Skip to main content

Veggie-Loaded Sloppy Joes Recipe

Contributors: Elizabeth Ebmeier, MS, RD

Published: November 24, 2018

Veggie-Loaded Sloppy Joes Recipe
Rebecca Clyde, MS, RDN, CD

You'd never know after eating this mouth-watering, kid-friendly sandwich that Sloppy Joes originated during financially tough war times in the 1940s as a way of stretching precious and expensive beef. Bell peppers and onion add color, texture and nutrition in this adaptation of the classic dish.


Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 pound extra-lean ground beef
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 tablespoon white vinegar
¾ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
6 whole-grain or mixed-grain sandwich buns
1 sweet onion, thinly or thickly sliced (optional)


Before you begin: Wash your hands.

  1. Spray a medium skillet with the cooking spray.
  2. Combine the ground beef, diced peppers and onion in the skillet. Cook on medium heat until the beef is thoroughly cooked, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Mix the vinegar, ketchup and mustard together, and add to the beef mixture; simmer 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Scoop one portion onto each sandwich bun. Top with a slice of sweet onion (optional).

Beef is a good source of iron, and the vitamin C in peppers (and tomato products) enhances absorption of iron.

Food Trivia

Sloppy Joes were once called "loose meat" sandwiches; the word "sloppy" was coined rather appropriately because the filling is messy and tends to drip off the bun. The term "Sloppy Joe" was also used to describe any cheap restaurant or lunch counter serving cheap food quick!

Nutrition Information

Serving size: ¾ cup meat + 1 sandwich bun
Serves 6

Calories: 270; Total fat: 6g; Saturated fat: 2g; Cholesterol 47mg; Sodium: 650mg; Total carbohydrate: 33g: Dietary fiber: 2g; Protein: 21g

Freshly Picked

Community members gardening together in a shared space.

Food Security and Sustainability

Cultivating Connections: How to Start or Participate In a Community Garden

Read the Full Story

Find a Nutrition Expert

Looking for credible nutrition information and recommendations? The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' network of credentialed food and nutrition practitioners are ready to help!