Saturday, February 6, 2016

Healthy family recipe: Just a Little Sloppy Joe

Looking for a quick week night meal that is healthy and delicious? Try this healthier and flavorful spin on the traditional Sloppy Joe.

Healthy family recipe: Just a Little Sloppy Joe


Elizabeth Coover, RD, LDN is an clinical dietitian for the Healthy Weight Program at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Looking for a quick week night meal that is healthy and delicious? This flavorful spin on the traditional Sloppy Joe recipe is made healthier with lean ground turkey for less artery-clogging fat, and a mix of herbs and spices to help cut out the salt. Traditional canned Sloppy Joe sauces can really pack on the added salt and sugar.

The best thing about this recipe is that it is easily adjusted. If your family is looking for a meatless meal, substitute low sodium canned beans for the turkey. Add shredded carrots or zucchini for more vegetables. And if you are looking to add more fiber to your diet, look for whole wheat rolls that have at least 3 grams of fiber per roll.

Just a Little Sloppy Joe — Serves 6


  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup 100% pineapple juice
  • 6 ounce can of tomato paste
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 6 whole wheat rolls


  1. Spray a large sauté pan with cooking spray. Cook ground turkey, onion and green pepper until the temperature of the turkey mixture reaches 165 degrees on a meat thermometer, or until juices run clear, no pink shows, and peppers and onions are soft.
  2. Drain liquid and fat from meat mixture.
  3. Add pineapple juice, tomato paste, water, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, basil, and oregano to the turkey mixture and cook on medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Split mixture evenly on whole wheat rolls.

* Nutrition Facts do not include rolls.

Recipe from The Healthy Weight Program at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Nutrition in the Kitchen cookbook.

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The Healthy Kids blog is your window into the latest news, research and advice around children's health. Learn more about our growing list of contributors here.

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Anna Nguyen Healthy Kids blog Editor
Sarah Levin Allen, Ph.D., CBIS Assistant Professor of Psychology at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Stephen Aronoff, M.D., M.B.A. Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Temple University Hospital
Peter Bidey, D.O. Medical Director of Family Medicine at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Christopher C. Chang, MD, PhD, MBA, FAAAAI, FACAAI Associate Professor of Medicine in division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology at UC Davis
Katherine K. Dahlsgaard, Ph.D. Lead Psychologist of The Anxiety Behaviors Clinic at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Gary A. Emmett, M.D., F.A.A.P Director of Hospital Pediatrics at TJU Hospital & Pediatrics Professor at Thomas Jefferson Univ.
Magee DeFelice, M.D. Chief of Allergy and Immunology at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
Hazel Guinto-Ocampo, M.D. Chief of Pediatric Emergency Services at Nemours duPont Pediatrics/Bryn Mawr Hospital
Rima Himelstein, M.D. Adolescent Medicine Specialist at Crozer-Keystone Health System
Jessica Kendorski, PhD, NCSP, BCBA-D Associate Professor in School Psychology/Applied Behavior Analysis at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Anita Kulick President & CEO, Educating Communities for Parenting
Janet Rosenzweig, MS, PhD, MPA VP for Programs & Research for Prevent Child Abuse America
Beth Wallace Smith, R.D. Registered Dietitian at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Emiliano Tatar, M.D. Pediatrician at Einstein Healthcare Network Roxborough Plaza
Jeanette Trella, Pharm.D Managing Director at The Poison Control Center at CHOP
W. Douglas Tynan, Ph.D., ABPP Director of Integrated Health Care for American Psychological Association
Flaura Koplin Winston, M.D., Ph.D. Scientific Director of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention
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