Vegetarian Chili Joes

Vegetarian Chili Joes

Vegetarian Chili Sloppy Joes
Some kids (my kids) request pizza for their birthday dinners, but not me! I requested sloppy joes. I’m not sure what it was about sloppy joes that I loved so much. We always ate them on buns with a thick sliced of cheddar and squirt of ketchup on top, and a side of oven-baked tater tots. Favorite meal as a kid, hands down. The last time I remember having them for my birthday was when I turned 16. Ha! But I haven’t really had them since then. We don’t eat a ton of meat anymore and my kids prefer their own favorite meals, so my favorite childhood meal fell by the wayside. With the help of the new McCormick Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning Mix, I decided to dust off that old favorite and give it a little makeover at the same time. If you love chili and sloppy joes, you’re gonna love this! It’s just spicy enough with a hint of sweetness. These Vegetarian Chili Joes were a huge hit!

Disclosure: I was asked to participate in the McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mixes Launch as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I received free samples of the McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mixes from McCormick mentioned in this post. I was compensated for my time. All opinions expressed are 100% my own. We appreciate the support of sponsors to help bring you new recipes and content.

I love that I’m able to create or recreate my favorite family recipes with the help of the new McCormick Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning. It makes dinner a snap! Because the seasoning mix is flavorful on its own, so I didn’t need to add any extra herbs or spices – just a little maple syrup because sloppy joes are traditionally sweet, a little liquid smoke for that classic BBQ flavor, and a touch of Worcestershire (vinegar could also be used) to add some tanginess. Those last two are both optional, but I loved the way they complimented the spices in the packet.

As with all the new gluten-free seasoning mixes from McCormick, this chili seasoning is certified by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness and does not include MSG, artificial colors, or flavors. Instead of ground meat, I used crumbled tempeh. Tempeh is very easy to crumble into small pieces with your hands, and it will break down a little more as the chili joes mixture simmers. It really adds great texture and flavor. I added diced red pepper and onion, and what would chili joes be without the beans? You can use whichever beans are your favorite – black beans are my family’s favorite kind.

In true sloppy joe fashion, these are messy and delicious! Ha! I served these up on gluten-free whole grain buns with a side of oven-baked sweet potato fries. I also think the filling would be just as good on top of a baked potato – no bun needed! The only topping I felt like we needed was some sliced avocado, which is always my preferred topping. (And maybe a little hot sauce too!)

Hungry for more? Check out these blogs for more gluten-free dinnertime inspiration made with the new McCormick Gluten-Free Seasoning Mixes:

 at Ari’s Menu
Gretchen at Kumquat
Brianne at Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Kristina at Spabettie
Robin at Mom Foodie
Jamie at Gluten-Free Mom
Lauren at Healthy Delicious
Lori at Foxes Love Lemons
Brittany at Eating Bird Food
Miryam at Eat Good 4 Life
Jeanette at Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Jennie at Messy Baker Blog
Regan at Healthy Aperture (Blog)


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Vegetarian Chili Sloppy Joes

Vegetarian Chili Joes

Two favorite comfort foods rolled into one – these vegetarian chili joes are gluten-free and full of flavor!

  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 8-10 1x


Units Scale
  • 2 Tablespoona oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • Two 8-ounce package tempeh, finely crumbled
  • 1 package McCormick Gluten-Free Chili Mix
  • 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans OR one 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 24 Tablespoons pure maple syrup, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetarian Worcestershire or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon liquid smoke (optional)
  • Water, for thinning, if needed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 gluten-free hamburger buns
  • Sliced avocado


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tablespoons oil to the pan and heat for 30-60 seconds. Add the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies start to soften and turn golden. Next add the tempeh. Continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes, or so, stirring frequently, allowing tempeh to brown a bit. Sprinkle the McCormick Gluten-Free Chili Seasoning packet over the tempeh and veggies. Cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomato sauce, drained beans, maple syrup, Worcestershire (or vinegar), and liquid smoke, if using. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Stir in a little water if the mixture is too thick or if it starts to scorch on the bottom. Remove from heat and serve immediately on gluten-free rolls topped with sliced avocado.
  2. Yield: 8-10 servings
  • Author: Lindsey Rose Johnson
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Main Dish



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