On The Table

A collection of knowledge-based articles to inspire overall wellness.

Simple & Healthy Sloppy Joes Recipe

Being slightly tangy and slightly sweet, it is hard not to love Sloppy Joes that pack major flavor and satisfaction!

Simple & Healthy Sloppy Joes Recipe

Manwich, Tavern Sandwich, Slush Burger, Yum Yums, Loose Meat Sandwich…

Sloppy Joes may go by several names, but one thing is certain:

Being slightly tangy and slightly sweet, it is hard not to love Sloppy Joes that pack major flavor! They are also a fun change of pace of fine dining, allowing family members to roll up their sleeves and get a bit messy.

Learn how to make a healthy Sloppy Joe using pantry staples with simple steps. Also find healthier versions and tips below, including a bun-less option for a low-carb weeknight meal!

Healthy Sloppy Joes Recipe

Yield: 8 servings

Nutrition per serving*: 190 calories, 7 g fat, 19 g protein, 12 g total carb, 2 g fiber

*Nutrition information includes the Sloppy Joe mixture only, using 93 percent lean ground beef. It does not include the hamburger bun, as there are many bun options all with varying nutritional information.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes


• 1, 8-oz can tomato sauce, no salt added
• 1/2 cup ketchup
• 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
• 1 Tbsp brown sugar
• 1/4 tsp garlic powder
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 Tbsp olive oil
• 2 stalks celery, diced
• 1 green bell pepper, diced
• 1 red bell pepper, diced
• 1 small yellow onion, diced
• 1 1/2 lb lean ground beef (93/7)


1. In a small bowl mix together tomato sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil, celery, green and red peppers, and onions. Stirring occasionally, cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

3. Add ground beef to the veggie skillet and cook over medium-high heat. Cook until the meat is no longer pink and begins to brown.

4. Drain any excess liquids and stir in the tomato sauce mixture until well combined. Reduce heat, and simmer covered for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for about 5 minutes more or until the mixture thickens.

5. Top onto bun of choice, including a regular hamburger ban or mini sliders. The mixture can also be topped onto a baked potato or low-carb options detailed below.

6. Serve with cabbage slaw or your favorite toppings such as pickles and hot sauce.

Make Healthy Sloppy Joes Even Healthier and Easier!

Use these tips to enhance nutritional value while simplifying the cooking process even more!

Swap Beef for Turkey

For another version of healthy sloppy joes, turkey is simply swapped for beef and cooked accordingly.

But it is important to note the nutritional content of beef and turkey is similar if choosing lean options. If reducing red meat intake, though, turkey sloppy joes are excellent protein-rich alternatives.

Bulk with Veggies

To squeeze in extra nutrients into your meal and day, bulk the Sloppy Joe mixture with veggies. This may include riced cauliflower and carrot.

Really, when finely diced and sautéed, you (or any picky eater) will notice the addition!

Use Lettuce Leaves

If looking for a low-carb meal option, omit the bun entirely and use lettuce leaves. Simply spoon in the Sloppy Joe mixture into cleaned butter lettuce leaves, roll, and enjoy!

The mixture can also be served onto bell pepper slices or stuffed and baked into the pepper themselves.

Prepare in the Slow Cooker

While the recipe is simple to complete as is, a slow cooker eases the process even more! And not to mention, coming home to dinner ready-to-go…

Preparing the healthy Sloppy Joes in the slow cooker likewise makes them easy to transport to a BBQ or other gettogether!

Use these simple steps to make healthy Sloppy Joes in a crockpot:

1. Follow the instructions above up to step #4.
2. Add tomato sauce mixture and cooked beef and veggies to a slow cooker. Stir to combine the ingredients.
3. Cook on high for about 3 hours or low for 6 hours.

After cooking, use the mixture as desired and tweak to your liking. Enjoy!