These fast and easy healthy Sloppy Joes are tangy, sweet, and savory all at once! The saucy -two-bean filling is a hit with kids and adults alike.

Healthy sloppy joes

Looking for a healthy dinner recipe that’s lightening fast and seriously satisfying? These healthy Sloppy Joes are a dinnertime savior around here. And they’re a hit with kids, adults, carnivores, and plant-eaters alike! The two-bean saucy filling is savory, tangy, and a little sweet. The secret? Kidney beans and pinto beans, sauteed onions, ketchup, and a whole bunch of savory spices. Our son Larson cannot get enough of them! Here’s how to make this fast and easy dinner recipe.

Why make these Sloppy Joes?

First of all: why make these healthy Sloppy Joes? If you’re looking to eat more plant-based foods, it’s the perfect way to satisfy a craving for the meat-based version of this comfort food. You don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to enjoy it: this recipe is a great for eaters of all kinds who want to eat less meat and more plants.

There’s more and more research out about the benefits to your body and the environment of eating less meat. This New York Times article shows the difference in emissions of eating beef versus vegetables (scroll to the info graphic). Check out the impact of beef versus beans. So this one is great for

How to make healthy Sloppy Joes: the basic steps

These two-bean vegan Sloppy Joes are easy to make and come together in just 20 minutes. It’s the perfect easy weeknight dinner. Here are the basic steps for how to make them:

  • Saute minced onion and celery in olive oil for about 5 minutes.
  • Add pinto beans, kidney beans, ketchup, tomato sauce, Worcestershire, vinegar, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until thickened.
  • Serve on a bun and enjoy!
healthy Sloppy Joes

Make it a meal!

The texture of these healthy Sloppy Joes isn’t quite like the meat version: beans are much different than meat! So you’ll need to prepare your eaters that it’s a different kind of Sloppy Joes: but just as tasty! If you’re looking for a sandwich with more of a meaty texture, try our Vegan Sloppy Joes instead.

For serving with these healthy Sloppy Joes, we suggest whipping up a batch of our easy vinegar coleslaw (pictured) or our best creamy coleslaw recipe. Or, here’s a collection of recipes we think would be fantastic side dish recipes to serve alongside:

More vegan kid friendly recipes

This Sloppy Joes recipe always goes over well with kiddos: we always know it will be a hit. If you’re looking for more vegan kid friendly recipes, head to 10 Top Vegan Recipes for Kids. We share our top 10 vegan recipes for kids like our creamy tomato soup, vegan chocolate chip cookies, and more!

This healthy Sloppy Joes recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy free. For gluten-free, use a gluten-free bun.

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Healthy Sloppy Joes

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


These fast and easy healthy Sloppy Joes are tangy, sweet, and savory all at once! The saucy -two-bean filling is a hit with kids and adults alike.


  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 celery rib or green onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup organic ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce (or this substitute)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Dash hot sauce


  1. Finely chop the onion and celery. In a skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and celery and saute until soft, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Drain the beans. Add the kidney beans, pinto beans, tomato sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, kosher salt, and black pepper to the skillet, and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes until thickened. Taste, and adjust seasoning as desired.
  3. Serve on a toasted bun, with vinegar coleslaw or creamy coleslaw if desired.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Healthy Sloppy Joes, Vegan Sloppy Joes, Vegan Sandwich Recipe, Sandwich Recipes, Healthy Dinner Ideas

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. Worcester isn’t vegetarian (fyi). I don’t know if you were going for that, but I think vegetarian when I see meatless. I’m going to definitely try this, sans worcester sauce.

    1. I guess it depends on your definition of vegetarian — but, I agree that with anchovies, Worcestershire is definitely not vegan. We eat meatless meals mostly for health and environmental reasons, so we don’t mind a small amount of fish in our diet.

