Vegetarian Sloppy Joes With Pickled Radish and Cucumber

Vegetarian sloppy joes recipe

​The Spruce / Katarina Zunic 

  • Total: 70 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 60 mins

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes made with a mix of barley and caramelized vegetables are just as good if not better than the typical hamburger based versions. Packed full of flavor, vitamins, and nutrients, these guilt-free sandwiches will please even the most die hard of meat eaters. And by topping these sandwiches with fermented vegetables such as DIY quick pickled radish and cucumbers, a significant dose of healthy probiotics are added to each bite. 


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups portabello mushrooms (chopped)
  • 1 bell red pepper (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 bell orange pepper (chopped)
  • 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup barley (cooked)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 can sloppy joe mix (or make your own)
  • 5 to 10 slider buns
  • Garnish: pickled radish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for vegetarian sloppy joes
    ​The Spruce / Katarina Zunic 
  2. In a large sauce pan, add the olive oil, the onion, the red pepper flakes, and a little bit of salt and let it cook down until the onions become translucent; about 5 minutes.

    Add olive oil
    ​The Spruce / Katarina Zunic 
  3. Add the mushrooms, making sure not to crowd and cook for a few minutes until caramelized. Remove and set aside.

    Add mushrooms
    ​The Spruce / Katarina Zunic 
  4. Add the peppers and garlic and cook down with a little bit of salt.

    Add peppers and garlic
    ​The Spruce / Katarina Zunic 
  5. Add the mushrooms back to the pot and then add the vinegar, the sugar, and a little bit of sea salt and cook down until absorbed; about 10 minutes.

    Add the mushrooms
    ​The Spruce / Katarina Zunic 
  6. Add the barley and the sloppy joe mix and stir to combine. Cook for 10 minutes at a low temp. 

    Add barley
    ​The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  7. Toast your buns and gently scoop one large spoonful of sloppy joe mix onto each sandwich.

    Toast buns
    ​The Spruce / Katarina Zunic
  8. Cover with a few pickled radishes and a slice of pickled cucumber and serve.

    Cover with pickled radish
    ​The Spruce / Katarina Zunic 


  • This recipe will make anywhere from 5 to 10 sandwiches depending on your bun size.