birds eye view of a sloppy joe in a bun

Healthier Sloppy Joes

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    This Healthier Sloppy Joe recipe is a family-friendly, weeknight dinner special! Made with a base of lean ground beef and chopped veggies - it’s great for the kiddos and adults too!


    There’s just something about Sloppy Joe’s that screams comfort food. I don’t know about you, but I grew up eating Sloppy Joe’s and whenever I think about my mom’s home cooked meals it just takes me back to the good ole days of classic comfort food recipes.

    Here’s my spin on the classic sloppy joe recipe, healthified with lean ground beef and minimal ingredients for a delicious and satisfying meal that will leave you reminiscing about the good ole days of home cooked meals.

    What’s in a Sloppy Joe Sauce?

    A typical Sloppy Joe sauce includes ketchup, brown sugar, chili powder, and Worcestershire sauce. This healthier version has no sugar added and uses a tomato sauce and tomato paste instead of overly processed ketchups.

    ingredients displayed out for sloppy joes

    What Ingredients are Needed for Healthier Sloppy Joes?

    Ground Beef: 90% lean ground beef or higher.

    Garlic: 2-3 cloves for flavor.

    Yellow Onion & Red Bell Pepper: Chopped up fine and included in our sloppy joe mixture.

    Tomato Paste, Tomato Sauce & Worcestershire Sauce: For the sloppy joe sauce.

    Sriracha: For the sloppy joe sauce and some extra heat.

    What Do You Serve with Sloppy Joes?

    • Serve them on a bun of your choice, I used onion rolls!
    • A baked or air fried vegetables like potatoes, broccoli, carrots, or butternut squash
    • Tater tots or french fries 
    • Side of greens
    • Potato salad, cole slaw, or pasta salad
    • Mac and cheese 
    sloppy joe filling in a skillet

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    sloppy joes on a bun

    How to Make Healthier Sloppy Joes

    Step One: In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and saute the garlic for approx. 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Turn the heat down to medium and add the chopped onions and pepper. Saute  until tender and translucent, approx. 5-8 minutes. 

    Step Two: Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook until browned all the way through, approximately another 5-8 minutes. Stirring the mixture occasionally, if desired, season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Step Three: Stir in the tomato paste, tomato sauce, worcestershire sauce, and sriracha. 

    Step Four: Simmer over low heat, covered, for about 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to marinate together. If the sauce is too thick, add a splash of water. If the sauce is too thin, let it simmer for a few extra minutes, uncovered, to allow the extra liquid to cook off.

    Step Five: Remove sloppy joe mixture from the stove and serve on your favorite toasted buns!

    birds eye view of a sloppy joe in a bun

    Healthier Sloppy Joes

    This Healthier Sloppy Joe recipe is a family-friendly, weeknight dinner special! Made with a base of lean ground beef and chopped veggies - it’s great for the kiddos and adults too!


    Prep time: 10 min |

    Cook time: 25 min |

    Total time: 35 min

    Cuisine: American |

    Serves: 6

    Ingredients:

    • 1 tbsp, olive oil (15g)
    • 2-3 cloves, garlic, minced 
    • ½ medium, yellow onion, chopped fine
    • 1 medium, red bell pepper, diced 
    • 1lb or 16oz, 93% lean ground beef
    • 1 tbsp, worcestershire sauce (15g)
    • 1 ¾ cups, tomato sauce (441g or 15oz can)
    • 2 tbsp, tomato paste (30g)
    • 1 tbsp, sriracha (15g)
    • Salt and pepper, to taste

    Directions:

    1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and saute the garlic for approx. 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Turn the heat down to medium and add the chopped onions and pepper. Saute  until tender and translucent, approx. 5-8 minutes.
    2. Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook until browned all the way through, approximately another 5-8 minutes. Stirring the mixture occasionally, if desired, season with salt and pepper to taste.
    3. Stir in the tomato paste, tomato sauce, worcestershire sauce, and sriracha. 
    4. Simmer over low heat, covered, for about 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to marinate together. If the sauce is too thick, add a splash of water. If the sauce is too thin, let it simmer for a few extra minutes, uncovered, to allow the extra liquid to cook off.
    5. Remove sloppy joe mixture from the stove and serve on your favorite toasted buns!
    Notes:
    1. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

    Nutrition Facts

    Serving Size 1 sandwich

    Serves 6


    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 219
    Total Fat 11g
      Saturated Fat 3g
      Trans Fat 0g
    Cholesterol 50mg
    Sodium 457mg
    Total Carbohydrate 13g
      Dietary Fiber 3g
      Sugars 9g
    Protein 17g

     

    Find on MyFitnessPal as: TWW - Healthier Sloppy Joes 

    Nutrition facts do not include the bun.


    Author: Christine

    |

    Course: Main Entrees

    |

    Cuisine: American

    Keywords: Sloppy Joe, Healthy Dinner, Weeknight Meal


    Ratings and reviews (9)

    ...
    Gabrielle 3 weeks, 3 days ago

    These look delicious ! Saving this recipe and can’t wait to make them ! Sriracha ! What a great idea. I never would’ve thought of that,

    ...
    Christine | The Wellness Walnut 3 weeks, 3 days ago

    yay! hope you enjoy! the sriracha adds a nice bit of kick :)

    ...
    W. Santiago
    3 weeks, 3 days ago

    Thank you for sharing this healthy version of Sloppy Joe!

    ...
    Christine | The Wellness Walnut 3 weeks, 3 days ago

    you're welcome!

    ...
    Arnetta
    3 weeks, 3 days ago

    Although i just stick to the basics bread meat and sloppy joe sauce it was a breath of fresh air to not see cheese as a ingredients lol i recently just found out people actually put cheese on sloppy joe i couldn't believe it it feel like it would take away from the taste. But i'll definitely have to give your recipe a try thank you!

    ...
    Christine | The Wellness Walnut 3 weeks, 3 days ago

    no cheese here! hope you give my recipe a try!

    ...
    Melissa
    3 weeks, 4 days ago

    So good! And it’s so nice because I love sloppy joes.

    ...
    Christine | The Wellness Walnut 3 weeks, 4 days ago

    Sloppy Joe's are the best! :)

    ...
    LaShae 3 weeks, 4 days ago

    This sounds so delicious! I'm always looking for healthier options to family comfort foods. I love that you added what to serve with sloppy joes!

    ...
    Christine | The Wellness Walnut 3 weeks, 4 days ago

    yay! so glad you found the post helpful :)

    ...
    Emily
    3 weeks, 4 days ago

    My husband loves sloppy joes so I definitely need to make these!!

    ...
    Christine | The Wellness Walnut 3 weeks, 4 days ago

    awesome! hope you both enjoy!

    ...
    Thomas P
    1 month, 2 weeks ago

    Can't go wrong with a sloppy joe and this one looks delicious. Cannot wait to try making it for my family.

    ...
    NJ
    1 month, 2 weeks ago

    YUM!!! sloppy joes on onion rolls are the bomb!!! i serve mine with sweet potato fries that i make myself, oh and of course you've got to have a cold brewski, that definitely completes this meal. thanks wellness walnut for another delicious recipe.

    ...
    KEVIN FOODIE
    1 month, 2 weeks ago

    Love a good sloppy joy. I appreciate your healthier version. I usually add beans to mine for added nutritive value. The bun that sandwiches the sloppy joe looks appealing. Thanks for sharing.

    ...
    Christine | The Wellness Walnut 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    adding beans is an awesome idea for extra nutrition!

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