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30 Minute Healthy Sloppy Joes

A busy month deserves an easy meal like my 30 minute Healthy Sloppy Joes. Trust me when I say, this recipe is PACKED with flavor, real ingredients and will be on your table in less than 30 minutes.

This recipe is loaded with sneaky veggies and is perfect for busy weeknights or a Sunday Game Day. The whole family and even the picky eaters will love eating healthier sloppy joes!

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a plate of sloppy joes with potato chips and Cole slaw on the side
A great side dish is cole slaw or potato chips.

Time For a Healthier Sloppy Joe Recipe

As for classic sloppy joes that are made with a canned sauce such as Manwich, my version by uses healthy ingredients such as lean ground beef and creating a homemade sauce.

The key ingredient to making healthy sloppy joes taste like traditional sloppy joes is to use a good organic ketchup. The ketchup I use has only these simple ingredients: Organic tomato concentrate, organic sugar, organic vinegar, salt, organic onion powder and organic spices.

Where as a regular ketchup has high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup. Yup- 2 kinds of sugar! Organic or unsweetened ketchup is easy to find in your local grocery stores. There are many brands to choose from but 2 brands I have tried and suggest are Primal Kitchen and also a brand called Woodstock.

National brands such as Heinz have an organic alternative as well and also Simply, which doesn’t have artificial sweeteners. I suggest reading the nutrition information if there is a particular ingredient you are trying to avoid.

Trader Joe’s has their version as well.

up close picture of sloppy joes sitting on Hawaiian rolls
Perfect for Game Day!

Fresh Ingredient List That Make This The Best Sloppy Joes

This sloppy joe mixture also has extra virgin olive oil, lean ground beef, red bell pepper and green bell pepper, minced garlic, sweet onions, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and spices.

Suggested Ways of Eating Sloppy Joes & Substitutions

You can use any meat mixture you like such as lean ground turkey, bison or ground chicken. A good choice of lean ground beef is 90/10 or 93/7. Be sure to check the nutritional information to verify. Whichever ground meat you choose, homemade sloppy joes will get rave reviews. You can serve this on top of roasted sweet potatoes (which is delicious btw..) or on your favorite hamburger buns (toasted of course). My family loves Hawaiian rolls stuffed with sloppy joe filling. I even like to eat mine on top of a delicious salad.

If you do not have fresh garlic, you can substitute with garlic powder and you can also use avocado oil in place of olive oil. You can use yellow onion or white onion in place of sweet onion. To spice it up, you can totally add a touch of red pepper flakes or use hot sauce.

Balsamic vinegar or distilled vinegar can replace apple cider vinegar.

sloppy joes on a plate with potato chips and a fork.
Any type of ground meat will work with this recipe.

Add Your Favorite Toppings

Just because this is a healthier version of a sloppy Joe doesn’t mean it has to be boring! Some suggested toppings are a slice pepper jack cheese, cheddar cheese, cole slaw, crunchy pickles or pickled red onions.

Kitchen Tips

A food processor makes this sloppy Joe sauce one of the most easiest things to make. You can cut your onion, garlic and bell peppers in half or 4 quarters, then add them to the food processor on the “chop” setting. It saves you the extra time of dicing! Your vegetables will be ready to add to your skillet in 2-3 minutes. Another bonus is that by chopping the vegetables in the food processor, the juices are then released. Those juices make for a flavorful sauce!

Another key tip is that this sloppy joe meat can be made a day ahead. When the cooked meat sits in the juices for a long time, the spices and tomato sauce becomes scrumptious!

This is not only an easy dinner. A great way to enjoy this is in your meal prep.

a plate of sloppy joes with chips and cole slaw on a white plate with a fork

Storing Sloppy Joes

To avoid soggy buns, store the sloppy Joe sauce separately in an airtight container. Only serve on the buns if you are consuming them right away.

close up of sloppy Joe meat

Let’s Get Cooking!

Looking for more delicious recipes? Check out my Pumpkin Chicken and also my Easy Flank Steak.

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30 minute healthy sloppy joes

30 Minute Healthy Sloppy Joes

Eating clean has never tasted better! These 30 Minute Healthy Sloppy Joes are a perfect and quick meal that the whole family and even the picky eaters, will love!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 262 kcal


  • 1 pound lean ground beef I used 90/10
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper chopped
  • 12 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup organic ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil chopped


  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.
  • Add the beef and let it cook for 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt.
  • Add the bell peppers, garlic and onion. Turn heat down to low. Stir well and let it cook for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Add the spices and fresh basil and give it a stir. Then add the ketchup and apple cider vinegar. Continue to simmer for 7 minutes then remove from the heat and stir in the maple syrup.
  • Serve with warm bread or buns of your choice.


Kitchen Tips:
To quickly get your veggies and garlic chopped, place them in a food a processor on the “chop” setting and pulse until chopped, about 30 seconds or so. 
Chopping the veggies in the food processor will really release their juices and add that extra oomph to the Sloppy Joe’s.
I like to use lean ground beef such as 90/10 or 93/7. 
Organic ketchup keeps this recipe clean and free of added sugars or unnecessary ingredients. 


Calories: 262kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 26gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 212mgPotassium: 627mgFiber: 2gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 578IUVitamin C: 36mgCalcium: 69mgIron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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