Healthy Sloppy Joe Recipe

The perfectly savory and sweet Healthy Sloppy Joe Recipe is here! Made with ground chicken and a flavorful sauce packed with clean ingredients, these Sloppy Joes will not disappoint!

If you love Sloppy Joes and other flavorful recipes with ground meat, you’re sure to love our Instant Pot Hamburger Soup and these Grilled Sweet and Sour Meatball Skewers and, of course, this Healthy Hamburger Casserole.

healthy sloppy joe on a bun with chips

Calling all Sloppy Joe Lovers!

Anyone else out there completely reminded of childhood when you think of Sloppy Joes? As a true midwestern staple, Sloppy Joes were always a fan favorite at our house growing up. So, we decided to take everything we love about this nostalgic fave, put a healthy twist on it, and serve it up to you guys!

healthy sloppy joe sauce in a bowl

The Key to Perfect Sloppy Joes

THE SAUCE! You absolutely cannot make a proper sloppy without a kickass sauce. And this Sloppy Joe recipe will not disappoint in the sauce department! It’s the most perfect savory and sweet flavorings from:

  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Frank’s hot sauce
  • Maple syrup
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Mustard powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Combined with that tomato-ey flavor you love in a traditional Sloppy Joe that we achieved through the just-right combination of:

  • Tomato paste
  • Tomato sauce
  • Ketchup

And we promise you, this sauce is NOT too runny (nobody needs a soggy bun!) and NOT too thick (this isn’t a thick midwestern chili recipe!).

healthy sloppy joes in a skillet

Meat Options for Sloppy Joes

We love these healthy Sloppy Joes with ground chicken, but feel free to sub in ground turkey or ground beef. Just be aware that the fattier the meat you use, the more fat you’ll have to strain out of the pan before adding in the sauce to obtain that perfect Sloppy Joe thickness.

We haven’t tested this with Beyond Meat or other vegetarian or vegan alternatives, but if this works for you, let us know in the comments!

No Bun? No Problem!

Are you GF? Or looking for lower carb options that aren’t as bun-heavy to make the very best Sloppy Joe? Feel free to slap this delicious Sloppy Joe filling on:

  • A corn tortilla
  • A lettuce wrap
  • On top of a salad
  • In a buddha bowl with your fave accompaniments
  • Dipped with tortilla chips
  • In between grilled slices of eggplant, sweet potato or portobello mushrooms
healthy sloppy joe on a bun with chips

What to Serve with Sloppy Joes

Looking for the perfect sides to round out your Sloppy Joe meal? Here are some of our favorite recipe pairings for these Joes:

MORE of our best side dishes

healthy sloppy joe on a bun

More Healthy Sandwiches



Healthy Sloppy Joe

The perfectly savory and sweet Healthy Sloppy Joe Recipe is here! Made with ground chicken and a flavorful sauce packed with clean ingredients, these Sloppy Joes will not disappoint!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
Author: Lee Funke
Yield: 4-6 1x
Category: Meat and Chicken
Method: Stove Top
Cuisine: American



  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Frank’s hot sauce (option to sub 1 more teaspoon apple cider vinegar instead)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 lb. ground chicken


  1. First, prepare sauce by mixing together all ingredients in a large Pyrex or bowl. Set aside.
  2. Next, heat olive oil in a large pan over medium/high heat. Once fragrant, add yellow onion and minced garlic.
  3. Sautee for about 2 minutes before adding in ground chicken. Saute chicken for around 3-5 minutes until almost browned. Make sure to break the chicken up into small pieces.
  4. Add sauce to to the ground chicken and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat down to low and let simmer for around 20 minutes or until sauce reduces by half.
  5. Serve on your favorite bun*.


*Nutrition does not include bun.


  • Serving Size: 1/6 recipe
  • Calories: 199
  • Sugar: 7
  • Sodium: 487
  • Fat: 11
  • Carbohydrates: 11
  • Fiber: 1
  • Protein: 15
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