Sloppy Joes

Traditionally made with brown sugar, this paleo version relies on the natural sweetness of tomatoes and maybe a bit of coconut sugar if you prefer. Piled on top of paleo waffle, this is about as perfect a comfort food as you can get.

Please share:

Ground beef is one of those ingredients that I like to keep on hand in the freezer for a “just-in-case” night. I don’t usually go beyond the basics when cooking with it, never really venturing out of my comfort zone. It’s either burgers, tacos, casseroles, or meatloaf with the lean ground beef. Sometimes meatballs, but those are really just mini meatloaves. But if I have a freezer full of ground beef, then I feel comfortable with a backup plan in case my meal plan falls through due to our ever-changing schedule.

Sloppy Joes {by Our Paleo Life}

Recently, my husband requested that I make paleo sloppy joes. When I heard that my immediate reaction was “No way!”. As a kid, I actually really disliked homemade sloppy joes. He thought I was crazy when I told him that. What kid doesn’t like homemade sloppy joes flavour?! Apparently, me. But because I love him, and my children too, I figured it was worth a shot to try doing some paleo sloppy joes, even if I was the only one who didn’t want to eat it, and, I had lean gound beef on the freezer!

Well, as usual, Rob was right. Turns out, I do like sloppy joes flavour. At least the way I make them, I guess. I’d like to think that it’s the fantastic Paleo Balsamic Ketchup sauce that really sets it apart, but it’s possible I was just a picky kid and sloppy joes really have been good all this time. Also, I think it helps to serve them on a waffle, because waffles make everything better, and you can do a Paleo Sloppy Joes version.

Sloppy Joes {by Our Paleo Life}

Helpful tip: make a ton of waffles at one time and keep them in the freezer between sheets of parchment. They thaw best in the microwave (they tend to get a little crumbly and dried out in the toaster oven). Then you can have waffles anytime! And who wouldn’t want that? Plus, with some Paleo Sloppy Joes and sloppy joe sauce for a great dinner time! 

Sloppy Joes {by Our Paleo Life}

Sloppy Joe’s

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Traditionally made with brown sugar, this paleo version relies on the natural sweetness of tomatoes and maybe a bit of coconut sugar if you prefer. Piled on top of paleo waffle, this is about as perfect a comfort food as you can get.


  • 2 lbs Grass-Fed Ground Beef
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 Bell Pepper, any color, chopped
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Yellow Mustard
  • 1 1/2 cup Paleo Balsamic Ketchup, for Whole30, make the ketchup without honey
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Sugar, optional, leave out for Whole30
  • Sea Salt, to taste
  • Ground Black Pepper, to taste
  • Paleo Waffles, optional, leave out for Whole30


  1. In a large skillet over a medium flame, cook the ground beef, onion, and bell pepper until the beef is completely browned and the veggies have softened.
  2. Stir in the garlic powder, mustard, ketchup, and coconut sugar until evenly combined.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-20 minutes, or until thickened and spoonable. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve in a bowl (for Whole30) or open-faced over a single waffle (our non-Whole30 preferred method of eating this dish).


Nutrition Facts do not include waffles

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 g
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 306Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 278mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 0gSugar: 18gProtein: 32g

Nutrition is calculated by a third party and may not be 100% accurate

Please share:

  1. We loved this recipe!!! It works well with ground chicken too, fyi:) We are not big ketchup eaters in our family. Do you think the leftover ketchup can go in the freezer? If so, for how long? We’d love to make this again in the future! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. So glad your and your family loved it. And that’s awesome to hear it’s good with chicken as well. I always have some on hand. Freezing the ketchup should be fine. I’d recommend freezing it in an ice cube tray so you can just take out what you need and it will thaw faster since it will be in smaller quantities. I would think it would last 6 months in the freezer.

  3. I have been using your meal plans for my family’s first whole30 and I really appreciate the work you have put into them. I especially love the grocery lists and larger serving sizes for a family. I do have a question/concern though.. Aren’t faux bread items like waffles, pancakes, etc. expressly forbidden by the whole30 team? My understanding was even if the ingredients are approved the preperation is not. Is that not something your fam follows? It will help me to keep an eye out on the recipes if so. Thanks!!

  4. Lauren, you’re correct. No bread-type foods on the Whole30. That’s why the recipe instructions state to eat it plain (in a bowl) for Whole30 and over a waffle for non-Whole30. The waffle is a serving suggestion for non-Whole30 only.

  5. How can you say whole 30 and Paleo when every recipe has wheat,sugar,dairy what’s up with that? ? ?
    You haven’t read the whole 30 book at all have you ?

    1. Not a single recipe on this site uses wheat or sugar, and only a few use butter (with the option to sub for ghee). I have done the Whole30 multiple times and am very well aware of what is and is not allowed. I don’t cook with non-paleo/primal ingredients and don’t have any non-paleo/primal ingredients on this site.

  6. Been using this recipe for six months now about twice a week and it really is amazing easy and delicious. I’m a whole thirty participant and this recipe when modified is perfect!!! Thank you so much for posting it!!!!

  7. Just tried this recipe for the first time last night. It was so great! My picky eater daughter actually ate most of it and that is a big deal. Thank you!

  8. This recipe is amazing– I’m on day 11 of my first Whole 30 and your site has been keeping me on track! I made this last night, but used regular homemade ketchup and added chopped tomatoes… all four kids ate this and your bacon broccoli without complaining. I wish I would have made three pounds because it was so good and I didn’t have any leftovers for lunch! Thank you again!

  9. This was so simple and just like the real thing! I discovered it via a meal plan and thought it sounded good to use up some ground beef. I used plain organic ketchup and left out the coconut sugar since my ketchup is so sweet. We ate it over baked potatoes and it paired super well.
    Healthy eating has kind of warped my tastebuds for how my old favorites tasted so hearing my husband say this tasted like the real thing was a sure endorsement! I’ll absolutely be adding this into our weeknight meal rotations 🙂

    1. Awesome! I’m so glad to hear that your husband liked it as well. And I love the idea of eating it over potatoes, I’m going to have to try that.

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