Sneaky Sloppy Joes

Why are these Sneaky Sloppy Joe’s sneaky? Because there’s almost as many vegetables in these sloppy joes as there is meat. And they’re as good as any sloppy joe recipe you’ve ever made.

I always seem to talk about sneaking vegetables into food for the kids…if I’m being totally honest here it’s really more me since my boys eat way more vegetables than I do. My older son will eat just about anything you give him and my little guy would eat a salad every day at every meal. Christie has even resorted to buying salad in a bag because we go through so much she’s sick of breaking out the salad spinner.

So yeah, it’s really for me.

I don’t have anything against vegetables but I just don’t eat enough of them. So this recipe will help both kids and adults like me get a little more veg in your dinner.

Start off by cooking down all the vegetables. We used eggplant and mushrooms since they stay soft and don’t mess up the texture if the meat too much. But if you’ve got red pepper or zucchini you can throw it all in. It starts out like this…


And after a few minutes the vegetables cook down to at least half the size that they were.

Once that’s all cooked down move it over to one side of your skillet and add in the ground beef. Brown it up first and then mix it together with the cooked vegetables.


Now it’s starting to look like a sloppy joe…


Next add in a can of tomato sauce, brown sugar and worcestershire sauce.

Simmer for 15 minutes and you’re good to go. Start loading it up onto hamburger buns and dig in. Or if you’re like Christie you can skip the bun and just eat it plain with a salad on the side…or if you’re like my little guy you can eat it out of a bowl with tortilla chips for scooping…lots of possibilities.




Sneaky Sloppy Joe’s

  • Author: Dan
  • Yield: 6 1x


  • 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups diced eggplant (from one small eggplant, peeled)
  • 2 cups diced button mushrooms (a 10 oz. package)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 28 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat with the olive oil.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring so the garlic doesn’t burn.
  3. Add in the diced eggplant and mushrooms and cook down for 8-10 minutes until the vegetables are reduced to about half.
  4. Push the vegetables over to one side of the pan and add in the ground beef.
  5. Once the beef is browned, combine it with the vegetables, add the salt, pepper, oregano and garlic powder and stir.
  6. Pour in the tomato sauce and then add the brown sugar and worcestershire sauce.
  7. Stir and let simmer for 15 minutes uncovered until thickened.


4 Responses

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