Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
Total Time
40 Mins
4 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich)

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, salt, black pepper, and beef to pan; cook 5 minutes or until meat is browned and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally to crumble beef.

Step 2

Add carrot, chili powder, sugar, oregano, and red pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes or until thickened and carrot is tender, stirring occasionally.

Step 3

Partially mash 1 cup beans with a fork or potato masher. Add mashed beans and remaining whole beans to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Spoon 1 cup bean mixture onto bottom half of each roll; top each serving with 1 red onion slice and top half of roll.

Ratings & Reviews

Tasty and Easy

May 30, 2016
This was very easy to make and my husband and I liked it a lot.  I will definitely make this again.  I served it without the raw onion garnish, on grilled whole wheat hot dog buns, which made it even healthier.  It tastes a lot like chili, and less like a traditional sloppy joe.  Our son didn't like it, because of the spice, whereas he likes sloppy joes normally.

ahatfield's Review

February 27, 2014
Mark Bittman is a genius. So, this is so much better than I expected - I was just hoping to use up some leftover sirloin. I got a little crazy and tossed in some diced red bell pepper in with the shredded carrots because I had some leftovers, and figured it would be a good way to sneak in another veggie. I don't think I would *actually* make sloppy joe's of any sort for a true special occasion, but still - this was really tasty and quite easy. I'll definitely make it again, and would recommend it to folks with kids, for sure. (except they may want to tone down the spice and skip the red onion garnish - I loved it, though). Oh, and I used fire-roasted crushed tomatoes, too. And I added wickles as a garnish, too.

robinarroyave's Review

June 19, 2012

klagenor's Review

January 31, 2012

Jwhatev's Review

September 18, 2011
So good!!! I made this tonight and can't wait to eat leftovers tomorrow. I added a bit more meat and onions but was faithful to the rest of the recipe. I garnished with red onion slices and some shredded Monterey jack cheese. I will definitely be making this again. Very comforting and satisfying. YUM!

arosenwald's Review

July 05, 2011
I've made this before, but augmented it tonight with a chopped up portobello that I added with the onions and the beef. Excellent move, highly recommended.

FroggerAG's Review

July 04, 2011
I doubled the meat and onion and tomato. Fantastic. Added mozzarella cheese and dipped crackers. So going to make this again!

Professional3's Review

May 16, 2011
Great taste, great texture and so easy to make. Into the regular rotation this goes!

cmatejko's Review

November 09, 2010
Great, easy recipe. I added some salsa and bbq sauce to make it my own, and I'll defnintely make it again. My boyfriend doesn't eat many vegetables so this is a great way to sneak some in.

ReneePech's Review

October 05, 2010
My hubby really liked this, but I thought it was just okay. There are a couple of things I might tweak when I make it next time (if the hubby likes something this healthy, gotta make it again!). I used diced tomatoes instead of crushed and I will take the time to look for crushed next time - too much texture with the diced. I might add some tomato paste, just to up the tomato flavor, but I might not need to if using crushed tomatoes - will have to experiment. With the carrots, I might experiment with adding pureed carrots instead of grated, again for the texture, and also so that my toddler can't pick out the carrot pieces!