  2. Hi, y’all!
    Love the website — and how much inspiration you’re providing me as a vegetarian newly transported to the Indy area. A quick note, though: Worcestershire sauce isn’t vegetarian. It has anchovies in it (unless you buy a specifically marked vegetarian brand).

    1. This is true! Since you weren’t the first to note this, I’ve added a note to the recipe.

      We’re not strict vegetarians – we just eat mainly meatless meals for environmental and sustainability reasons. So, occasional fish and local meat is part of our diet!

      Glad you enjoy the website – and glad to meet a fellow Indy resident!

  3. What a great idea :) Looks incredibly delicious! A great quick meal for a busy weeknight. I’ll have to try this soon!

  4. Hello to my fellow nap-town residents! I made this for dinner last night and it was very good! My husband grew up eating Manwich and said it wasn’t quite as sweet as that, so I may add a little brown sugar next time. I think you could present this recipe as a type of thick chili soup, as well. We both decided this is definitely a “make again” recipe, so thanks!

    P.S. for vegetarians: I subbed tamari (soy) sauce for the Worcestershire sauce and it worked out just fine.

  5. Hey there! I have made so many of your recipes and I thought it was time for me to pop in and say how much we (my hubby, my 1 year old daughter, and I) love your creations. This one in particular was a HUGE hit! I will definitely be making this again!

  6. I enjoy reading your recipes, have made a couple of them and liked them. Any way you could includ
    e nitritional information (calories, protein, etc?)

    1. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the recipes! We don’t like to focus too much on nutritional information, we feel sometimes it can be distracting from our focus on homemade food. Any time you are interested in the facts about one of our recipes, you can just coy and paste the ingredient list and number of servings into the calculator on this website: Thanks for commenting!

  7. This is a great recipe! I will definitely be trying this soon. Quick question – any reason why fresh garlic isn’t included?

    1. I don’t think we left it out for any particular reason, probably just to keep the prep as easy possible. Let us know if you try it!

  8. Hi! My husband and I have been big fans of your blog for a while. We recently switched from vegetarian to vegan, and I was so glad to see this recipe. We just made it and LOVED it! We did buy vegan Worcestershire sauce (brand: Annie’s naturals, found in the condiment aisle at Whole Foods). It was great. It is a little pricey for a small bottle, so if there are other vegans out there wanting to make this, it might be worth it to make a homemade version. I found this recipe – from Martha Stewart, oddly enough – but haven’t tried it (

    Thank you so much for the tasty recipe! Keep doin’ what you do.


  9. I just made this for supper, and I’m so impressed! It was perfect comfort food for a wet fall day. I just made a couple minor adjustments. Left out the Worchestershire, as I’m vegetarian, added some barbecue sauce for a little sweetness, and used balsamic vinegar because I didn’t realize I was out of apple cider vinegar. We ate it on whole wheat ciabatta rolls. It was real hit, and I’ll definitely make it again.

    1. Sounds delicious – the adjustments sound great! Thanks for the reminder on this recipe; we’ll have to make it again too! :)

  10. Definately sub the worcestire sauce for either soy or barbeque sauce. I like to sub the worcestire sauce for soy sauce and still add a bit of bbq sauce. YUM

  11. I made these last week and they are so good. I am a pescatarian so I do use the Worcestershire but either way this is amazing. Best “sloppy Joe” I have had since I quit meat over 3 years ago. Thank you for sharing!

  12. Have you cooked with, or made, seitan? I trust your recipes and I would want to use one of your seitan recipes if you had one. Thanks.

  13. Amazing – fast, delicious, and satisfying! I thought it was great on its own, but could see some carrot coins being a nice cool accompaniment.

  14. It was nice recipe to make quick however I’ve made quite a few of these sloppy joe meat replacements and this one tastes a lot like tomatoes I should have put seasonings before added all the sauces so they can flavor it better added TBS of molasses and maple syrup giving it less a tomato flavor and teaspoon liquid smoke green pepper and a few shiitake mushrooms I had to use up just added them in with the onion and celery

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