It’s no wonder busy parents have been whipping up batches of Sloppy Joes for their families for ages. They’re tasty, inexpensive and easy to make, creating the perfect meal for busy nights filled with after-school activities throughout the year. But what if we told you we’ve created the perfect Sloppy Joe recipe – not from prepackaged spices, but with fresh, healthy ingredients? With just a few more ingredients and a couple of extra minutes of your time, you can make mouth-watering Sloppy Joes that your entire family will love – AND feel good about the ingredients you’re using. Filled with fresh veggies, herbs and spices, these are definitely NOT your Mama’s Sloppy Joes!



1 cup of finely diced red onions

1/2 cup of finely diced celery


1/2 cup of diced (roasted) poblano peppers

1 cup of finely diced (roasted) mini sweet peppers

4 cloves of finely chopped garlic


1 T of ancho chile powder


1 1/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (we love chipotle & honey infused)

1/4 cup of water

1/4 cup of organic ketchup


1 T of dijon mustard

1 T of honey

1 T of packed brown sugar

1 T of molasses

1 t of Worcestershire sauce


1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro

2 T of apple cider vinegar


1 pound of ground beef (80/20)

1 pound of ground pork

1 T of canola or sunflower oil

salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)

1-2 t of cayenne pepper (optional for added heat)

6 toasted rolls


  1. Ground beef and pork should be at room temperature when you begin cooking, so let it sit for approximately 30 minutes before starting.
  2. When you’re prepping ingredients, group into small bowls and section them based off of when they’re added.
  3. Preheat broiler to low (approximately 500 degrees)
  4. Brush peppers with a light coating of oil, salt on all sides, and place on a baking sheet. Place on top rack of oven. Roast for 6 minutes, then carefully turn peppers over and roast for an additional 4 minutes until skin is blistery and partly charred. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes before handling and chopping.


  1. In a large high-sided sauté pan, heat oil over high heat
  2. When oil is hot, add all meat, breaking it into small pieces
  3. Season meat with salt and pepper
  4. Cook meat until golden brown
  5. Remove meat with a slotted spoon
  6. Remove and discard all but one T of fat from the pan
  7. Place pan back on heat (lowering heat to medium)
  8. Stir in SECTION 1 ingredients (onion and celery)
  9. Cook until soft (about 3 minutes)
  10. Stir in SECTION 2 ingredients (poblano, mini peppers and garlic)
  11. Cook for approximately 1 minute
  12. Stir in SECTION 3 ingredients (chile powder)
  13. Cook for about 30 seconds
  14. Add SECTION 4 ingredients (BBQ sauce, water, ketchup)
  15. Bring to a boil by raising heat, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened (about 5 minutes)
  16. Reduce heat to medium/low
  17. Stir in SECTION 5 ingredients (mustard, worchester, honey, brown sugar, molasis)
  18. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes
  19. Return meat to the pan
  20. Continue cooking without cover until thickened (about 10 minutes)
  21. Stir in SECTION 6 ingredients (vinegar, cilantro)
  22. salt and pepper to taste

This recipe makes between 6-8 fully stuffed sandwiches. It pairs well with spicy sweet potato fries. It’s the perfect dish for family dinner on busy weeknights or all-day snacking on Football Sunday!

If you like this recipe, and are looking for more fun family meals, check out Taco Tuesday: 6 Easy Twists on a Weekday Favorite.

Photo credit: Danielle Kowalski

Danielle is a Pittsburgh native who has been warming her “black and gold” blood in sunny Northern California for the past 6 years. On any given day, you can find her arranging ridiculous photo shoots of her one-year-old son Graeme and cat Gizmo, or working on any one of her 27,000 writing projects. She enjoys daydreaming about becoming a famous actress and starting a handful of different businesses with her husband over glasses of wine in the evenings. Someday, she hopes to travel the country in an RV with her family… but she needs to sell that novel first. You can follow her journeys through her blog With A Red Bird On My Shoulder

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