Healthy Sloppy Joes recipe

Healthy Sloppy Joes recipe
Are you a family who loves the quick, tasty, but not-so-healthy version of the original Sloppy Joe sandwich? I’ve got a great alternative for you and your family: Healthy Messy Joes! Switch up this recipe every week for different alternatives by using whole grain pizza crust instead of the buns, or by serving Messy Joes over steamed brown rice, wheat berries, or whole grain pasta. No matter how you serve it, your family will love this cleaned-up recipe.

Recipe instructions for 4 Messy Joe sandwiches (double or triple recipe for more):


1 cup cooked brown rice or wheat berries
1 pound lean ground turkey, chicken, or beef
¼ cup chili sauce, low sodium
1 tablespoon white vinegar (use Rice Wine Vinegar for a sweeter taste)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce, low sodium
1 teaspoon Soy Sauce, low sodium
4 tablespoons tomato paste, low sodium
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 ½ teaspoons dark chili powder
1 teaspoon dried cumin
½ teaspoon fresh cracked sea salt
½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon Grape Seed Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup minced sweet onion
¼ cup celery, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, grated
2 scallions, green part only, chopped
4 large whole grain hamburger buns, split and slightly toasted
2 diced tomatoes
2 cups shredded lettuce


1. Combine chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, tomato paste, spices, basil and oregano in a small mixing bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined and set bowl aside.

2. In a skillet, heat oil on medium heat for one minute. Add onion and celery, and sauté for 4 minutes. Add grated garlic and sauté for 2 additional minutes.

3. Add ground meat or poultry to skillet with sautéed veggies. Brown the meat for 5-7 minutes in pan on medium heat. Drain any oil that collects in skillet.

4. Add spice mixture to the skillet with the browned meat. Give the mix a few stirs to slightly combine.

5. Add the chopped scallion greens and cooked brown rice (or wheat berries) to the meat mixture, and fold in gently, mixing well. If the meat mixture is too thick, add 2 tablespoons warm water and combine thoroughly.

6. Place the bottom slice of toasted whole grain bun onto a plate. Add about 1 cup Messy Joe mix to the bun. Top the meat mixture with shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes. Cover with top toasted bun, and enjoy!

*One recipe makes 4 (1 sandwich) servings.

*This recipe freezes well. Freeze in Freezer bags or airtight containers for up to 3 months. You can also freeze the whole grain buns.

Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map

Content copyright © 2023 by Kymberly A. Morgan. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Kymberly A. Morgan. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Kymberly A. Morgan for details.