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5 from 1 vote

Old-Fashioned Sloppy Joes

One bite of this Old-Fashioned Sloppy Joes recipe will instantly take you back to the meaty, messy, Sloppy Joe sandwich of your childhood.  Sweet, tangy and loaded with flavor, this version of the classic American comfort food is also surprisingly healthy, and comes together in about 30 minutes. 
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 297kcal
Author: The Carefree Kitchen


  • 2 Tablespoons Avocado Oil can substitute any other cooking oil
  • ½ med Onion diced; yellow or white onion
  • 1 tsp Garlic minced
  • 1 large Carrot shredded or diced
  • 1 med Red Bell Pepper diced; can also use any color you have on hand
  • ½ med Yellow Bell Pepper diced; can also use any color you have on hand
  • 1 lb Ground Beef 7-15% fat
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Pepper
  • 1 pinch Red Pepper Flakes optional
  • 4 ounces Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Barbeque Sauce use your favorite kind, or can substitute ketchup


  • In a non-stick saute pan on medium-high heat, add avocado oil (or any other cooking oil).
  • Once the oil is hot, add the onions and carrots and saute until the onions are translucent and the carrots are becoming tender, about 6-8 minutes.  Stir frequently.
  • Add the bell peppers and garlic and saute until they are tender, or about 4-5 more minutes.
  • Add the ground beef to the pan, and use a spoon or spatula to break up the hamburger meat, and add your salt, pepper and crushed red peppers (if using).  If it seems too dry in your pan, you can add a few tablespoons of water.
  • Continue cooking until the beef is almost fully cooked, about 8-10 more minutes. There should still be a little pink.
  • Add the tomato paste, Worcestershire Sauce, brown sugar and barbeque sauce (or ketchup).  Continue to stir until the sauce is completely mixed in and the beef has finished cooking, about 3-5 more minutes.  There should be no pink left in your beef once it is done.
  • Serve on a mini slider or pretzel bun with a slice of cheddar or pepperjack cheese and a pickle, and enjoy!




Saute your veggies slightly longer than you normally would so that they are almost mushy.  It will be easier to hide them this way!


Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 520mg | Potassium: 569mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 2947IU | Vitamin C: 50mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 3mg