Vegetarian Sloppy Jens
These messy little sandwiches are an Italian, vegetarian spin on a childhood favorite, and most definitely require a fork and knife! This would make a good hearty meatless sauce over pasta as well.
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Sandwich
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, finely chopped, greens reserved
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • ½ cup dry vermouth or white wine
  • 12 ounces frozen veggie crumbles (I like Quorn brand)
  • 1 12-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes (or about 6 cups home canned)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt to taste
  • crushed red pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (more or less to taste)
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • Microgreens, spinach, or arugula for topping
  • Buns (sprouted grain, gluten-free, or your favorite)
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or saucepan. Add the onion, fennel and celery, and sauté until soft but not browned, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the vermouth, and scrape the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Allow most of the liquid to evaporate, about one minute. Add the veggie crumbles and sauté until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add the rinsed beans, tomatoes, oregano, thyme, marjoram, basil, salt and crushed red pepper. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with more salt if needed.
  2. Toast the buns in the toaster, or on a baking sheet in an oven under the broiler. They will toast in about 30 seconds in the broiler, so keep a close eye on them! If you like both sides toasted, bake them directly on the oven rack in a 350˚ oven for a few minutes.
  3. Generously spoon the filling onto the buns, and top with greens, if desired.
Recipe by Spoon With Me at