Healthy Sloppy Joes Pepper Poppers
Bunless Sloppy ‘Sliders’ – Healthy Sloppy Joes with Ground Turkey, Stuffed into Mini Pepper Boats!
As a kid, I was a HUGE fan of homemade sloppy joes, and I still am! It’s like the ultimate, easy dinner idea to feed a crowd: simple yet tasty, hearty and satisfying, and there’s SO much room for versatility. There are no rules with sloppy joes—which makes it super easy to craft healthy sloppy joes that suit your lifestyle and preferences!
Think of your slop like any ol’ chili, stew, or soup. You can go wild with substitutions and additions to make these healthy sloppy joes your own! And, if you need more than 4 servings of this meal, simply multiply the recipe for the number of servings you need. Even if you double the recipe, it’ll be just as easy to make—and just as cheap.
This time around, I decided to nix the bun for my healthy sloppy joes and served my slop stuffed into mini peppers! It’s a fun way to fit more veggies into the meal, and I love the satisfying CRUNCH of biting into my sloppy joe pepper poppers. If you’re grain free or gluten free, these bunless sloppy sliders can be a tasty and easy go-to option!
Personally, I fell in love with these pepper poppers once I tried them—especially with a side of cauliflower mashed potatoes! It’s rich, comforting, and fits even MORE veggies into my meal. Plus, it adds some healthy complex carbs to my meal, rather than refined grains from a bun. Of course, you can absolutely stick with traditional buns to serve your slop, if preferred!
Healthy Aldi Meal Prep for the Week & Haul!
How to Make Sloppy Joes YOUR Way
Although ground beef is the traditional choice, you can really choose any meat you want for your slop. I made my healthy sloppy joes with ground turkey, but you could also use ground chicken, ground pork, or even crumbled tofu!
Then, you can load up your slop with all kinds of veggies—a great way to fit more vegetables into a picky eater’s meal. I added a chopped bell pepper into my healthy sloppy joes, but you could volumize your slop with TONS more veggies! You could add chopped carrot, peas, corn, beans, or even finely chopped broccoli and cauliflower.
Plus, YOU are in control of the ingredients in your sauce, so you can cut down on sugars and salt as needed. In this healthy sloppy joes recipe, I cut down on sugars by using half ketchup and half tomato sauce, instead of all ketchup. And, I limited the added sugar to 1 tablespoon of unrefined coconut sugar. I didn’t even add salt since the ketchup has some in it!
Serving Options for Healthy Sloppy Joes
As I mentioned, you can totally keep it classic with hamburger buns or Hawaiian buns for serving your healthy sloppy joes mix. But, if you want the entire meal to be a bit healthier and more fuel-filled, I recommend choosing a 100% whole-wheat or whole-grain option, if you can find it.
If you can’t find 100% whole-grain buns of any kind, you could also look for whole-grain hot dog buns or even pita pockets. Of course, you can go totally grain free with and try my sloppy joe pepper poppers—or make things even simpler with lettuce wraps!
You could even serve your healthy sloppy joes with multiple vessel options, if you’re feeding a large crowd, so everyone can choose what they want. You’ve got loads of possibilities!
Healthy Sloppy Joes Pepper Poppers
Sloppy Joes Meat:
- drizzle of oil
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 lb ground turkey, or ground meat of choice
- salt, to taste
- 8 oz tomato sauce, canned
- ½ cup ketchup
- 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1½ Tbsp Worcestershire sauce/English sauce
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- pepper, to taste
- mini peppers
- or hamburger/hot dog buns, pita pockets, lettuce wraps—anything you like!
- Optional Topping: serve with sliced pickles!
- In a pan over medium heat, sauté onion, garlic, and bell pepper in a drizzle of oil for a few minutes, until tender.
- Add ground turkey, season with salt, and cook through, breaking apart and stirring as meat cooks.
- In a measuring cup, combine all sauce ingredients, seasoning to taste.
- Pour sauce over meat mixture, mix to combine, and simmer 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- To prepare mini pepper poppers, slice mini peppers lengthwise, chopping just a sliver of one side off to create a ‘boat’ with a cavity to hold your sloppy joe mixture.
- Spoon sloppy joe mixture into mini pepper boats, serve with sliced pickles, and enjoy!
- Yields 4 servings healthy sloppy joes pepper poppers.
For meal prep:
- Store cut peppers and sloppy joe mixture in separate containers in the fridge. Assemble at the time of eating.
- You can heat sloppy joe mixture before spooning into your pepper boats, or enjoy cold!