This vegetarian Sloppy Joe recipe uses pinto beans and a heap of veggies tossed in a sweet, tangy sauce for the filling of a tad messy kid-friendly sandwich you can make in your slow cooker.

Carolyn Malcoun
Source: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2014


Recipe Summary

5 hrs 30 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and chili powder; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Remove from heat; stir in vinegar and scrape up any browned bits.

  • Coat a 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Drain and rinse the soaked beans; transfer to the slow cooker. Stir in bell pepper, tomato sauce, water, soy sauce (or tamari) and tomato paste to combine. Spread the carrot-onion mixture over the bean mixture, but don't stir the two together. (The layer on top helps keep the beans submerged during cooking so they don't dry out.) Cover and cook on High for 5 hours or Low for 9 hours.

  • Stir in cabbage, zucchini, corn, honey mustard, brown sugar and salt; cook on High for 30 minutes.

  • Serve the mixture on buns.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days; reheat before serving.

Equipment: 6-quart slow cooker

Before using beans in a slow-cooker recipe, soak them to ensure even cooking. Start by sorting beans to remove any pebbles; rinse well with cold water. To soak overnight: Place beans in a large bowl, cover with 3 inches of cold water and soak at room temperature for 8 to 24 hours. To “quick soak”: Place beans in a large saucepan with enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour.

For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.

Nutrition Facts

281 calories; protein 10.8g 22% DV; carbohydrates 50.2g 16% DV; exchange other carbs 3.5; dietary fiber 11g 44% DV; sugars 12.6g; fat 6.3g 10% DV; saturated fat 1g 5% DV; cholesterol 0.1mg; vitamin a iu 3550.1IU 71% DV; vitamin c 43.8mg 73% DV; folate 133.9mcg 34% DV; calcium 112mg 11% DV; iron 3.4mg 19% DV; magnesium 90mg 32% DV; potassium 764.8mg 21% DV; sodium 720.8mg 29% DV; thiamin 0.3mg 29% DV; added sugar 6g.

Reviews (11)

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11 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 6
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
Tastes awesome! I don t have a slow cooker so I baked it. For the beans covered with the carrot mixture I added 1/2 c water covered tight with aluminum foil and baked 60 min at 350 F. Then stirred in the cabbage and other veggies and added an additional 8 oz tomato sauce and baked uncovered for 30 min at 350 F. Came out PERFECT. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Very filling and tasted delicious. The recipe makes quite a bit so had plenty for leftovers. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I love this recipe and it is very healthy and delicious.if u cannot find green cabbage u can use purple.thank u for this recipe. i am allergic to corn so i use a yellow bell pepper or summer squash.i have a heart condition and i was super fine on this heart has been well for about one year Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Not Heart-Healthy Your idea of heart-healthy is WAY OFF! To be heart-healthy a recipe needs to have 500mg or less of sodium and 50mg or less of cholesterol. Your standards for heart-healthy and low sugars are way off the standards. Pros: delicious spicy easy Cons: Too much sodium to be heart-healthy! Read More
Rating: 2 stars
This tasted more like chili than sloppy joes. I cooked mine on low for 8 hrs and when I got home part of it had burned to the side (but that might be my slow cooker's fault). I may try to make again but with different seasonings so that it actually tastes like sloppy joe. Cons: doesn't taste like sloppy joe Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I love this! I made this for my son's first birthday party with a side option of mac and cheese. Everybody went nuts for it and I was asked repeatedly for the recipe. Super easy and very tasty. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Best Ever! Fantastic recipe. Especially for a lazy vegetarian like me who doesn't cook! I forgot to buy more chili powder so I only had 1 tbs. I substituted by adding 1 tbs of cayenne pepper. Yowza! Still delicious. Pros: tasty easy delicious scrumptious did I mention easy? Cons: Sloppy;-) Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Gets better with age. I made this as written. At first it was just okay but by the end of the week the last of the left overs were pretty good! It seemed to get better every day. A pretty easy 4 stars for me. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This dish was fantastic. I Love bean dishes and I love sloppy joes. This was a perfect combo of both. I made it exactly as the recipe stated. I always follow the recipe the first time I make it and then I tweak when I make it again. This recipe needs no tweaking. Perfect the way it is. I did use 1 TBS of Penzey's Chili 3000 and 2 TBS of their regular Chili seasoning. It got even better the next day. Reheats wonderfully. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I cooked the pintos separately on the stovetop because they were old and I didn't want to risk them not getting done in the slow cooker with all the other ingredients. let it run for 2-3 hours in the slow cooker on low and added the last vegies at the end. this was very good!. I didn't have honey mustard so subbed about 2 TB Dijon and 1 TB honey thinking it must be similar. very easy and diet friendly. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Yummy! Very yummy stuff! I used a bag of broccoli slaw instead of cabbage and 2 cans of pintos (rinsed and drained) instead of dried and it came out great. It was a little spicier than I expected and next time I might try a 1/2 T. less chili powder for my own personal taste which doesn't think of sloppy joes as being this spicy. It was good though and I'll make it again for sure. Pros: Easy-peasy Read More