Sloppy Joe Slaw


Sloppy Joes have to be one of the most nostalgic meals of my childhood.  My sister and I used to fight over Sloppy Joes versus Mac and Cheese dinners which is was almost always reserved for nights when my parents went out for the evening.  Of course, back then we used to eat the OG Manwich variety out of a can which was easiest for a babysitter to manage.  

I decided for my sister’s birthday this year I would take on the challenge of creating a healthy but indulgent Keto version of this classic childhood favorite.   Can’t say this will be ready with a quick nook in the microwave, but this is easily a 30-minute meal.  There is very little cutting and chopping aside from the onion, bell pepper and garlic that you will saute in the first step.  


Did you know this dish was originally invented in the early 20th century?  The original dish or recipe typically includes Worcestershire sauce which I inadvertently left out but can’t say I miss!  I found that the acidity was quite enough (or should I say just right) with the ketchup, BBQ sauce and red wine vinegar.  upgradedhealth

The other item missing from this recipe is, of course, the bread.  We decided instead to serve this on a nest of cole slaw.  It added the perfect amount of crunch and texture!  upgradedhealth

Feel free to swap out the grassfed beef for other protein (ground turkey or bison).   Depending on the fat content of the meat, keep in mind there may be more or less water content that needs to be drained once cooked to acheive the perfect sloppy joe consistency.  



Sloppy Joe Slaw

Servings 4


  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • salt and pepper, to season
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup spicy BBQ sauce (I used Stubb's Spicy BBQ sauce)
  • ½ tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard
  • cayenne pepper, dash
  • 4 slices white cheddar cheese, to serve
  • pickled jalapenos, garnish


  • Add coconut oil to a medium skillet. Add minced garlic, white onion and bell pepper; saute over medium head until onion is translucent. Remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl.
  • Next add ground beef to the skillet and season with salt and pepper.
  • Once beef is cooked, drain excess juices and then add the onion/bell pepper mixture back in.
  • In a small bow mix together ketchup, bbq sauce, vinegar and mustard. Add to meat along with a dash of cayenne (optional) if you like added spice.
  • Stir well and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Next add cheese on top of meat mixture, cover with a lid and let the cheese melt. Serve sloppy joe on a bed of lettuce or cole slaw as pictured here. Garnish with jalapeno slices.

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