Think Sloppy Joes are unhealthy? Think again! Lean ground sirloin, fresh veggies, and beans are enveloped into a sweet and tangy homemade sauce. These Homemade Sloppy Joes are not only healthier, but they are the BEST sloppy joe recipe. PERIOD.
Recently one of you told me that you loved Sloppy Joes but hadn’t eaten them in years because you only thought they were possible if made with a can of Sloppy Joe sauce.
I immediately knew that I had to share my Healthy Homemade Sloppy Joe Recipe with you all because it is NOT from a can and tastes one thousand times better!
Not only is my recipe for Clean Eating Sloppy Joes low in sodium and fat, it is an inexpensive and easy recipe!
Homemade Sloppy Joes
These Sloppy Joes are a one skillet meal that always pleases my family.
My homemade Sloppy Joes are sweet, savory, with a hint of spice from the fresh jalapeno, creating the perfect balance of savory flavors. These are SO much better than any Sloppy Joe made with canned sauce.
I think your family will agree, these Sloppy Joes will be one meal that they will all LOVE, especially if you serve it up with some oven baked fries.
How to Make Homemade Sloppy Joes
- Place ground beef, peppers, onions, and jalapenos in a large skillet or cast iron pan over medium high heat.
- Cook, breaking up the meat, as it cooks.
- Once the beef is browned, drain off any excess fat that has been rendered in the skillet.
- Add in tomato sauce, tomato paste, garlic, salt, and beans, and stir well.
- Bring the sloppy joe mixture to a boil, then lower to a simmer.
- Add in the apple cider vinegar, honey, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Stir well and let simmer an additional 5-10 minutes.
- Serve Sloppy Joes on buns or over a baked potato or baked sweet potato and top with cheese if desired.
Tips for Creating the Best Sloppy Joe
- I start with lean ground sirloin, but feel free to use ground chicken, bison, or turkey. I do find that beef produces the best flavor with this recipe and grass fed beef is filled with healthy nutrients like omega-3 acids, vitamin E and linoeic acid–plus ground sirloin is much lower in fat than ground turkey.
- My secret is to use 2 cups of pinto beans along with ground beef. They blend in perfectly with the flavors of the sloppy joes and make these sloppy joes full of fiber, lower in fat, and stretch further, therefore saving you money!
- I add in some fresh jalapenos to the homemade sloppy joe sauce for some spice, but you can omit the jalapeno for less spice.
- Fresh red peppers add a great freshness to these Classic Sloppy Joe Sandwiches, but use frozen chopped green peppers if you can’t find a reasonable price on fresh red peppers or don’t have any at home.
- The vinegar is a MUST in this sloppy joe sauce recipe. I love apple cider vinegar, but red wine vinegar works as well.
- You can serve these Sloppy Joes on buns with cheese as a classic childhood favorite. But Sloppy Joes are just as delicious served in baked russet potatoes, baked sweet potatoes or gasp, scooped up with plain potato chips 😉
- If you want to make these Gluten-Free Sloppy Joes, use Gluten-Free Worcestershire Sauce, Braggs Amino Acids ,or Gluten-Free Soy Sauce.
Ground Beef Recipes
- Healthy Homemade Hamburger Helper Skillet
- Easy Homemade Beef Stroganoff
- Instant Pot Ground Beef (From Fresh and Frozen)
- Easy Pizza Meatloaf
Sloppy Joe Recipe
Healthy Homemade Sloppy Joes
A Healthy Homemade version of the classic sloppy joe recipe.
- 1 pound ground sirloin
- 1 small onion diced
- 1/2 jalapeno seeded and minced
- 1 small red pepper diced
- 2 cups canned or cooked pinto beans drained if canned
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons freshly minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon Worceshestire sauce
- 8 buns
- 8 slices of cheddar cheese optional
Over medium high heat, brown the sirloin with the onion, jalapeno, and red pepper. Drain off any excess fat (which there rarely is any) and return to heat.
Add in tomato sauce, tomato paste, beans, garlic, salt and stir well. Bring to a boil then lower to simmer.
Add in the apple cider vinegar, honey, and Worceshestire sauce. Stir well and let simmer 5-10 minutes.
Serve on buns with cheese if desired.