These healthy homemade Sloppy Joes are made with just a few simple household staples as ingredients. They’re Whole30 and Paleo compatible, and best of all, your whole family will love them! Serve on baked potatoes or with crispy potato wedges.
Why We Love It
These healthy, delicious sloppy joes are a far cry from what we had in the school cafeteria growing up!
No, this recipe is an easy weeknight dinner your whole family will love, and it’s perfect for your gluten free, Paleo, and Whole30 eating plans.
The first time I made these, my boys were dancing in their seats while we ate our dinner, they loved it so much! Because when you use real ingredients like bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and spices, the flavor is just incredible.
I like to make up a batch for a healthy Whole30 compatible dinner and serve it with baked potatoes, fries, or whatever vegetables I have.
- I like to use 85% Ground Beef. Fat adds flavor and extra lean ground beef tends to dry out.
- Use a sugar-free compatible ketchup to keep this Whole30 compatible. To make this recipe low carb/keto friendly, use a keto-friendly ketchup.
- If you’re following Whole30 and don’t have compatible ketchup on hand, substitute extra tomato paste, 2-3 minced dates, and 1/8 cup broth.
- Save the vegetable scraps to make your own Vegetable Broth!
- For extra (sneaky!) vegetables, mince or grate 1/2 cup of zucchini and add it with the bell peppers. You won’t even taste it!
How to Make It
The really nice thing about this Sloppy Joe recipe is that it’s made in just one skillet, using budget friendly, healthy ingredients you probably already have on hand!
Step 1: Brown the beef.
In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the beef, breaking it apart with a spatula as it cooks.
Step 2: Add the bell peppers, garlic, and onion.
Once the beef is partially cooked, add the vegetables. Saute until they’re softened slightly, about 3-5 minutes.
Step 3: Stir in the ketchup, tomatoes, tomato paste, and broth.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and bring it to a simmer. Lower the heat.
Step 4: Add the seasonings.
Stir in the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. This is a great time to taste and see how you like it. If you want a little more oomph, add more chili powder. If you want a little more salt, add a bit more and taste again.
Simmer the meat until it’s thickened slightly, about 5-8 minutes.
And that’s it! You’re ready to dig in. Serve the sloppy joes with a little Paleo friendly dairy free sour cream (the recipe is below), and whatever sides you enjoy!
Tips & FAQ
I recommend serving sloppy joes with:
Sweet Potato Fries
The cooked sloppy joe beef mixture freezes beautifully! Simply allow it to cool completely and transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag. Squeeze as much air out as you can and seal. Set in the freezer and use within 3-4 months, per USDA (and add it to your freezer inventory chart!) To defrost, set the bag or container on a plate in the refrigerator overnight.
Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, per USDA.
More Healthy Family Recipes
- Orange Sesame Chicken
- Classic Pot Roast
- Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs Marinara
- Pepperoni Pizza Frittata
- Taco Sweet Potato Wedges
Making this recipe? I’d love to see! Tag me on Instagram @cookathomemom!
Healthy Sloppy Joe Bowls
- 1 lb. ground beef (I use 85%)
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 Tablespoons minced red onion about 1/4 medium onion
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/8 cup beef or vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup canned diced tomatoes
- 1.5 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1.25 teaspoon cumin
- 1.25 teaspoons Chili powder
- ¼ teaspoons Garlic powder
Paleo “sour cream”:
- ¼ cup full fat coconut milk chilled (use the creamy/thick part and save the liquid for another time)
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
Make the “Sour Cream”
- Mix together all ingredients. Cover and keep chilled until ready to serve.
Prepare the Sloppy Joes
- Brown the beef, breaking it apart with a spatula as it begins to cook.
- Stir in the onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Saute until softened, about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the tomato paste, ketchup, broth, and diced tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Stir in the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Cook together for about 5-8 more minutes or until thickened slightly. If you need to thin it out, add a little liquid from the canned tomatoes or beef broth, one tablespoon at a time.
- Spoon the mixture into bowls. Serve with baked potatoes or fries and top with a dollop of the sour cream.