This is a quick and easy recipe that you can fix for lunch or dinner — and it’s very satisfying. Sloppy Joes are a favorite of mine and adding black beans to the mix is added protein.

This recipe isn’t that much different from what we were used to when we were children but it is heartier and definitely healthier, especially if you make it with ground turkey. It calls for a teaspoon of brown sugar but, honestly, I don’t use it. But for today’s recipe have left it in there — you can try it if you like.

For anyone, it is important to watch your daily sodium intake. This recipe could potentially contribute to exceeding the 2,300 mg for daily intake so be careful when choosing your ingredients. Diabetics need to be extra careful with sodium anyway, so I recommend that you look for low-sodium or no sodium added in everything you buy.

I would serve this with a half of a cup of plain steamed carrots for a side and a half of a cup of blueberries for dessert. This recipe makes four servings but if you want to save a helping or two for another meal, just seal it well and refrigerate it. I hope you enjoy!


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

12 oz 90%-lean ground beef OR 12 oz ground turkey

1 cup no-salt-added black beans, rinsed

1 cup chopped onion and 1 green pepper finely chopped

2 teaspoons chile powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1 cup no-salt-added tomato sauce

3 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon reduced-sodium Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard

1 teaspoon light brown sugar

4 whole-wheat hamburger buns, split and toasted


Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add meat and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned but not completely cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a medium bowl, reserving drippings in the pan.

Add beans and onion to the pan; cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add chile powder, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire, mustard and brown sugar. Return the meat to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the meat is just cooked through and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Serve on buns.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Sandwich

Per Serving: 411 calories; protein 25.8g; carbohydrates 43.8g; dietary fiber 8.4g; sugars 12.2g; fat 15g; saturated fat 4.3g; cholesterol 55.3mg; vitamin a iu 758.3IU; vitamin c 7.9mg; folate 33.1mcg; calcium 112.4mg; iron 4.8mg; magnesium 101.2mg; potassium 842.1mg; sodium 537.5mg; added sugar 7g.

Exchanges: 3 Lean Protein, 2 Starch, 1 1/2 Vegetable, 1 Fat

(Candy Work is a certified physician assistant and a registered dietician. She has practiced at Olean Medical Group since 2015.)

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