Vegan Sloppy Joes with Pinto Beans and Quinoa

Quinoa and Bean Sloppy Joes

Seriously—who needs fake meat when you can make hearty, beautifully textured dishes using grains and beans? This serves up deliciously on rolls, but if you’re not a bread person, you can serve the mixture in a lettuce-leaf cup or atop a corn tortilla. Serve with baked potatoes or sweet potatoes and any slaw-style salad. Fresh corn on the cob when in season is a great addition as well. Recipe from Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes by Nava Atlas. ©2014, published by HarperOne, reprinted by permission. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.  

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed in a fine sieve
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or 3 tablespoons broth or water
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked or one15- to 16-ounce can (drained and rinsed)
    pinto or red beans, coarsely mashed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 15- to 16-ounce can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium tomato, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium natural soy sauce or tamari, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar or maple syrup, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons good-quality chili powder, or more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 6 whole grain rolls, English muffins, or mini-pitas

Combine the quinoa with 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil, broth, or water in a medium skillet. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the bell pepper and sauté until both are golden.

Add the remaining ingredients except the bread of choice, and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook over medium-low heat, loosely covered, for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let the skillet stand off the heat for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle further and for the quinoa to absorb the tomato flavors.

Evenly spoon the filling over the bottoms of whole-grain rolls, cover with the tops, or serve open-faced.

Nutrition Information:
Per serving: 252 calories with oil, 223 without oil; 5g fat with oil, 2 g fat without oil; 400 mg sodium; 44g carbs; 9g fiber; 4.2g sugar; 11g protein

Vegan quinoa and bean sloppy joes recipe

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9 comments on “Vegan Sloppy Joes with Pinto Beans and Quinoa

  1. Barb

    This is good! I googled dinner with quinoa and pinto beans and this came up! We’ll eat it over lettuce. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Astra

    So good! I was down to one can of beans in the whole house, and I found some quinoa that I had forgotten about in the cupboard. Like Barb I googled pinto beans and quinoa, and this was the first recipe I saw! I toasted some cumin seed with the olive oil before adding the onions and bell peppers, and instead of a can of tomato sauce I used Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil Marinara – which I love! And instead of agave nectar I used a little vegan worcestershire sauce. Wonderful recipe, I will make it again! Thank you!

  3. Amy

    What a great recipe. Everyone was skeptical and 3 out of 4 loved it! 3 helpings for the 11-year-old. Very flavorful as written.

  4. Liz

    Great recipe. I added vegan Worcestershire sauce (Amy’s brand)–about 1 Tbsp. Having now read the comments, I think I would copy Astra and take out the agave, subbing Worcestershire instead.

    I also added mushrooms to the sauteed vegetables for more umami, and because I just love them. I put a little sauerkraut on top, too. Yum.

  5. Nava Post author

    Hi Anne — this is a tough question! You could try a teriyaki or peanut sauce; it would be an entirely different taste, but it could work!

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