Vegetarian Sloppy Joe’s

If you’ve never tried tempeh before, you’re missing out. It’s a little bit like tofu, but less refined. And by “less refined” not “less sophisticated” but literally less refined by machines. Tempeh is much closer to the original soybean than tofu and has a firmer mouthfeel.

The great thing about tempeh is that it goes with just about anything. What’s more, it’s a healthy meat substitute if you’re looking at ways of controlling your meat consumption without reducing your quality of life.


Sloppy joes are one of the nation’s favorite comfort foods. Typically, a sloppy joe is a seasoned beef mince mixture poured over a fresh bun, with some jalapenos and shredded cabbage on the side. But over the years, brave souls have experimented with this classic recipe, looking for ways to make it veggie-friendly, and by and large, they’ve succeeded.

For many years, the humble lentil was the meat substitute of choice, but things have developed substantially over the last few years as more people join the plant-based movement. Now some of the most innovative food prep companies in the world have begun to incorporate mountains of tempeh in their products, thanks to its versatility and similarities to meat. You can read more about Sun Basket and how it is using tempeh in its recipes right now.

There’s another benefit to tempeh sloppy joes: they only take about 20 minutes to make. They are a classic easy, go-to weeknight meal you can whip up fast before settling down in front of the TV.

Okay, want to know more about how to make tempeh sloppy joes. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • A ½ pound of tempeh (about 250g)
  • 2 whole wheat buns
  • Sloppy joe sauce (make your own by mixing ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar)
  • 1 regular onion
  • 3 ounces shredded green cabbage
  • Coleslaw dressing
  • 2 shredded carrots


Making tempeh sloppy joes is easy.

First, chop or crush the tempeh to the desired particle size. Usually, you’ll want to crumble the tempeh to simulate mince. Next, add it to about two cups of water in a pan and heat until it starts to boil. It’ll take between 6 and 8 minutes to soften.

Once the tempeh is cooked, drain the excess water and transfer it to a plate.

Next, make the coleslaw. Shred the cabbage and carrot and mix it with your premade coleslaw dressing in a bowl.

Once you’ve done that, chop the onion and put it in a pan with a little olive oil and heat until translucent. Then add salt and pepper and stir for another two or three minutes. Add your sloppy joe sauce base, the temped and a couple of tablespoons of water to the pan and allow to cook until the sauce thickens for about 2 minutes.

Finally, toast the buns so that they are nice and soft, slice them open, pour over the sloppy joe mix and decorate with coleslaw and jalapenos if using.

Making tempeh sloppy joes for supper is super easy. Will you give it a try?

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