This Healthy Sloppy Joe Recipe is made with lean ground beef and lots of hidden veggies. This is a hearty yet healthy take on the classic sandwich. Sweet, tangy, and satisfying!
Sloppy Joes are an easy, hearty, family friendly meal. And this recipe can add nutritious to the list as well! How do I make these Sloppy Joes “healthy”?
Tips for making Healthy Sloppy Joes
- Use lean ground beef. I use 1/2 pound for every 4 servings.
- Add lots of finely chopped veggies. I use carrots, celery, red bell pepper and green bell pepper. They basically disguise themselves by cooking down right into the meat and sauce.
- Serve the Healthy Sloppy Joes on baked potatoes instead of buns.
- Serve on only half a bun (open face), and eat it with a knife and fork – fewer carbs!
Like any other sloppy Joe recipe, these sandwiches are a combination of sweet and tangy. The mixture is flavored with brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, smoked paprika, and a splash of vinegar. It’s a savory and unique blend of flavors.
I like to top my Sloppy Joes with pickles – give it a try! And if you can splurge for a few extra calories, a little grated pepperjack cheese on top is amazing!
Dig in, get messy (er, sloppy), and enjoy!
Healthier Sloppy Joes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 pound lean ground beef
- 2/3 cup finely chopped carrots
- 1/3 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/3 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
- 1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
- 1/2 small yellow onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 - 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/4 cups tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- buns for serving
- In a large saucepan or skillet, saute ground beef in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat, breaking it up as it cooks. Once the meat has browned, add another tablespoon of olive oil and add the carrots, celery, bell peppers, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are beginning to soften, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, ketchup, water and paprika to the meat and vegetable mixture. Stir to combine. Simmer over medium-low heat, partially covered, stirring occasionally. After about 15 minutes, the sauce should be thickened and the vegetables should be tender. If desired, you can add a splash of water, as necessary, to thin out the sauce.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Scoop the sloppy joes into split buns and serve.
If you'd like to cut the calories even more, you can serve these on only half a bun, cut side up, with the meat mixture piled on top.