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Homemade and Healthy Oven Roasted Sloppy Joes

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One Pot Wonder Weeknight Family Supper

Sloppy Joe recipe on www.virginiawillis.com

Who doesn’t like Sloppy Joes? They are pretty much the absolute best of a juicy hamburger and barbecue sandwich combined. Plus, they’re super messy – like run down your wrist and finger-licking good messy. There’s something about eating Sloppy Joes that makes you feel like a kid again. 

I was asked by Carusele to participate in the #LaurasLean campaign, sponsored by Laura’s Lean. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own.

Sloppy Joe recipe on www.virginiawillis.com

Weeknight Supper

When I was a little girl Sloppy Joe night was a very special treat. Sloppy Joes felt like fast food – a rarity in our household. For the most part, Mama made wholesome, homemade food. We had our share of meat and three plates and often the vegetables were from our garden, a nearby farmer, or “put up” from one of the two to enjoy out of season.

But, every now and then, Mama would pull a can out of the cupboard and make Sloppy Joes. Now that I am an adult I am very familiar with what those days must have looked like for her. You know those days when cooking dinner is just “one more thing” too many. Sloppy Joe suppers were as easy as searing a pound of ground beef, cracking open a can of sauce, and maybe toasting a couple of buns. I am not shaming my mom, but that can of sauce was never completely wholesome, even back then. Now, it contains high fructose corn syrup, a posse of thickening agents, and a host of preservatives.

Sloppy Joe recipe on www.virginiawillis.com

Healthy and Wholesome

Sloppy Joes are a combination of ground beef and a sweet and tangy tomato sauce. I knew that I could make a healthy and homemade version of Sloppy Joes without a ton of sugar, salt, and chemicals. Health consciousness is what inspired Laura Freeman to found Laura’s Lean Beef Company in 1985. Consumers had begun to shy away from beef due to concerns that it was high in fat and cholesterol. Laura set out to find a solution to allow health conscious consumers to continue to eat beef in good conscience. She committed not only to raising beef that was lean, but also without the use of antibiotics or added growth hormones. And, the cattle for Laura’s Lean Beef are still farmed that way, today.

The USDA allows beef to be labeled “natural” as long as it is minimally processed and contains no artificial ingredients. So that definition covers most fresh beef sold in grocery stores. Unlike most other “natural” beef, Laura’s Lean product is a “Never Ever” offering, meaning their protein is sourced from suppliers that raise their cattle without ever using added hormones or antibiotics and are always vegetarian fed.

Sloppy Joe recipe on www.virginiawillis.com

USDA Certified

Sloppy Joes are all about the beef so it’s important to use the best. Laura’s Lean 96% Ground Beef is certified through the American Heart Association heart check program and meets USDA standards for Extra Lean. Consumers now know that beef can be a part of a healthy diet and it’s important to consider the amount of saturated fat. The Mayo Clinic recommends ground meat that is lean, with the highest percentage of lean meat ideally being 90 percent or higher, with 10 percent or less fat. Laura’s Lean Beef fits the bill!

My homemade tomato sauce is made from regular pantry ingredients and only a tablespoon of brown sugar for a hint of sweetness. I also amp up the sauce with good and good for your vegetables including onion, peppers, and mushrooms which perfectly complement the rich, full-bodied flavor of Laura’s Lean Ground Beef.

Sloppy Joe recipe on www.virginiawillis.com

Oven Roasted One Pot Wonder

Most Sloppy Joes are made in a skillet on stovetop. I’ve also seen slow cooker and pressure cooker versions. Since this is the perfect meal for a busy day, I wanted to take it one step further and make a one-pot wonder in the oven. Since Laura’s Lean Beef is so lean, there’s no need to pour off any rendered fat. The ingredients are all combined in the same pan it’s baked in, so it’s great for clean-up, too. Thanks for reading and please tag me if you give this recipe a try!

