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Beef & Veggie Sloppy Joes

I’m always looking for ways to serve my family healthy and delicious food, so I started experimenting with my favorite veggies and ground beef. I came up with this favorite that my three kids actually request! This healthy take on sloppy joes reminds me of my own childhood. —Megan Niebuhr, Yakima Washington
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. Cook: 5 hours
  • Makes
    10 servings


  • 4 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1 medium yellow summer squash, shredded
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 3 teaspoons dried basil
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 10 whole wheat hamburger buns, split


  • In a 5- or 6-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 13 ingredients. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles. Drain; transfer beef to slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  • Cook, covered, on low 5-6 hours or until heated through and vegetables are tender. Using a slotted spoon, serve beef mixture on buns.
Nutrition Facts
1 sandwich: 316 calories, 10g fat (3g saturated fat), 57mg cholesterol, 565mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (15g sugars, 5g fiber), 22g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 lean meat, 1 vegetable.

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Average Rating:
  • 603linda
    Jan 28, 2017

    I think that if you added Manwich to the recipe you really do not know how to cook from scratch. Try adding other ingredients to enhance the recipe. Using canned sloppy Joe mix is bottom of the barrel.

  • llpoolej
    Jul 25, 2016

    This is a good *base* recipe. It needs more oomph and not hard to do. I added a can of tomato sauce, so it would be "saucy" enough and a little red pepper flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce and a little brown sugar(<---extras the rest of the recipe is the same). The vegetables are an amazing idea though. Its a HUGE pot of food, which is a good thing with how much the boys in my house eat. Basically take this recipe and just spice it up how you would like it to be. I am close to the manwich taste as this point

  • chefheidi18
    Nov 7, 2015

    I love that it has lots of veggies. It's is a lot of work to prepare. If you have a food processor with a grater on it, you should use that. I agree with others, it didn't have much of a sloppy joe sauce. We had to doctor it up with some ingredients. I would put in tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and maybe a few other things. Maybe like others I would add Manwich to it.

  • rwippel
    Sep 3, 2015

    I love the idea of adding so many veggies with the ground beef. Once it's all softened, you don't even notice the vegetables. I agree with another reviewer that the prep time for this recipe is longer than 35 minutes. I believe it can be cut down if you replace your "sauce" ingredients with 2 cans of manwich. Next time I make this recipe, I do intend to use manwich. Also, when I had the leftovers the next day, I added Jalapeno Havarti to my sandwich and it made it pop!

  • Giantrad
    Aug 30, 2015

    This recipe was edible. It lacked flavor, other than the extensive basil. I added a jar of Manwich sauce to the leftovers, and that helped. The prep time says 35 minutes, but that could only possibly be true IF you had all the carrots shredded and IF you had all the squash and zucchini shredded and IF you had the pepper finely chopped and IF you had the tomatoes seeded and chopped, and IF you had the onion and garlic finely chopped and minced. Definitely not worth the time and effort, and not a recipe I will make again. I don't generally rate recipes, but had to rate this one to keep someone else from falling into the trap of thinking "Oh, it sounds healthy; must be good." Nope.

  • jen817
    Jul 23, 2015

    I didn't actually eat this because I'm vegetarian, but my husband & 2 year old son LOVED it! They've eaten it 3 nights in a row for dinner - unheard of! Bonus points for sneaking extra veggies into the boys & using over-abundant zucchini from the garden! One modification - I didn't have time for the slow-cooker so I did it on the stove top for about 90 min. instead, worked fine.