Recipe: Real Food Sloppy Joes!

My poor daughter recently said to me, “Mom I keep reading all these books that talk about Sloppy Joes, and I’ve never had one before. Can you please make some so I can finally try it like everyone else??” Gosh, she is so deprived! Seriously though, if that’s her biggest problem this week I will gladly take it. Not to mention it was a “problem” easily solved with this recipe below. And just for the record both kids went back for seconds. I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine did! :)

#SloppyJoes from 100 Days of #RealFood

4.8 from 21 reviews
Sloppy Joes
Serves: 4 to 5
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 pound ground beef (grass-fed recommended)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • A couple dashes of pepper
  • 1 15 ounce can plain tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon, we prefer fresh. (Optional: This was the "secret" ingredient that reminded me of the Sloppy Joes from my childhood, but I realize it's out of the ordinary so decide for yourself if you like this addition!)
  • Toasted whole-wheat buns for serving (for sliders use small buns or dinner rolls!)
  1. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook until they begin to soften but not brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add the ground beef and garlic, and cook while breaking up the meat with a spatula. Season with the salt and pepper. Continue to cook until the meat has browned all the way through. Drain the excess fat and discard.
  3. Add the tomato sauce, honey, chili powder, vinegar, mustard, and cinnamon (if using) to the pan and simmer over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm with whole-wheat buns and some yummy vegetables on the side. Enjoy!
We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.

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  • Comments

    1. Nichole V |

      Myself and our four and two year old made this for dinner tonight. We substituted venison for beef and it turned out excellent. I added some fresh diced tomatoes simply because they needed eaten. It was a win… the husband and one year old loved it as well. I made your Asian Coleslaw as our side and it worked great.

    2. Liz S |

      My family absolutely loves this recipe! We skip the buns altogether and serve it on beds of shredded cabbage…yum! Thank you!

    3. Shannon |

      Could I make this in the slow cooker? If so, any recommendations on time or method? Thanks!

      • Sadie |

        I make this in the crock pot…I brown the ground beef, and throw all the ingredients into the crock pot, stir it up, and let it do it’s thing!

    4. Jennifer |

      Oh Lisa I am so happy to have found this recipe!! Sloppy Joe’s are one of my all time comfort foods. I’ve been thinking about Sloppy Joe’s for weeks now and have been thinking about how I can do it without breaking the rules. Luckily I have all the ingredients on hand so we will be having SloppyJoes’ this weekend.

    5. Jennifer |

      I’ve been craving Sloppy Joe’s and made this tonight. Sloppy Joe’s are my ultimate comfort food and I have missed them this past year I’ve been eating real food. This recipe is amazing, my daughter and I both agreed these are the absolute best Sloppy Joe’s. I was out of cinnamon so we didn’t add it

    6. Leah |

      I made these last night and they were delicious! Definitely making these again. I add just a pinch of cayenne because I thought it needed just a little heat. Also, the cinnamon was a great addition. Don’t leave it out!

    7. Rena |

      I LOVE your blog. I was in search of a sloppy Joe recipe and was so excited to find yours. I made it tonight. Made just a few adjustments/additions. I added some bell pepper and added 1/2tsp cumin. Also I used ground Turkey. I usually make our own sloppy Joe sauce but it is still full of stuff we shouldn’t eat,so I was excited to taste this recipe full of good and real food. I did add the cinnamon and I love the flavor it adds. Thanks for my New go to Joe recipe.

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