Bon AppétitY’all,

Virginia Willis

Need a side salad to go along with your Sloppy Joes? Check out The World’s Best Salad Dressing.

Sloppy Joe recipe on www.virginiawillis.com

Homemade and Healthy Oven Roasted Sloppy Joes

I find the taste of green bell peppers a little strong and substitute poblano pepper. If you want to take the heat up a notch, you could also add diced jalapeno pepper, as well!.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, comfort food
Keyword: beef, ground beef, sandwich, sloppy joes
Servings: 6
Author: Virginia Willis

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Laura's Lean Ground Beef
  • onion,  chopped
  • ounces  cremini or white button mushrooms,  chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 1/2  cups  low sodium tomato sauce
  • cloves  garlic,  very finely chopped
  • tablespoon  mustard
  • tablespoon  cider vinegar
  • tablespoon  brown sugar
  • tablespoon  paprika
  • tablespoon  Worcestershire sauce
  • tablespoon  tomato paste
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Hamburger buns, for serving

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 350°. In a medium casserole combine the beef, onion, mushrooms, peppers, tomato sauce, garlic, mustard, vinegar, brown sugar, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper. (To taste and adjust for seasoning, simply cook a teaspoon or so of the mixture in the microwave.)
  • Alternatively, to cook on the stovetop: Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of canola oil. Add the onion, mushrooms, and peppers. Cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tomato sauce, garlic, mustard, vinegar, brown sugar, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer to the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Stir to combine. Return to the oven and continue cooking until the meat is cooked through and measures 160°F when measured with an instant read thermometer, an additional 15 minutes. Scoop the Sloppy Joe mixture onto buns and serve immediately.

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Virginia Willis

Georgia-born French-trained Chef Virginia Willis’ biography includes making chocolate chip cookies with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, foraging for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvesting capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, and hunting for truffles in France. She is talent and chef-instructor for the digital streaming platform Food Network Kitchen. Her segments feature authentic and innovative Southern cooking. She was the celebrity chef at the Mansion at Churchill Downs for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. Virginia has spoken at SXSW, cooked for the James Beard Foundation, and beguiled celebrities such as Bill Clinton, Morgan Freeman, and Jane Fonda with her cooking — but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen. Recently, her work has been inspired by her weight loss success story, Virginia has lost 65# and kept it off for over 1 1/2 years! “If a French-trained, Southern chef can do it, you can, too.” She is the author of Fresh Start; Secrets of the Southern Table; Lighten Up, Y’all; Bon Appétit, Y’all; Basic to Brilliant, Y’all; Okra; and Grits. Lighten Up, Y’all won a James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence in the Focus on Health Category. Lighten Up, Y’all as well as her first cookbook, Bon Appétit, Y’all, were finalists in the Best American Cookbook for the International Association of Cookbook Awards and were also named by the Georgia Center of the Book as “Books Georgians Should Read.” She is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree; has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants; and traveled the world producing food stories – from making cheese in California to escargot farming in France. She has appeared on Food Network’s Chopped, CBS This Morning, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. She’s been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, People Magazine, Eater, and Food52 and has contributed to Eating Well, GRLSQUASH, Culture, Garden & Gun, and Bon Appétit, and more. The Chicago Tribune praised her as one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know.” Her legion of fans loves her down-to-earth attitude, approachable spirit, and traveling exploits. Her culinary consulting company, Virginia Willis Culinary Enterprises, Inc specializes in content creation, recipe development, culinary editorial and production services, cookbook writing, media training, spokesperson and brand representation, and public speaking. Virginia is on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force, the Atlanta Community Food Bank Advisory Board, as well as the Community Farmers Market Advisory Board. She is a food and hunger advocate for No Kid Hungry and a premier member of the No Kid Hungry Atlanta Society. She a member of The James Beard Foundation, Chef’s Collaborative, Georgia Organics, and Southern Foodways Alliance.

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