Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

  • Servings: 4
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 35 minutes
  • Cost per serving: $1.89
  • Storage: The filling will keep in the fridge for 3 days or can be frozen. Spoon the filling over the buns immediately before serving.
  • Kitchen tools: Measuring cups and spoons, cutting board, vegetable peeler, sharp knife, large pot, can opener, colander, wooden spoon
  • This original recipe was developed by Extenso—the Université de Montréal reference centre on human nutrition.
Fondation OLO | Recette | Sloppy Joe


  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) canola oil
  • 1 large or 2 small yellow onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced into small pieces Or diced squash or carrots
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) ground cumin
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) chili powder
  • Salt, pepper and Tabasco-style hot sauce, to taste
  • 1 can (796 ml) crushed tomatoes
  • 250 ml (1 cup) water
  • 12 frozen spinach nuggets (about 500 ml/2 cups)
  • 1 can (540 ml) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 hamburger buns


1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sweet potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes.

2. Add the garlic, ground cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, hot sauce, crushed tomatoes, water and frozen spinach. Mix.

3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover, leaving a small space for steam to escape. Simmer for about 1 hour or until the sweet potatoes are soft.

Tip: Use the cooking time to prepare your side dishes.

4. Add the black beans, stir and cook for 5 minutes.

5. Spoon the black bean mixture over one half of each hamburger bun and cover with the other half before serving.


  • Serve on toasted buns for a change of texture.
  • It’s best to eat Sloppy Joes with a fork because the filling tends to spill.

Nutritional balance

This recipe provides foods from the following food groups:

  • Meat and alternatives
  • Vegetables
  • Grain products

Serve with:

  • A fruit
  • A glass of milk or fortified soy beverage