Why you'll love this recipe
- These ground chicken sloppy joes are perfect for busy weeknight meals or meal prep.
- Pairs well with buns, in wraps or over zoodles, rice, cauliflower rice or in salads.
- Easily substitute the chicken with any ground meat.
- Both kids and adults love this recipe!
- Option to make them sloppy or EXTRA sloppy!
How did Sloppy Joe's get their name?
Google says, “a cook named Joe added tomato sauce to his “loose meat” sandwiches.” Let’s be real though .. you know I quote Billy Madison when I serve ground chicken sloppy joes to my family … “Have some more sloppy joes. I made ’em extra sloppy for yous. I know how yous kids like ’em sloppy.”
This recipe does not use ketchup?
No ketchup here! You’re going to make your own using way less added sugar and ingredients you likely have on hand. The sauce for these ground chicken sloppy joes is sweet with a bit of smoke and adds so much flavor to a very plain ground chicken.
Can you use other meats beside chicken?
Absolutely! Use ground turkey, beef or pork for these ground chicken sloppy joes. All options will be delicious! Just follow the instructions the same. If you have any extra fat from a higher fat protein drain it before moving onto step 2. This will help not make the sauce too runny. If you like the extra extra sloppy then leave it in.
What is tapioca flour and why do you always use it?
If you haven’t notied by now .. I love two things the most, tapioca flour and coconut aminos.
Tapioca flour is flavorless and mixes quickly unlike all-purpose flour which needs to cook a little longer to get rid of the powder-like texture. Tapioca flour is also gluten free. For this recipe I am providing instructions to make these ground chicken sloppy joes a little less sloppy if that’s something you want to do. We are using a tapioca flour slurry to thicken the the sauce at the end. You can also use cornstarch or any other thickener you’d like.
Is this gluten and dairy free?
Everything but the bun is gluten free (just use a GF bun) and this ground chicken sloppy joes recipe is already dairy free. I have used coconut aminos so there is no added soy. However, if you’re a cheese lover this would be absolutely delicious with some added cheese and broiled before adding your top bun.
What to serve this on instead of buns?
Zoodles make a great base for sloppy joes! I would also use rice, cauliflower rice, a bowl of spinach or greens or even wrap it up in a low carb wrap or tortilla. These ground chicken sloppy joes are pretty versicle which is why they make a terrific meal prep option. Have a sandwich on Monday, a salad on Tuesday and then wrap it up in a tortilla on Wednesday.
Ingredients and Substitutes:
These are the main ingredients and substitutions. See recipe card below for full ingredients list and instructions for these ground chicken sloppy joes.
Ground Chicken: this recipe uses 1 pound of ground chicken. You can use other ground meat like turkey, beef or pork. Cook the meat prior to adding to the vegetables.
Homemade Sauce: this sauce is a tomato base with flavors adds from Coconut Aminos, which is far less salty than Soy Sauce, mustard, lite pancake syrup, Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke for sweet and smokey sauce ready in minutes.
Green Bell Pepper and Onion: I prefer using green bell peppers in this recipe since the sauce is already sweet and green bell peppers are not but you can use any color bell pepper you prefer. This recipe uses sweet yellow onion but white onion works too.
Tapioca Flour: OPTIONAL: if you want to to thicken the sauce at the end even more you can either simmer for longer or you can use a tapioca flour slurry. You can substitute with a cornstarch of flour slurry.
Topping Ideas: I like adding pickles for some crunch. You could also sprinkle some shredded cheese on top and broil for some awesome leveled up ground chicken sloppy joes.
How to make Ground Chicken Sloppy Joes:
Cook the chicken
Heat a pan over medium, spray with cooking spray and add the ground chicken. Break into small pieces and cook until no longer pink. Season generously with salt and pepper as the ground chicken is very plain and needs some assistance.
Make the sauce
While the chicken cooks add all the sauce ingredients to a bowl and whisk together to combine.
Add the vegetables
Once the chicken is cooked through add the bell pepper, onion and garlic. Mix together and cook for approximately 3-5 minutes until the bell peppers begin to soften.
Add the sauce
Once the peppers are softened, add the sauce to the chicken mixture. Mix together well and simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
Less sloppy option
If you’re not into super sloppy joes you can either simmer longer to thicken even more or you can use 1 tsp. of tapioca flour plus 1 tsp. of water combined, pour into the sauce and instantly thicken. Continue adding 1/2 tsp. mixtures until you reach your desired sloppiness.
Assemble and enjoy!
Serve on buns, in wraps, over zoodles, rice or cauli rice or over greens for a salad.
Serving size notes!
I have provided nutritional information in the ground chicken sloppy joes recipe card for sandwiches using Signature Select (Safeway Brand) Brioche buns that are 150 calories each.
Nutrition information for sloppy joe mix only 195 grams of mix: Calories 167 Total Fat 4 g Sodium 800 mg Potassium 360 mg Carbohydrate 13 g Dietary Fiber 3 g Sugars 8 g Protein 20 g
Both are entered into MyFitnessPal and MacrosFirst tracking apps.
If you like this recipe be sure to check out some of our other easy recipes!
“ohsnapmacros Ground Chicken Sloppy Joes”
Ground Chicken Sloppy Joes
- 1 tsp. tapioca flour for thickening
- 1 tsp. water for thickening
- Heat a pan over medium, spray with cooking spray and add the ground chicken. Break into small pieces and cook until no longer pink. Season generously with salt and pepper as the ground chicken is very plain and needs some assistance.
- While the chicken cooks add all the sauce ingredients to a bowl and whisk together to combine.
- Once the chicken is cooked through add the bell pepper, onion and garlic. Mix together and cook for approximately 3-5 minutes until the bell peppers begin to soften.
- Once the peppers are softened, add the sauce to the chicken mixture. Mix together well and simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
- If you’re not into super sloppy joes you can either simmer longer to thicken even more or you can use 1 tsp. of tapioca flour plus 1 tsp. of water combined, pour into the sauce and instantly thicken. Continue adding 1/2 tsp. mixtures until you reach your desired sloppiness.