Ellie Krieger's Tangy-Sweet Sloppy Joes



  • Prep Time


  • Cook Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings


These Sloppy Joes are everything you could wish for in a crowd-pleasing sandwich: a rich, meaty filling, smothered in a tangy-sweet, thick tomato sauce that refuses to stay inside the bun.

And it's about half the calories and a fifth of the fat of your average Sloppy Joe.

The trick is using a combo of lean beef (at least 90 percent lean), hearty beans and amping up with extra veggies. Then I use molasses as a sweetener, which is unrefined and has a significant amount of essential minerals.


  • 1 pound lean or extra-lean (90 percent lean or higher) ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 1⁄2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 -- 15.5-ounce can small red or pinto beans, preferably low-sodium, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cup no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 8 whole-wheat burger buns


Step 1

  • Brown the meat and onion in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for five minutes, breaking up the meat into crumbles as it cooks.

Step 2

  • Pour the drippings out of the pan and discard.

Step 3

  • Add the garlic, jalapeño and red pepper, and cook five minutes more, stirring occasionally.

Step 4

  • Stir in the rest of the ingredients, except the buns, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Step 5

  • Place a 1/2 cup scoop of the mixture onto each bun and serve.