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Eat Well Wednesday: Sneaky Sloppy Joes

sloppyjoeRoll up your sleeves and prepare to get messy because today’s recipe is for Sneaky Sloppy Joes! We’re giving this beloved, traditional American favorite a makeover and transforming it into a healthier weeknight meal for you and your family to enjoy! Curious what the “sneaky” ingredient is in these Sloppy Joes? Lentils, of course! Found in the canned vegetable aisle by the bags of dried beans and peas, these lowly legumes are often an overlooked and underutilized pantry staple. Not only are lentils loaded with protein, high quality carbohydrates, and fiber, but they’re also inexpensive and can help stretch your food dollar! Simply swap cooked lentils for a portion of the ground meat in dishes such as tacos, spaghetti, and meatloaf. With recipes like these Sneaky Sloppy Joes, you’ll save money while eating healthier… what more could you ask for? 

Sneaky Sloppy Joes


1 Tbsp. canola oil

½ small onion, finely chopped

1 small carrot, finely chopped

½ green bell pepper, finely chopped

½ cup Heinz® Ketchup

1 clove garlic, minced

½ cup dried brown lentils, picked over and rinsed

¼ tsp. dried oregano

½ lb. 80% lean ground beef (or leaner)

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce


  1. Heat 1 Tbsp. canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, bell pepper and 2 Tbsp. ketchup and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the lentils, oregano and 2 cups water; bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the lentils are tender and the water is absorbed, 35 to 40 minutes (add more water if necessary). Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef until completely browned; drain off any fat. Add the Worcestershire sauce and the remaining 6 tablespoons ketchup and cook, stirring, until combined. Add the lentil mixture and 1 cup water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are soft and the mixture thickens, about 8 minutes. Serve on whole wheat buns.

Leah Anderson is a Registered Dietitian (RD) with Festival Foods and is certified by the state of WI.



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