Sloppy Joes Made Healthy
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The following recipe is taken from Janet and Greta Podleski's cookbook "LooneySpoons" and can be found on page 170, give it a try some night. I adapt this recipe as I need to, I've included some of my own suggestions for such adaptations in the original recipe, please feel free to make your own!
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Healthy
Serves: 8
  • 1 pound lean ground chicken or turkey (skinless)
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ¼ cup grated carrot
  • 1 cup cooked romano or pinto beans, mashed (I've substituted other canned beans for these, including chickpeas, they all work well)
  • 1 cup cooked brown or white rice
  • 1 cup diced tomato (if you don't have any, add extra ketchup, works great)
  • ⅔ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (omit these if you have someone that dislikes a bit of heat, it doesn't affect the overall taste)
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon each "lite" Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar (if you don't have Worcestershire sauce, substitute soy sauce, works for me)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon each ground cumin and prepared mustard
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes ( can be omitted without affecting taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 hamburger rolls or soft Kaisers (substitute any bread you have on hand, toasted sandwich bread works great)
  1. Using a nice sized skillet, brown the ground meat with the onions, garlic, celery and grated carrot, the recipe calls for a medium-high heat, stir often and break up any large chunks of meat so that it is all a fairly uniform size, this should take several minutes, if there is any extra fat after it is browned you can drain off the excess fat.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the browned meat and vegetables, stir well so that it is all well incorporated, you can add additional ingredients/seasonings at this point, to suit your palate, if the mixture looks too dry, add some extra ketchup or other liquid till it looks right to you. Cover the skillet and allow to simmer for at least 10 minutes, check on it during this time and give it a stir now and then to make sure it is not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  3. After the initial 10 minutes are up, taste and see if you are happy with the balance of seasoning, add anything you think it needs, you want it to be on the thick side so you can spoon it onto the buns or whatever bread you are using. I've used toasted bread slices in place of the buns, use what you have on hand. If it is not thick enough at the end of the 10 minutes cooking time, allow it to continue to cook uncovered till it thickens to your liking.
Recipe by Culinary Zest at