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These mushroom sloppy joes are a flavorful vegetarian take on the ol' classic dinner sandwich. The meatless mushroom and walnut filling is piled high on a burger bun and then topped with a crunchy slaw and spicy chipotle aioli. They're sweet, smoky, and saucy, and ready in just 40 minutes!
For another lightened-up take on sloppy joes, try our turkey sloppy joes topped with cheddar cheese!
Whether or not you enjoyed sloppy joes as a kid, you're going to love these grown-up vegetarian mushroom sloppy joes! This version of the American classic features a hearty filling made up of mushrooms and walnuts cooked in an umami-rich sauce. We serve 'em with a simple crunchy slaw and a generous slather of spicy chipotle aioli for a satisfying meal that packs a big punch!
Here's what you need to make the hearty meatless mushroom & walnut filling:
- Mushrooms: we use a simple mix of button and cremini mushrooms, but feel free to use other varieties such as king trumpet or oyster mushrooms if they are available to you.
- Tomato paste: we let the tomato paste caramelize in the pan, which adds a ton of flavor.
- Light beer: a light beer such as a lager adds depth of flavor and a hint of sweetness while replacing the liquid from traditionally used canned tomatoes.
- Chipotle peppers in adobo: chipotle peppers in adobo are spicy and distinctly smoky with an underlying sweetness. Find them in cans or jars with the Mexican products at your grocery store.
Other ingredients you need are vegetable oil, onions, garlic, walnuts, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, sea salt, and your favorite hamburger buns.
How to make mushroom sloppy joes
This easy-to-make vegetarian sloppy joes recipe is a delicious meatless meal for any night of the week. Here's how it comes together in a couple of easy steps:
- Sauté the onions in a skillet until they're soft, then add the mushrooms followed by the garlic. You want the mushrooms to be a little bit browned without overcooking the garlic.
- While the mushrooms cook, prepare your slaw. The key here is getting the veggies nice and thin by using a mandolin or sharp knife. In a separate small bowl, stir together the chipotle aioli ingredients.
- Move the mushrooms over on the pan to make space to caramelize the tomato paste for a few minutes. Pour in the beer to deglaze the pan.
- Add the remaining ingredients (the walnuts, Worcestershire sauce, chipotle peppers, chili powder, and sea salt).
- Serve the mushroom mixture over fresh hamburger buns topped with some slaw and chipotle aioli to taste!
Sloppy joe toppings
Two things not to miss about these vegetarian sloppy joes are the easy-to-make slaw which adds a fresh crunch, and the aioli for another bold layer of flavor.
- To make the slaw, you just need purple cabbage, carrot, red onion, cilantro, and drizzle of olive oil.
- The easy 4-ingredient chipotle aioli is just a mix of mayonnaise (vegan if needed), chipotle peppers in adobo, fresh lime juice, and sea salt.
Try this lentil variation
For a different taste and texture, try swapping the walnuts for cooked lentils. Lentils won't offer the same crunch but they're a delicious alternative that's high in fiber and protein. If you have canned lentils on hand, give them a try!
Can I make these ahead of time?
Yes! You can prepare all the components of these sloppy joes 1-2 days ahead of time. Simply reheat the filling on the stove with a splash of water when you're ready to serve them.
How long does the filling keep in the fridge?
Store any leftover filling in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Can I freeze the filling?
You bet! The filling freezes well, making this recipe great for batch meal-prepping. Store it in an airtight container or resealable freezer bag for up to 3 months.
Can I make these vegan?
These mushroom sloppy joes are easy to make vegan. Use a vegan Worcestershire sauce in the filling and a vegan mayonnaise for the aioli.
Can I make them gluten-free?
Yes! To make them gluten-free use a gluten-free Worcestershire sauce and a gluten-free hamburger bun.
Chipotle Mushroom Sloppy Joes
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 medium onions (minced)
- 1 lb crimini or button mushrooms (minced)
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ cup tomato paste (or a 5.5-ounce can)
- 1 bottle light beer (preferably a lager)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (vegan if needed)
- 2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 hamburger buns
- 2 cups shredded purple cabbage
- 1 medium carrot (grated)
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
- A handful of chopped cilantro
- Olive oil (to drizzle)
- ¼ cup mayonnaise (vegan if needed)
- 1 tablespoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- Juice from ¼ lime
- A pinch of sea salt
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until they are well browned, about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and increase the heat to medium-high. Let the mushrooms cook until most of the liquid has been evaporated. (This happens much faster on higher heat. About 10 minutes.) Once the pan is mostly dry, reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic, and cook until the mushrooms have browned, about 5 minutes more.1 tablespoon oil, 2 medium onions, 1 lb crimini or button mushrooms, 3 cloves garlic
- While the mushrooms are cooking, prepare the veggies for the slaw and drizzle them with the oil. Also, mix the chipotle aioli ingredients together in a small bowl.2 cups shredded purple cabbage, 1 medium carrot, ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion, A handful of chopped cilantro, Olive oil, ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, Juice from ¼ lime, A pinch of sea salt
- Move the mushrooms to the side of the pan and add the tomato paste. Let it caramelize, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes. Pour in the beer and scrape any stuck on bits off the bottom of the pan.½ cup tomato paste, 1 bottle light beer
- Add the walnuts, Worcestershire sauce, chipotle peppers, chili powder, and sea salt to the pan. Adjust the sea salt to taste.1 cup chopped walnuts, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Serve the Chipotle Mushroom Sloppy Joes on the buns and topped with some slaw and chipotle aioli.4 hamburger buns
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.