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The Ultimate Low Sodium Sloppy Joe Recipe

'Tis the season for... sloppy Joe's? I know, I know, it's not exactly holiday fare. Unless you're my family. Every year we'd trek out to a tiny town in North Dakota to my Great Grandma's home. While there are so many memories and traditions that stick out, my Great Grandma's sloppy Joe's are one of those.

Helpful tips: Get the onion and pepper chopped very fine.

This low sodium sloppy Joe has 140 mg of sodium per serving (4).

Low Sodium Sloppy Joe

Low Sodium Sloppy Joe Recipe


  • 1 small onion, chopped fine

  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped fine

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 pound lean ground beef

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 teaspoons molasses

  • 2 teaspoons paprika

  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • ¼ cup tomato paste

  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar,

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch

  • 3 tablespoons cold water


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium until shimmering. Add onion and bell pepper to skillet and cook, stirring occassionally, until soft.

  2. Add garlic to the skillet, cook until fragrant, stirring constantly. Stir in paprika and red pepper flakes and stir until fragrant (30 seconds). Quickly add the tomato paste and molasses and stir until fully combined. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the tomato paste starts to deepen in color.

  3. Add beef and break up pieces as it cooks. Cook hamburger until there is no pink left. In a small bowl, combine red wind vinegar, worcestershire sauce, water, and cornstarch and whisk until smooth. Add red wine vinegar mixture to the skillet and stir until well combined. Cook an additional 1 minutes and then remove from heat.

Christmas Eve sloppy Joe's were the only time of year that this type of sloppy Joe was served in my house hold. My mom has her own recipe that, as of this writing, I haven't been able to make low sodium quite yet. This is just reminscent of what my Great Grandma made for so many years. I am so grateful to have had so many memories of her.

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