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Homemade Healthy Sloppy Joes (Keto)

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If there’s any food that brings us back to childhood, it is sloppy joes. These healthy sloppy joes are homemade, dairy free, and keto friendly. My keto sloppy Joes recipe originally appeared in my Instant Pot cookbook but I’m sharing it here for you adapted for the stovetop!

Healthy and homemade sloppy joes are an easy weeknight dinner that checks all of the boxes. This sloppy Joe recipe is keto, paleo, dairy free, and gluten free.

What are sloppy Joes?

Sloppy joes are sandwiches made of ground beef and a tomato based sauce. The meat mixture is typically overstuffed onto a hamburger bun making it “messy” to eat. The origination of the sloppy joe is a unique story that you can read about here.

What do homemade sloppy joes taste like?

When I moved to the Midwest from the South, I once heard sloppy joes referred to as “barbecue beef sandwiches” and that made a lot of sense to me! Sloppy joes are kind of like a ground beef barbecue sandwich; sweet, tangy, and messy in all the best ways.

Healthy and homemade sloppy joes are an easy weeknight dinner that checks all of the boxes. This sloppy Joe recipe is keto, paleo, dairy free, and gluten free.

What are in these healthy sloppy joes?

Typically, sloppy joes are made with ground beef and a mixture of seasoned tomato sauce. Some variations of sloppy joes will include ketchup, tomato paste, bell peppers, onions, and even barbecue sauce.

This keto sloppy joes recipe includes unsweetened ketchup, sugar free barbecue sauce, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar monk fruit, and mustard.

What dietary restrictions does this homemade sloppy joe recipe meet?

These healthy sloppy joes are consumable for the following diets: gluten free, dairy free, keto, clean eaters, and paleo.

These healthy sloppy joes can be served on buns, in sweet potatoes, on top of creamy mashed cauliflower, or all by itself.

Ways to serve your homemade sloppy joes

If you’re watching carbs or gluten, hamburger buns aren’t an option for serving your homemade sloppy joes. Here are a few creative ways to still enjoy this all American supper:

  • Sweet potato– this is my husband’s favorite way to eat a sloppy Joe. Simply steam a sweet potato until its cooked through and soft, open it up and fluff the potato, then stuff it with the sloppy joe mixture.
  • Mashed cauliflower– this is my favorite way to serve it. Place a hearty serving of creamy mashed cauliflower in a shallow bowl and top with your sloppy joe mix. This combination cannot be beat!
  • Unsloppy– this sloppy joe recipe is so good that you really don’t need anything with it! Just a bowl and a fork…the “unsloppy” way.
  • Keto buns– if you really want the full effect, try one of these keto burger buns with your sloppy joes.

If you’d like the Instant Pot version of this recipe, it is included in my cookbook, The Family Friendly Keto Instant Pot Cookbook.

Brands I like to use in my homemade sloppy joe recipe:

  • Ketchup– for this recipe, I really like this Primal Kitchen unsweetened ketchup. I wouldn’t use this for dipping French fries but it works great in sloppy joes because it isn’t artificially sweetened like most sugar free ketchups.
  • Barbecue Sauce– if I’m wanting a sugar free option, G. Hughes has the best tasting (albeit not the cleanest) barbecue sauces. These days, I opt for organic and clean sauces for my family even if it means it’s naturally sweetened.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar– it’s gotta be Bragg’s with the mother. The mother simply means that it is unfiltered and contains all of the gut healthy enzymes that we want to consume!
  • Brown Sugar Alternativegolden monk fruit is the best option and one I use no matter what recipe I am preparing.

Homemade Healthy Sloppy Joes (Keto)

Anna Hunley | Keto In Pearls
Healthy and homemade sloppy joes are an easy weeknight dinner that checks all of the boxes.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Beef
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 176 kcal


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar substitute
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sugar free barbecue sauce
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until slightly pink. Use a wooden spoon to break up the beef into small pieces.
  • Add all of the remaining ingredients and stir until well mixed.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Stir then let rest a minute or two before serving.


See serving suggestions in the blog post.
I typically double this recipe to have leftovers.


Serving: 1gCalories: 176kcalCarbohydrates: 1.7gProtein: 14.5gFat: 11.4gFiber: 0.1g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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