Are you looking for a delectable way to get more veggies into your kids? Yep, me too. In a never ending battle to get more nutrition into the foods my kids eat, I developed a sloppy joe recipe brimming with extra nutrition. I knew Veggified Sloppy Joes were a winner when both of my kids asked for seconds. (and shhh…I found my teenager eating the leftovers the next day!)
Given that it is the end of the summer, our gardens are brimming with great produce-tomatoes, zucchini, red peppers, carrots, and all of these were vegetables that I thought would be great in these sloppy sandwiches. The vegetables add bulk to the sandwiches, without having to add more ground beef. This recipe is easy to make ahead and freeze, or make ahead and allow to simmer in a slow cooker. Ta-da! The perfect back to school dinner.
These Veggified Sloppy Joes were a big hit in my house, I bet they will be in yours too!
- 1 zucchini, finely chopped
- 4 carrots, shaved and then chopped
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 red pepper, finely diced
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup ketchup
- ¼ cup water
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 12 Hamburger, Kaiser or Hawaiian buns
- In a small skillet, brown ground beef over medium-high heat.
- Drain beef and place in slow cooker.
- In a large skillet, saute carrot, zucchini, red pepper over medium-high heat until tender, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add onion and saute for another minute until onion is translucent.
- Place vegetable mixture into the slow cooker with the ground beef.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
- Cook for 4-6 hours on low.
- Serve on buns (I prefer to use Hawaiian buns as the sweetness pairs so nicely with the savory sloppy joes).
- *If you do not want to use a slow cooker, instead of placing cooked ingredients into a slow cooker, you can place sautéed vegetables and browned ground beef, together with the remaining ingredients, into a large skillet and them simmer for 40-50 minutes.