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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 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil or 3 tablespoons broth or water
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 (15–16 oz) can pinto or red beans (or 1 1/2 cups cooked), drained, rinsed, and coarsely mashed
  • 1 (15–16 oz) can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium tomato, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp reduced-sodium natural soy sauce or tamari, to taste
  • 1 tsp agave nectar or maple syrup, to taste
  • 2 tsp good-quality chili powder, or more, to taste
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 6 whole grain rolls, English muffins, or mini-pitas
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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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  • Reply
    July 9, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    I like it but since quinoa and the buns are both grains……….. I FEEL I can not eat this with out you, is that so bad?

  • Reply
    July 10, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Quinoa is actually a seed, it’s not a grain which is why it is gluten free!

  • Reply
    February 20, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      February 23, 2015 at 10:17 am

      I hope you enjoyed this recipe, Barb!

  • Reply
    March 27, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    April 21, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    May 24, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    What could I replace the tomato sauce with since my tummy doesn’t like tomato?

    • Reply
      October 27, 2017 at 8:04 pm

      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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