Skinny Sloppy Joes

by Jen on June 12, 2012

When I think of Sloppy Joes, I think of an American classic.

A big, fresh bun topped with saucy meat.  They aren’t the most delicate meal you can eat, but they sure are good.  But sometimes, your classic Sloppy Joe can be loaded with extra fat and calories.  So, I’ve redone this classic favorite and made it much healthier and easier on your waistline.



Some of the ways in which I made this meal healthy:

  • used lean ground turkey in place of ground beef
  • added a bunch of chopped veggies to replace some of the meat
  • used a whole grain bun instead of a white bun


Can you believe all of these veggies are in this Skinny Sloppy Joe?!  But trust me when I say you don’t even notice.  My kids are the first to notice “hidden” veggies in food.  However, this is one meal where they eat the entire thing without one complaint.


Skinny Sloppy Joes


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: serves 6

Serving Size: 1 Skinny Sloppy Joe



Recipe adapted from Lonneyspoons


  • 1 lb extra lean ground turkey (or chicken)
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup finely grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium ketchup
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 6 whole wheat buns


  1. Spray a large skillet with olive oil. Add ground turkey, onions, garlic, celery, and carrot. Cook over medium-high heat until turkey is cooked through. Break up any large chunks with your spoon.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes, until mixture has thickened.
  3. Spoon mixture over bottom half of bun, cover with top half, and enjoy!

The ketchup and brown sugar add a touch of sweetness to this Skinny Sloppy Joe.  If you wanted to add some spiciness to this, then I recommend adding a chopped jalapeño pepper to the mix.

This meal feeds 6 very hungry people, so be prepared for leftovers (unless of course you are feeding 6 very hungry people!)  I usually have a little leftover, so I like to make a pita pizza for my lunch with the leftover Sloppy Joe filling.

I highly recommend serving this Skinny Sloppy Joe with a side salad and a cold light beer to drink.  The ultimate summer meal!


Skinny Sloppy Joes. Your kids will never know they are full of veggies!! A healthy recipe the whole family will enjoy.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 kelly croft June 12, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Very happy to hear you like beer! Phew!


2 Jen June 13, 2012 at 8:09 am

I’ve been known to drink it on occasion 😉


3 hayley June 19, 2012 at 6:33 pm

I made this tonight and your mexican lasagna last night! both were such a hit with my family and myself that I am now searching your website for more. thank you!


4 Jen June 20, 2012 at 8:14 am

Great! So glad you all like it 🙂


5 Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily July 27, 2012 at 7:10 pm

I was just at the store and looking at the canned sloppy joe stuff and trying to think of a home made recipe instead! Good thing I didn’t buy the canned stuff! Can’t wait to make this, honestly it’s one of my families fav’s.


6 Jen July 28, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Your family will love it…these Sloppy Joe’s are my kids favorite meal 🙂


7 Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily July 29, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Do you think that instead of ketchup I could use tomato paste? I see your recipe already has sugar in it and so does ketchup. I’m making this tomorrow.
Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily recently posted..Nutty Greek Quinoa TossMy Profile


8 Jen July 29, 2012 at 7:41 pm

I don’t see why not!


9 Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily August 3, 2012 at 5:22 pm

They were awesome! Thanks for the recipe. (i ended up using tomato paste instead of ketchup 😉
Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily recently posted..Beyond Broccoli! Swiss Chard and Herbed Feta Omelet with Sunflower SeedsMy Profile


10 Jen August 4, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Good to know! And I’m glad you enjoyed them 🙂


11 Angela January 15, 2016 at 9:51 pm

I made your lasagna soup last week and tomorrow I’m making this sloppy Joe for my daughters bday party….cant wait!


12 Jen January 16, 2016 at 9:58 am

That’s great Angela! Enjoy 🙂


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