Vegetarian Pinto Bean Sloppy Joes

Vegetarian Pinto Bean Sloppy Joes

11 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2014

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.

Ingredients 10 servings

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Original recipe yields 10 servings
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  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 large white onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup dry pinto beans, soaked (see Tip)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 8-ounce can no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups very thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • 3 tablespoons honey mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 whole-wheat hamburger buns


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Stir in cabbage, zucchini, corn, honey mustard, brown sugar and salt; cook on High for 30 minutes.
  4. 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 information

  • Serving size: About ⅔ cup & 1 bun
  • Per serving: 281 calories; 6 g fat(1 g sat); 11 g fiber; 50 g carbohydrates; 11 g protein; 134 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 13 g sugars; 6 g added sugars; 3,550 IU vitamin A; 44 mg vitamin C; 112 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 721 mg sodium; 765 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (73% daily value), Vitamin A (71% dv), Folate (34% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 2½ starch, 1½ vegetable, ½ lean meat, ½ fat

Reviews 11

January 28, 2019
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By: Maggie M
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.
April 03, 2018
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By: LisaC
Very filling and tasted delicious. The recipe makes quite a bit so had plenty for leftovers.
October 02, 2017
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By: Hope Ewing
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
June 27, 2016
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By: EatingWell User
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!
February 17, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
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
December 12, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
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.
June 27, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
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 ;-)
June 08, 2014
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By: Mark
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.
May 27, 2014
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By: Eliz L
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.
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