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The Perfect Low Sodium Sloppy Joes

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By: Bill

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Enjoy a messy, sweet and savory Low Sodium Sloppy Joes again! With BBQ season here, what is a cookout without Sloppy Joes?  Sloppy Joes and paper plates are always so much fun. But this is also a great recipe for a quick weeknight meal. And if you pair it with my Low Sodium Hamburger Buns and you have the start of a great low sodium zesty meal.

Typical sodium amount per serving400+ mg
Sodium per serving for this recipe103 mg
Calories per serving214

The little package of Sloppy Joe seasoning has 280 mg per serving and the label claims 8 servings in a 1.31 oz. package. Can you imagine adding 2240 mg of sodium to 1 pound of beef? And ketchup is required also, add in another 850 mg’s to the recipe.

Low Sodium Sloppy Joe
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Low Sodium Sloppy Joe

The famous canned, pre-made sauce that’s used to make Sloppy Joe’s is just as high. For the pre-made Sloppy Joe Sauce the directions call for a 15 oz. can per pound of beef. So in total you get 2480 mg of sodium or 413 mg per serving (6).  

But I have the recipe for the Best Low Sodium Sloppy Joe and combined with my Low Sodium Hamburger Buns you are in for a treat!


The best low sodium Sloppy Joes are so easy to make, and cook in one skillet in about 20 minutes if you cut your vegetables while the beef is browning. Browned beef is mixed with green pepper, onion and garlic and combined with a sweet and spicy tomato paste and usually a ketchup sauce with a few spices. The real secret is finding the right low – no salt products and seasoning in the sauce!

Low sodium Sloppy Joe simmering in skillet
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Low sodium Sloppy Joe simmering in skillet.

Ketchup is usually a main ingredient in Sloppy Joes with up to 1/3 cup being used. However, with standard ketchup having 160 mg per Tbsp that’s adding 852 mg to the recipe or 142 mg per serving.

Heinz has a no salt added version, but it contains Alsosalt® Salt Substitute (Potassium Chloride) as a replacement.  Potassium Chloride interferes with many medications of heart, liver, kidney, and high blood pressure patients and should be avoided. Hunt’s used to have a no salt version with no Potassium Chloride either, but it appears to have been discontinued.

I do use Heinz no salt added occasionally when I have eggs or French fries but it is so little and so infrequently it is sometimes my personal choice to use it in a pinch.

But hope is not lost!  I have replaced ketchup entirely in this recipe making this very low sodium and Potassium Chloride free!


Low Sodium Sloppy Joes are always the king when served on the traditional hamburger buns. But buns are another source of high sodium, so be careful. Most store bought buns have 220+ mg of sodium. But if you make my Low Sodium Hamburger Buns you are only adding a measly 13 mg per bun! If you’re in a pinch you could use the King’s Hawaiian Hamburger Buns having about half the sodium of a standard bun at 125 mg.

Enjoy BBQ season with low sodium Sloppy Joes
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Enjoy BBQ season with low sodium Sloppy Joes

For other ideas, how about wrapped in an already low sodium corn tortilla, taco style? It could also be incorporated into a dip for low – no salt tortilla chips. Try it hot or cold on a salad or baked potato as a topping for extra zest. Low Sodium Pita, pasta and rice the list is almost endless!


You can easily and cleanly get tomato paste out the can by using a can opener on both ends. Then just push one lid through, no muss, no fuss.

Toasting the bun makes a ton of flavor and texture difference in the whole sandwich. And it is well worth the few minutes to do for the best meal. If you do use regular buns or bread, just proceed as if you were making a grilled cheese. With my low my low sodium buns they seem to do best lightly buttered and then briefly placed open side up under the broiler. Watch them for desired toasting.

When doing the final simmer of the low sodium Sloppy Joes keep an eye on the sauce so that it doesn’t reduce too much and dry out.  Simmer down or add more water to your desired consistency. I usually end up using about a cup of water total adding in increments.

Nutrition data is for the Sloppy Joe mix – not including buns or additional toppings.

