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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. This classic American sandwich is made with ground beef (or ground turkey) mixed with a sweet sauce and served on a bun. Dinnertime always felt special when my mother made her delicious sloppy joes for my sister and me.

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. The recipe I'm sharing here today is a lightened up version containing less sugar and fat.

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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. The recipe found here is a scaled down version of the sloppy joe recipe I've been making for years for my family.

Why This Recipe Works

  • It's easy to make!
  • This sloppy joe is filled with flavor.
  • It's made with ground turkey instead of ground beef, and features freshly chopped vegetables. This sloppy joe sauce is sweetened with mineral-packed molasses.
  • This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled and I'm sure you're going to love how quickly it all comes together.

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

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Ingredient Notes

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

  • Olive oil: I use extra virgin olive oil in this sloppy joe recipe as well as in every other recipe on One Dish Kitchen that calls for olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is the least processed form of olive oil. It is an unrefined oil and the highest-quality olive oil you can buy. Because of the way extra virgin olive oil is made, it retains more true olive taste. It also contains more of the vitamins and minerals found in olives. It's my favorite type of olive oil to use but you may use a lighter olive oil instead.
  • Ground turkey: I use ground turkey in this recipe but you can use ground beef if preferred.
  • Onions, garlic and red peppers: Finely chopped onions, garlic, and red peppers add quite a lot of flavor to this dish, definitely don't leave them out.
  • Tomato sauce: Use your favorite jarred tomato sauce or homemade.
  • Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, dry mustard powder, salt, and black pepper: A small amount of these ingredients add great flavor to the sauce.
  • Molasses: To add sweetness to the sauce.
  • A burger bun: Use to make the sandwich. If you would like to make a low carb sloppy joe, simply leave off the bun and add to a bed of lettuce or enjoy without either.

How To Make This Recipe

  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.

Expert Tips

  • To add a little extra spice, try adding a few dashes of hot sauce or adding chopped jalapeños to the sauce.
  • If you're trying to avoid gluten, skip the bun and serve over rice or on top of lettuce.
  • This sloppy joe recipe can easily be doubled if you'd like to make extra. Just double the ingredients and cook as directed.

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:

Serving Suggestions

You might like to consider enjoying a sloppy joe with any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Should I Store The Sloppy Joe Mixture?

The sloppy joe mixture and sauce stays well in the refrigerator for 3 days. It also freezes well, so if you'd like to make a double batch, go right ahead. Cover and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Are There Other Ways To Enjoy The Sloppy Joe Sauce And Meat?

Skip the bun and spoon inside taco shells, serve over spaghetti squash, or serve over tortilla chips.

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.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

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If you’ve tried this sloppy joe recipe or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

If you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see!

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, sloppy joe
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 498kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk

Ingredients

  • 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 coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 burger bun

How To Video

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Expert Tips
  • To add a little extra spice, try adding a few dashes of hot sauce or adding chopped jalapeños to the sauce.
  • If you're trying to avoid gluten, skip the bun and serve over rice or on top of lettuce.
  • This sloppy joe recipe can easily be doubled if you'd like to make extra. Just double the ingredients and cook as directed.

Nutrition

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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