Tempeh Sloppy Joes


Tempeh Sloppy Joes

A food that is inherently impossible to eat, that will leave your fingers sticky and your white blouse a casualty of the first order? Yes, please!
Servings 4



  • 1/2 medium white onion small dice
  • 1 green bell peppers small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 oz tempeh crumbled into the consistency of ground meat
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup crushed whole tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 4 buns


  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 small head purple cabbage sliced into 1/4" thick ribbons


  • Make Slaw: Place cabbage in a large mixing bowl.
  • In a small bowl, combine red wine vinegar through black pepper to taste and whisk to incorporate.
  • Pour vinegar mixture over coleslaw, and use your hands to massage it into the cabbage. This will help soften the cabbage and make sure that every piece is covered! Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 400. Place buns on a baking sheet and set aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine ketchup through apple cider vinegar and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • Heat a large sauté pan to medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. When oil is shimmering, add onion and green peppers. Saute until soft and golden brown around the edges, stirring infrequently (approx. 3-4 minutes).
  • Add garlic and spices and sauté another 30 second or until fragrant.
  • Add tempeh and ketchup mixture and turn heat down to medium-low.
  • Cook mixture for another 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes, to allow the flavors to combine and sink into the tempeh.
  • While tempeh is cooking, place buns in the oven for 5 minutes, or until golden around the edges.
  • Remove tempeh from heat and serve on toasted buns with avocado and Quick Cabbage Slaw. I also baked up some Alexia potato wedges to accompany our Sloppy Joe’s!


Love them or hate them, Sloppy Joes have been a staple in childhood lunchrooms since, well, at least the 28 years I’ve been alive. It is strangely satisfying to eat a meal that really makes your work for it. May require multiple napkins, a hair tie and a fork, but eventually you can conquer this worthy adversary and join the Clean Plate Club!
Course: Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Dairy Free, dairyfree, family dinner, family friendly, Gluten Free, glutenfree, healthy, healthy dinner, healthy recipe, Vegan, Vegetarian

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