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Healthy Homemade Sloppy Joes Sauce


Healthy Homemade Sloppy Joes Sauce is a quick and hearty comfort food without the sketchy ingredients. Serve it over a baked sweet potato for a gluten-free and Paleo friendly meal!

I have been making homemade sloppy joes for years. It is a hearty, kid-friendly dinner that comes together in a snap. It is also great reheated, and it freezes well, so it is a great make-ahead meal for those busy weeknights. I usually make a big double batch and freeze half of it for a future meal.


My original recipe included store bought ketchup and BBQ sauce, both of which contain some sketchy ingredients and a ton of sugar. I cleaned up my recipe by borrowing some of the ingredients that I use in my Paleo Ketchup recipe,


as well as my Homemade Paleo Worcestershire Sauce.


If you are new to Paleo ingredients, you may wonder about coconut aminos. It is often used as a replacement for soy sauce and has an earthy flavor.

Many ancestral diets recommend avoiding soy, although some allow tamari, which is a wheat-free fermented soy sauce. You can use whichever option works with your diet.  I recommend using half as much soy sauce or tamari as coconut aminos since their flavors are more intense. I would also reduce the salt since coconut aminos is much less salty than soy sauce and tamari.

I love homemade sloppy joe sauce served over baked sweet potatoes!


You could also serve it over baked white potatoes, or even zoodles, for a lower carb option. Of course, if you are not eating wheat-free you could always serve this over a bun or even an English muffin (I do that for my kids sometimes).

Feel free to increase or reduce the amount of maple syrup you use in this recipe. I like a bit of sweetness in my sloppy joe sauce, but it is not a critical ingredient.


Healthy Homemade Sloppy Joes Sauce

Servings: 4 servings


  • 1 & 1/3 lbs ground beef
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 5 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 & ½ Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs cup coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp unsulfured molasses
  • 1 & 1/2 Tbs real maple syrup adjust the amount to your liking
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • ½ tsp black ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup chopped scallions
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro for garnish optional


  • Brown the ground beef over medium heat in Dutch oven or a wide skillet with tall sides.
  • Before the beef is finished browning, add the red pepper and onion and sauté until the onion turns translucent and begins to soften, about 4 minutes.
  • Add garlic, and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the next 13 ingredients: tomato sauce, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, coconut aminos, molasses, real maple syrup, Dijon mustard, allspice, sea salt, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine.
  • In simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes, stirring often.
  • Turn off the burner, stir in the chopped scallions.
  • Serve over baked sweet potato halves, and garnish with chopped cilantro if you like.


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Hi, I'm Caroline

About Caroline

I love adding a whole, unprocessed and healthy twist to classic recipes.  My food is often grain-free, usually gluten-free, and always unprocessed.

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