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Best Sloppy Joes Recipe

Best Sloppy Joes Recipe

Who isn't looking for quick, healthy meal solutions during the busy holiday and shopping season? Here's a sophisticated twist on a kid favorite. My daughter, Tiffany, came up with this lower-fat version of traditional sloppy joes. Best of all, this recipe can be made ahead and frozen for real holiday convenience. However, the tangy kick from the orange peel may not appeal to all children. —Suzanne McKinley, Lyons, Georgia
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 25 min. YIELD:6 servings


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated orange peel, optional
  • 6 whole wheat buns, split


  • 1. In a saucepan, cook the beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomato sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, molasses, prepared mustard, ground mustard, cloves, cayenne and orange peel if desired. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Serve on buns. Yield: 6 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 274 calories, 9g fat (3g saturated fat), 37mg cholesterol, 713mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 4g fiber), 18g protein.

Reviews for Best Sloppy Joes

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trasalan User ID: 8254426 220199
Reviewed Feb. 10, 2015

"My family loves these! I do not add the orange peel and sometimes not as much tomato sauce but a great recipe!"

keverwann User ID: 1807985 133188
Reviewed Jul. 4, 2013

"Oh, I also made this with ground turkey instead of beef and added a chopped carrot to the onions. Not sure how the original recipe was low-fat..."

keverwann User ID: 1807985 148139
Reviewed Jul. 4, 2013

"I thought these were too sweet, but my husband couldn't tell the difference between this spiced up version and the plain version I normally make."

12Knights4Mari User ID: 1697950 133187
Reviewed Mar. 4, 2013

"Oops, forgot to mention I too skipped the orange peel....and I also added a heaping 1/4 tsp of salt."

12Knights4Mari User ID: 1697950 132953
Reviewed Mar. 4, 2013

"Wow! I wish I'd found this recipe when my kids were still at home. Since discovering it, I've made it nearly every week. The only changes I made after following the recipe the first time was to add a little brown sugar and granulated garlic. Love love love it!"

jnjrok User ID: 1992251 148138
Reviewed Dec. 17, 2012

"Too tangy for me!"

MY REVIEW User ID: 6825484 64333
Reviewed Dec. 5, 2012

"It's good, but as far as low fat or healthy, NOT, it's high salt and just as much fat as any other recipe, but it's good."

Rockamama User ID: 1263362 64331
Reviewed Dec. 5, 2012

"Love the fact that it contains ingredients that most people already have, and that it's not too sweet like the canned variety."

happyian User ID: 3536641 71172
Reviewed Apr. 15, 2012

"I used brown sugar instead of molasses and skipped the orange peel. This turned out really well!!"

katlaydee3 User ID: 3741999 70207
Reviewed Feb. 6, 2012

"These were really good Sloppy Joes. I served them with baked beans and potato salad."

brookeparker User ID: 1435217 132938
Reviewed Mar. 16, 2011

"Had to use ground pork instead, was really good. Added a dash of salt and pepper and made it as an open faced sandwich with slice of swiss cheese on top-Great!"

Ab0628 User ID: 3440719 148117
Reviewed Mar. 12, 2011

"My husband loves sloppy joes and we both liked this recipe. I didn't use the orange, and I used red pepper flakes instead of the cayenne. He likes a sweeter sauce, so he would have liked brown sugar in addition to the molasses. I liked it as it was. I will make this recipe again."

Chicha User ID: 406501 148114
Reviewed Jan. 3, 2011

"I forgot to look at the reviews before I made this for lunch. I was in a hurry because I was having a hard time making up my mind what to cook with the ground turkey I had. So, I tried this recipe. Most of the time I use the recipe as a springboard for what I want to cook. I followed the recipe a lot closer than most meals. I used 1/4 c. of ketchup instead of 1/2 cup. I also did not put in the orange peel or cloves. I did put in the tiniest bit of cinnamon. I cooked the meat with all of the ingredients until it was a nice, thick sauce coating the meat. I was afraid the mustard was going to be too strong for me. I really did not notice it. I was a great flavored meal. Thanks!"

Valsetz User ID: 4959663 64329
Reviewed Jan. 2, 2011

"Excellent tasting and very quick to make!!"

caralm User ID: 1503131 207308
Reviewed Oct. 22, 2010

"As any intelligent cook knows, there are plenty of low or no salt products out there that can be substituted for the full salted version of tomatoes, tomato sauce and worcestershire sauce. The recipe tastes just as good using those types of products. Obviously CarmeIN didn't even bother trying to make this recipe with no/low salt products. Why even bother to comment on a recipe if you haven't tried to make it to begin with? I'm sure other dialysis patients or those needing to watch their sodium intake are smart and can see for themselves that the original recipe is higher in sodium and make adjustments to the recipe or just skip over it and not make it at all."

CarmelN User ID: 1395071 154275
Reviewed Oct. 21, 2010

"I would not make this recipe at all...Have you looked at the sodium content?...that is half a recommended daily allowable amount....deadly for dialysis patients."

loisdelene User ID: 1538214 154273
Reviewed Oct. 21, 2010

"I would like to tell you a short story about my late husband and Sloppy Joe. Hubby was a native Texan and he told me Texas Chili did not have beans in it. He wasn't fond of beans in his Chili, So when I made TC I also made "Hoosier Chili' for me with beans. One day he asked if I knew what Sloppy Joes were. I had to laugh and tell him a woman doesn't raise 7 children without making Sloppy Joes. So he wanted me to make him some Sloppy Joes. So I did and he said, "What is this?" I told him Sloppy Joes he said, "No this is Chili." Of course we got a laugh out of that one, he had been eating Sloppy Joes and thought he was eating Texas Chili. LOL and I never found one Texas Chili recipe without beans."

loisdelene User ID: 1538214 158918
Reviewed Oct. 21, 2010

"I now would like to tell you a story about my late husband and Sloppy Joe."

loisdelene User ID: 1538214 135737
Reviewed Oct. 21, 2010

"Being a diabetic I left out the molasses and I did add a little bit of oatmeal,(but you can use a bit of flour) to thicken it up so it will stay on the bun. But it sure is good Son liked it better than the canned sauce. Home made by MOM is always better ."

jcanter User ID: 1787073 60655
Reviewed Apr. 30, 2010

"My kids liked it and so did my husband and I. I added about 1/4 more cup of ketchup and substituted brown sugar for the molasses. Now if I could just get the mixture to stay in the buns when we eat them! I might try pita bread next time."

Mrs.EBDarcy User ID: 5083772 155084
Reviewed Apr. 20, 2010

"My husband begged me to fix him sloppy joe's. I haven't had a sloppy joe since elementary school, so I didn't really remember what one tasted like. Knowing my husband likes spicy things I substituted BBQ sauce for ketchup and added some mongolian fire oil to the mixture. The orange flavor was so awesome in this recipe! Thank you so much for sharing!"

cbear614f User ID: 2498882 70205
Reviewed Feb. 8, 2010

"Awesome recipe! More mild than the canned variety and packet variety. I'll eat sloppy joes now that I have this recipe. You can taste the orange just slightly and my kids, 7 and 4, ate it up. I'm so happy to have found this. Great job!"

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