[su_box title=”A few of my other great dishes to enjoy!” box_color=”#a92224″]


As always, please let me know how you like this recipe in the comments! I get motivated when I hear from you and am interested to learn about how you liked and served your Low Sodium Sloppy Joe. And please leave a comment or rating and share any tips you might have.

Easy to make Sloppy Joes
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Easy to make Sloppy Joes

Low Sodium Sloppy Joes

Written by: Bill
June 26, 2020
BBQ season or a quick dinner, these family-favorite homemade low sodium sloppy joes can be ready in 30 minutes!  
4.82 from 11 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 214 kcal


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/3 green bell pepper (finely minced)
  • 1/2 large yellow or red onion (finely minced / I like to use red onion)
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic pre-minced

For The Sauce:

  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste no salt added
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp smoke paprika
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp Lea and Perrins low sodium Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp yellow ground mustard
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1 cup water (reserve 1/2 cup)


  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add beef and brown, breaking apart into small crumbles as it cooks, about 10 minutes. Drain any grease.
  • Add diced onion and bell pepper to same skillet and cook 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add pre-minced garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Add beef back to the skillet and mix well.
  • While the beef is cooking add the remaining ingredients to a small mixing bowl using ½ the water or ½ cup. Whisk together until smooth. Add to the beef and vegetable mix in the skillet.
  • Cook over medium low heat for 10-15 minutes, until mixture has thickened to your desire. Use any remaining water as need to your desired consistency.
  • Remove from heat and serve over low sodium toasted buns or choice of accompaniment.

I use, own and recommend these products and ingredients used in this recipe.

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Serving: 1Calories: 214kcal (11%)Carbohydrates: 19g (6%)Protein: 15.5g (31%)Fat: 8.7g (13%)Cholesterol: 45mg (15%)Sodium: 103mg (4%)Fiber: 1.7g (7%)Sugar: 12.1g (13%)

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. Please understand that not everyone’s sodium and dietary requirements are the same, therefore some recipes may be higher than you’re allowed.

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Did you enjoy this recipe?Leave a comment and rating to let me know how it was!

© 2024 Tasty Healthy Heart Recipes

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Nutrition InformationThe information shown is provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be substituted for a doctor’s or nutritionist’s advice. Please understand that not everyone’s sodium requirements are the same, therefore some recipes may be higher than you’re allowed. Always consult with your doctor for your recommended daily sodium allowance.

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Hello, I'm Bill

Welcome!  After my stroke, I began to prepare low-sodium and reduced-fat meals. Tasty, easily prepared meals that can help you change to a low-sodium diet for a healthier life.  Read more

12 thoughts on “The Perfect Low Sodium Sloppy Joes”

  1. 5 stars
    Made this for the first time tonight. I didn’t have white wine vinegar. However, I took the amount listed and used 1/2 red wine vinegar and 1/2 apple cider vinegar. Even with the substitution….These are fantastic! Definitely making this again.

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious. Thanks for sharing. If you have a Kroger store nearby the Signature Select Worcestershire Sauce has only 40 mg salt per tsp. Because it is not a specialty item, it is easier for me to find than the low sodium Lea & Perrins and has slightly lower sodium.

  3. 5 stars
    So good . I just made this today for lunch and it was beyond tasty. I did make a couple tweaks . I only had 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar so I poured in distilled white vinegar along with it to make my half cup and I omitted the red pepper flakes and used 1/16 tsp of cayenne pepper instead and it turned out perfect . Tasty with a tiny bit of kick but not so much that it burns your mouth off. Definitely will be making again and again

  4. 4 stars
    This is the absolute best sloppy Joe recipe! Don’t miss the sodium at all. My family loved it. Thank you for sharing.

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe was a winner. My husband used to make the BEST sloppy joes, but now we have to watch our sodium intake. We added celery and kidney beans (sodium reduced). They were fantastic. This is now a family favorite.

  6. 5 stars
    This was not the typical sloppy joe flavor I am used to but that’s not necessarily a bad thing because they were delicious! Thank you for sharing.


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