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Sunday Suppers with Lunchbox Love–Spicy Vegan Sloppy Joes

There is a movement in the United States to eat less meat, for health and environmental reasons. Food writer Mark Bittman has long advocated for vegan before 6:00 in the evening and has a cookbook explaining how he’s done it. These Spicy Vegan Sloppy Joe’s, from the Food Network, is a flavorful, meatless meal that will be a welcome addition to your meatless repertoire. What I love about them is that they use mushrooms and nuts, rather than beans or soy, to mimic the meat consistency.

Sunday Suppers with Lunchbox Love | Vegan Sloppy Joes

(image and recipe courtesy of Food Network)


1 pound cremini mushrooms, halved
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 3/4 cups light beer (drink what’s left in the bottle)
Kosher salt
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and diced
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/4 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons tomato paste
6 whole grain hamburger buns
Shredded red cabbage or lettuce, pickled jalapeno and scallions, for serving, optional


Pulse the mushrooms in batches in a food processor until finely chopped. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, 1 tablespoon beer and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the walnuts and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, 3/4 teaspoon black pepper and chipotle powder and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are just cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Add the remaining beer, the ketchup, tomato paste and 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook while stirring until the sauce is the consistency that you like, about 2 minutes.

Spoon the mixture onto each bun. Serve with toppings if desired.

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