Sloppy Joes are the perfect one skillet meal for not only a busy weeknight, but they are also perfect for feeding a crowd — like on game day. Everyone can just grab a bun and make their own as they please and it keeps dinnertime or entertaining a crowd easy, and relaxing. So to bulk up our Sloppy Joes and make them a little more nutritious, I’ve been adding pinto or black beans into our traditional recipe, and you know, my family liked it even better than the original. It wasn’t until I saw something similar this month in Cooking Light Magazine that I realized I had not shared our sloppy Joes recipe with you yet! It’s quick and easy to make these Sloppy Joes, too — just 15 minutes is all you need. Pair it with some fresh vegetables, and you have the perfect, quick, skillet dinner. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that turn out the best – like these healthier Sloppy Joes!
Now, for me, I often don’t even worry about eating this on bread or a bun but when I serve these to my family or for friends while entertaining, I serve it on whole wheat buns — again to make them a little more healthy for us and to sneak another serving of fiber into my family’s diet. Beans are a super-foods and we’ve been trying to work them more often into our diet — they are full of protein and fiber and have other health benefits as well. According to WebMd, “the latest dietary guidelines recommend we triple our current intake [of beans] from 1 to 3 cups per week.” This recipe will surely get us started toward that goal!
You can use any beans you prefer just be sure to both drain and rinse them before adding them to the skillet. This significantly reduces the amount of sodium in the recipe just by rinsing of the liquid used in canning the beans. I’ve added a little Worcestershire sauce which intensifies the flavor of the beef but if you don’t care for Worcestershire sauce simply omit it from the recipe. This recipe can be made meatless by using tofu crumbles in place of the ground beef. Alternatively, if you prefer ground turkey over beef, you can substitute that here as well. My husband liked these so much, he asked it be added to our regular rotation — so that’s really saying a lot.
- 1 pound lean ground beef (90% or higher)
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ bell pepper, diced
- ½ red pepper, diced
- 2 cans small red kidney beans, pinto beans or black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups (15 oz can) tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Brown the meat and the onion in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, breaking up the meat into crumbles as it cooks. Pour the drippings out of the pan and discard. Add the garlic, jalapeno, and red pepper and cook 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes more. Place a half-cup scoop of the mixture onto each bun and serve.