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Healthy Sloppy Joes

With a delicious tangy flavor, these healthy Sloppy Joes are sure to please any crowd—that is, if you don't want to keep it all to yourself! This rich, smoky sandwich melts in your mouth and fits right into a healthy nutrition plan. I call that a win-win!

This is a healthy sloppy joe. There is a whole wheat bun topped with sloppy joe mix and a piece of melted cheese.

What is a sloppy joe?

A sloppy joe is a popular sandwich in the United States, especially in school cafeterias. It's typically a seasoned ground beef, onion, and ketchup combination in between hamburger buns. While you might not have the best memories of this school lunch, this Sloppy Joe recipe is an upgrade! It's home-cooked with nutritious and healthy ingredients that won't even make you nostalgic for the old ones. These are better!

Healthy sloppy joe

This healthy Sloppy Joe recipe is the BEST. It's quick, easy to make, and ready in less than 30 minutes! It's made with simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. This nutritious meal is delicious and perfect for lunch or dinner. Enjoy these Sloppy Joe sandwiches with the entire family!

This is a healthy sloppy joe. There is a whole wheat bun topped with sloppy joe mix and a piece of melted cheese. There are two sloppy joes.

What ingredients do I need?

This recipe has 3 basic parts:

  • The Joes (meat)
  • The sauce (to cover the meat)
  • The sandwich (buns and cheese)

Ingredients for the joe's

  • Extra lean ground beef - I like to use extra lean ground beef to add some extra protein in the recipe, but you can use whatever beef you'd like.
  • Olive oil - A little olive oil will go into the pan before cooking the onion and pepper.
  • White onion - A finely chopped small white onion will be added to the meat mixture.
  • Bell pepper - A small finely chopped bell pepper will also be added to the meat mixture with the onion.
  • Garlic - You'll want to add garlic for some awesome flavor!
  • Salt & pepper - Add both of these to your preferred taste.

For the sauce

  • Ketchup - This is an essential ingredient to ensure the classic Sloppy Joe taste (umami goodness).
  • Mustard - A more bitter flavor than most condiments, and great in this sauce.
  • Worcestershire sauce - This sauce is tangy, sweet, and salty all at the same time.
  • Brown sugar - Add this for a little sweetness.
  • Paprika - This will add some spice.

For the sandwich

  • Whole wheat buns - I recommend toasting the buns for the perfect vessel for the Sloppy Joe mix.
  • Provolone cheese - Adding any kind of cheese is optional, but will really upgrade your sandwich if you choose to use some!
This is a healthy sloppy joe. There is a whole wheat bun topped with sloppy joe mix and a piece of melted cheese.

What substitutions can I make?

There are definitely substitutions you can make for this recipe to best work for you. I haven't tried them all, but here are some ideas:

  • Buns - Try any kind of bun or bread.
  • Cheese - Use any kind of cheese you like best.
  • Ground beef - You could try this with ground beef, ground turkey, or even ground chicken.
  • Spices - Use the ones in the recipe as a starting point, but change them for your taste preferences.

How long does it take to make this recipe?

This recipe takes about 30 minutes to prepare for start to finish, including cooking and clean up.

What is the process to make this recipe?

This recipe is EASY. Because it's a Sloppy Joe, you don't need to worry about making things look nice. Here's what you'll do:

  • Add sauce ingredients to a small bow. Stir well and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion, and pepper. Saute for about 5 mins.
  • Add the beef to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook meat completely, until there is no pink.
  • Add the sauce to the skillet as well. Stir well.
  • Reduce the heat to low and put on a lid. Let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the sauce is thickened.
  • Open buns and lay on a baking sheet. Add Sloppy Joe mixture to one of the buns. Top with cheese and broil on low until cheese is melted and buns toasted.
  • Enjoy!
These is a hand holding up a sloppy joe. There is a sloppy joe with a toasted bun, mix, and cheese.

Is a sloppy joe good for you?

This question can only be answered on a personalized basis on what is good for YOU. I love to eat nutritious foods that taste delicious, and these Sloppy Joes fit the bill! These sandwiches are made with nutritious ingredients and have a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Each sandwich has over 30 grams of protein to keep you fueled!

How many calories are in a sloppy joe?

These sandwiches have 439 calories including the meat, cheese, and toasted bun.

What side dishes go best with sloppy joe's?

I love to eat Sloppy Joes with:

  • Beans
  • Salad
  • Sweet potato fries
  • Kettle Chips

What is a serving size of a sloppy joe?

This recipe makes 4 servings of Sloppy Joe sandwiches. This recipe works for a quick dinner or even for meal prep to enjoy all week long!

Looking for more easy dinner recipes?

If you're looking for more easy dinner recipes:

Can I have the recipe?

If you try this recipe and love it, please rate it and me know your thoughts! I hope you enjoy these healthy sloppy joes!

These is a hand holding up a sloppy joe. There is a sloppy joe with a toasted bun, mix, and cheese.
Print Recipe
5 from 17 votes

Healthy Sloppy Joes

With a delicious tangy flavor, these healthy Sloppy Joes are sure to please any crowd—that is, if you don't want to keep it all to yourself! This rich, smoky sandwich melts in your mouth and fits right into a healthy nutrition plan. I call that a win-win!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy dinner, sloppy joe, sloppy joe's
Servings: 4
Calories: 439kcal
Author: Jordan Smith

Equipment

  • skillet
  • oven

Ingredients

For the Joe's

  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small white onion finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste

For the Sauce

  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp paprika

For the Sandwich

  • 4 whole wheat buns
  • 4 slices slices provolone cheese

Instructions

  • Add sauce ingredients to a small bow. Stir well and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion, and pepper. Saute for about 5 mins.
  • Add the beef to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook meat completely, until there is no pink.
  • Add the sauce to the skillet as well. Stir well.
  • Reduce the heat to low and put on a lid. Let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the sauce is thickened.
  • Open buns and lay on a baking sheet. Add Sloppy Joe mixture to one of the buns. Top with cheese and broil on low until cheese is melted and buns toasted.
  • Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 439kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 688mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 1241IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 2mg

Recipe Rating




Katie

Friday 15th of October 2021

Best sloppy joe recipe!! So easy and so good!

Nancy H

Sunday 4th of July 2021

Love how quickly these came together, and I had all of the ingredients on hand. I only had 1/2 lb of meat though, so I tried halving everything else. Was a bit spicy for me, so I added a TBS each sugar free syrup and tomato paste. Also a bit of vegetable broth just to thin it out a touch. Thanks for the recipe to get me started! Just doesn’t make sense to open a can of that other stuff when it’s so easy to make your own!

Melissa

Thursday 1st of July 2021

My husband claims he doesn't like sloppy joes so I was hesitant in making these but I'm so glad I did! My family asks for these weekly now. Even my pickiest eater. I love how easy it came together and how I had everything on hand.

Kimberly Hernandez

Friday 18th of June 2021

Killed it again! Simple ingredients what when paired together make this an awesome meal!!!

Liane

Wednesday 2nd of June 2021

We love these sloppy joes! The perfect mixture of spice! We’ve made them a few times and they are fabulous! When I’m running low on calories, I eat mine on a low carb tortilla or pita.