Mary Anne's Sloppy Joe Sliders

Remember the days of yesteryear when your mom made the canned version of Sloppy Joes and you hated them. Now you can make them from scratch and you'll fall in love with them. This recipe is super easy and the Joes super delish. Plus, they're lighter, healthier, and the flavors oh-so-fresh.

1 pound extra-lean ground beef or ground turkey

1 medium onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno, minced

1 red, orange, yellow or green bell pepper, diced

1 can small red beans or pinto beans, drained, rinsed and mashed

1-14.5 ounce can tomato sauce or 1 can of diced tomatoes (I prefer fire-roasted)

2 Tablespoons tomato paste

1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon brown sugar or molasses

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon dried mustard

Pinch of red pepper flakes or chili powder, optional (for more heat)

3/4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

12 Hawaiian dinner buns or 8 small hamburger buns

-Brown the meat and the onion in a large nonstick skillet or pan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Drain the fat out of the pan and discard. Put meat in colander and rinse off fat.

-Place meat back in skillet and add the garlic, jalapeno, and bell pepper and cook 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes more. Place a small cookie scoop of the mixture onto each bun and serve. Makes approximately 12 sliders or 8 regular sloppy Joes served on hamburger buns.

Note: For a sweeter Joe, you can add a packet or two of Splenda, or a teaspoon of sugar. I sometimes serve this over penne pasta and the kids love it! For accompaniments you can serve with jalapenos, pickles, chips, regular or sweet potato fries. This recipe is very forgiving, so you can substitute and still have a great Sloppy Joe.

Note: This recipe can be made in a crock pot. Just brown the meat as usual and after draining and rinsing off the fat, then put everything in your crock pot and enjoy the rest of your afternoon. It will be ready in about 4 hours on high.?