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Healthy Sloppy Joe For One

Healthy Sloppy Joes made with lean ground turkey, chopped red peppers and sweetened with molasses. Lower in fat and calories than a traditional Sloppy Joe sandwich and even more delicious! A single serving recipe + video.

A sloppy joe with lettuce and tomato between a hamburger bun with sesame seeds on a plate

Do you remember eating a sloppy joe sandwich as a kid? They were always a favorite of mine. Dinnertime always felt special when my mother made her delicious sloppy joe recipe for my sister and I.

Sloppy Joes

The sloppy joes of my childhood weren't exactly healthy. In fact, they were fairly high in fat and loaded with sugar. Probably the exact reasons I loved them eating them so much.

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An open faced sloppy joe without the top bun on a plate next to a pint glass of beer.

Sloppy Joes were also one of my go-to meals to make when my kids were living at home.

Instead of making the high calorie, high sugar version I grew up with, I served up a much healthier version of a sloppy joe sandwich.

Healthy Sloppy Joe

That's right, I lightened up our sloppy joes by using ground turkey instead of ground beef. I snuck in freshly chopped vegetables and I sweetened the sauce with mineral-packed molasses.

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See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  • olive oil
  • ground turkey (or ground beef)
  • chopped onions
  • garlic
  • chopped red peppers
  • tomato sauce (jarred or homemade)
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • red wine vinegar
  • molasses
  • mustard powder
  • salt and pepper
  • a burger bun

How To Make A Sloppy Joe

  1. Heat the oil in a medium-sized skillet
  2. Add the ground meat and onions and cook until browned. Add in the garlic and red peppers and continue cooking until the vegetables soften.
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients, reduce heat to low and continue cooking 5 minutes longer.
  4. Remove from heat and spoon sloppy joe mixture onto a bun.

This sloppy joe sandwich is so much better than the canned version of my childhood. I love adding in red peppers and sometimes I'll chop up a carrot and a celery stalk and let them cook along with the peppers, onions and garlic.

If you're avoiding carbs, skip the bun and add a few spoonfuls to large butter lettuce to make a lettuce wrap.

This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled and I'm sure you're going to love how quickly it all comes together.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this healthy sloppy joe recipe, you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

What To Serve With Sloppy Joes

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For this sloppy joe recipe, I use a 10-inch skillet. For best results, use a pan of a similar size. For more information on the baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

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Healthier Sloppy Joe For One | One Dish Kitchen | Game Day Recipes

Healthy Sloppy Joe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Main Dish
Keywords: sandwich
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 498kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey (or use ground beef)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 burger bun

How To Video


  • Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add the ground turkey and onions and cook until meat is browned, breaking up the meat as it cooks, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and red peppers and continue cooking until vegetables are soft, another 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the rest of the ingredients, reduce heat to low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes more.
  • Remove from heat and spoon onto bun.


Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 498kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 60g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 1329mg | Potassium: 1445mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 2450IU | Vitamin C: 87.5mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 5.4mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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About The Author

8 thoughts on “Healthy Sloppy Joe For One”

    1. You can actually leave both ingredients out if necessary but I happen to like a touch of sweetness in my sloppy joes. Consider adding honey or a little bit of sugar. For the red wine vinegar, you can use apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar instead.

  1. Yep! just made it . absolutely delicious on a homemade onion roll. green pepper did just as well of course !

  2. 5 stars
    Sloppy Joe’s are one of my top guilty pleasures! I’ll have to make this one night the Hubby has to work late, thanks so much!

  3. 5 stars
    I love sloppy joes! Looks delicious! I like the swapping of turkey for beef. The sneaking in of veggies in the mix is a great idea, too.

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