Healthy Sloppy Joes (30-Minute Recipe)

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This Healthy Sloppy Joes recipe gives a classic childhood comfort food a nutritious boost. Loaded with fresh veggies and savory flavor, it’s a 30-minute, single skillet recipe perfect for the whole family! 

A wooden spoon digging into a pan of sloppy joes with meat and fresh veggies.

Not Your Momma’s Sloppy Joes

Growing up, we always looked forward to dinner when sloppy joes were on the menu! Today, we pretty much feel the same. 

However, we’ve given the classic comfort food a bit of an upgrade. It’s still loaded with the bold, sweet and savory flavor you love. However, our healthy sloppy joes are low in sugar, loaded with nutrients, fiber, and protein, and every bit as tasty as the original! 

Even better, they come together in a single skillet with minimal prep time, a quick cook time, and a total time of just 30 minutes. Dinner doesn’t get better than that! Make a big batch to keep on hand and enjoy throughout the week. We promise, your future self will thank you. 

Browned ground meat, chopped onion and red bell pepper and shredded zucchini and carrots.

What Makes This Sloppy Joe Recipe Healthier? 

Unlike Manwhich or pre-made sloppy joe meat mixes, this recipe comes together with simple ingredients. You won’t find any brown sugar, MSG, or preservatives here! 

In addition, it’s lower in sugar, especially if you use sugar-free ketchup. Then, we swap out fatty beef with leaner varieties and bulk up the meal with fresh veggies. 

The result is a gluten-free, protein-rich, nutrient-packed, flavor-loaded recipe perfect for an easy weeknight meal!

Overhead photo of a wooden spoon with healthy sloppy joes on it over the pan.

What’s the Difference Between a Sloppy Joe and a Sloppy Jane?

A sloppy jane is a sloppy joe made with ground turkey instead of ground beef. However, the names are often used interchangeably. All the other ingredients remain the same!

Ingredients You Need

Don’t forget to scroll down to the recipe card below for the complete details! 

Three bowls each filled with ketchup and mustard, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings.
  • Ground Meat – Use lean ground beef or ground turkey. 
  • Veggies – Onion, red bell pepper (or any color), zucchini, and carrots to the mixture. They add tons of bulk and nutrients, and your picky eaters won’t even realize they’re there! 
  • Ketchup – Use a low-sugar or sugar-free ketchup to make this recipe even healthier. 
  • Yellow Mustard – Adds a tangy taste. 
  • Worcestershire Sauce – Enhances the smokiness of the dish, adding extra depth and savory flavor. 
  • SeasoningsGarlic powder, salt, and pepper. Add a dash of onion powder, if desired, too.

How to Make This Homemade Sloppy Joes

  1. Grease a large pan with cooking spray or olive oil.
  2. Brown the meat in a large pan over medium heat. 
  3. Add all the veggies, and sauté until tender. 
  1. Add the remaining ingredients to the skillet, and bring the mixture to a simmer. 
  2. Simmer over low heat until the mixture thickens. If you prefer a thicker sloppy joe sauce, feel free to stir in a little tomato sauce or tomato paste, too.
  1. Adjust to taste, and enjoy! 

Serving Suggestions

There’s no right or wrong way to serve this dish! We love it in lettuce wraps or classic hamburger buns. However, the sloppy joe filling is also great paired with options like mac and cheese and baked sweet potatoes! 

How to Store and Freeze

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three to four days
  • Freeze sloppy joe meat for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge overnight when you’re ready to eat. 
  • Reheat your healthy sloppy joes recipe in a skillet over medium heat or in the microwave. Add a splash of water as needed to loosen the mixture back up! 
Overhead photo of a wooden spoon with healthy sloppy joes mix on it.

Healthy Sloppy Joes (30-Minute Recipe)

This healthy sloppy joes recipe features lean ground meat, fresh veggies, and warm flavors for an upgraded version of a classic comfort food!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: All American
Keyword: gluten free, healthy, healthy sloppy joes, healthy sloppy joes recipe, sloppy joe, vegetables, whole foods
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 205kcal
Cost: $7.00

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, shredded and squeezed dry
  • 3 carrots, grated
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1-2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Brown ground meat in a large pan.
    1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
  • Add all the chopped and shredded veggies. Sauté veggies with browned ground beef until the veggies are translucent or about 5 minutes.
    1 onion, chopped, 1 bell pepper, chopped, 1 zucchini, shredded and squeezed dry, 3 carrots, grated
  • Stir in the ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a simmer and simmer on low heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    1/2 – 3/4 cup ketchup, 1-2 Tablespoons yellow mustard, 1-2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Add more ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings, if needed. The amount of seasoning greatly varies depending on the size and amounts of veggies used.
  • Serve the sloppy joes by themselves topped with pickles or on a hamburger bun!
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 205kcal

6 Comments

  1. Pingback: Easy Hamburger Tater Tot Casserole Recipe (One Pan) - HappiHomemade - Family Friendly Recipes

  2. Pingback: The Best Sloppy Joe Quesadilla Recipe - HappiHomemade - Family Friendly Recipes

  3. This looks better than what we ate as kids, I love the fact that I can “hide” a bunch of veggies in it too. I would eat just like you, without the bun! I can’t wait to try your recipe.

    • The Worcestershire sauce is what puts this recipe over the top…in my humble opinion anyway. Hope your family loves it as much as ours, I am actually making this for dinner tonight…YUM!

  4. Your Sloppy Joes looks absolutely delicious as well as super healthy too! Love the sides you have suggested as well. This is definitely comfort food! Thank you for sharing with us at the Hearth and Soul hop. Pinning and sharing.

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