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Best Sloppy Joes

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.
  • Makes
    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 zest, optional
  • 6 whole wheat buns, split


  • 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 zest if desired. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Serve on buns.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 274 calories, 9g fat (3g saturated fat), 37mg cholesterol, 713mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 4g fiber), 18g protein.

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  • trasalan
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    Dec 17, 2012

    Too tangy for me!

  • viennarose7
    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
    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
    Apr 15, 2012

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

  • katlaydee3
    Feb 6, 2012

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