion and garlic to add super great flavor.

Add tomato sauce (I only used most of the can, like 4/5 of it, but do to your liking), ketchup, Worcestershire sauce (or BBQ + vinegar mixture), and the brown sugar and then all those spices, stirring frequently. Taste and add more of whatever you see fit to get the flavor of your dreams.

Once it’s all nice and mixed, cover and turn the heat down to let simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir frequently.

After it is done hanging out and getting delicious you can do some last minute seasoning (I added a tiny pinch of salt and some black pepper). Now you have Sloppy Zoes! We lightly toasted wheat hamburger buns and kept it simple. Enjoy!