In almost all recipes we are instructed to brown the ground beef before adding sauce ingredients, but this creates dry hard and pebbly meat that is often problematic as a bariatric texture. This recipe is different. 

My new fave secret technique, inspired by a Cooks Illustrated discussion, is to create the sauce and then add the raw ground sirloin. The raw beef melts into the warm sauce and in minutes simmers to a fine, soft and tender, almost velvety texture that is perfect for bariatric eating. This is a game changer for those who have had bariatric surgery and have texture issues!

HOWEVER, somewhere Bobby Flay is crying. Lol.

Sloppy Joe bariatric texture no sugar

5 from 1 reviews
Classic Sloppy Joes made Bariatric Friendly
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons Truvia Brown Sugar replacer, or 4 tablespoons Splenda
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • ½ cup Heinz Reduced Sugar ketchup (tastes great, it's all we use in the house!)
  • ½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 to 1¼ pound ground sirloin - use lean meat so your dish will not have an oil slick
  1. Heat the oil in a large deep skillet over medium high heat and sauté the onion and garlic with the salt until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, Truvia, tomato puree, ketchup,Tabasco and ¼ cup water.
  2. This next step is unconventional as we are all used to browning group beef. Instead add the raw ground sirloin to the sauce and slowly break up the meat with a wooden spoon so it melts into your sauce while it comes to a simmer, creating a fine velvety texture. Gently simmer, stirring occasionally until slightly thicker than ketchup, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Spoon into lettuce cups or on hamburger buns and top with Mt. Olive Sugar Free 'Bread & Butter' Pickle Chips. I love this recipe! So will you and your family.




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7 thoughts on “Sloppy Joes – a classic, made Bariatric Friendly!

  1. Nicole B says:

    Good Morning!
    This looks yummy!

    I have a question…I know that I am suppose to eat a minimum of 80 grams of protein daily and that the “average” adult should intake about 25 grams of fiber; however, what is the maximum number of fat grams that we (as Bariatric patients) should have on a daily basis? I am worried that daily fat percentage is too high.


    • Susan Maria Leach says:

      Great question. When we are on a 1200 to 1500 calorie restricted diet total grams of fat should be in the 35g to 50g per day zone. About 20% of daily calories. You don’t want to consume much more than 8 to 10 grams of fat in one meal. I have an RNY and if I ate a whole load of mayo, I would end up in the bathroom very quickly. My bypassed intestine still does not absorb all the fat and it will pass through very quickly… so I watch it.

      You don’t want to go Fat Free though, as we need a small amount of HEALTHY fat – olive oil versus bacon – and fat free products usually have added carb starches and chemicals to give that creamy mouth feel of fat. So reduced fat dairy is perfect.

      When I make a dish, I use very lean meat and sop up any fat that would be on the surface with paper towels before serving. Olive oil is the only oil that I use in cooking as per Mediterranean Diet.

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