• Hayley Lucero

Sloppy Joes

Key Words: Whole30, Paleo, Family Friendly

Do you have memories of eating sloppy joes as a child or have you made memories with your kids by making sloppy joes? You likely have and it likely came from a can, which is totally ok, but I want to show you how easily you can make a childhood favorite, with all real ingredients... and it's easier than you think!

This is a perfect family-friendly meal, whether or not you are doing a Whole30 round or not. It can be made kid-friendly, adult-friendly, picky eater friendly and no one will know there are only whole foods in it. I will tell you some swaps along the way to make it easier for you and your family to all enjoy one meal together, without making 3 separate meals because we all know that isn't feasible or sustainable.

Some swaps that you can make:

  1. Use a hamburger bun, roll, or and bread instead of a sweet potato

  2. Use any tomato sauce you enjoy most- even if you make your own!

  3. Use any meat you have on hand- it doesn't have to be chicken

  4. Use your favorite hot sauce- or if you don't want the kick, leave it out!

  5. Make it fun with some fries, chips, etc that your family enjoys- I used to add chips on top or in my sandwich

More advice I have to make this a family-friendly meal is to have your kids help! This is such an easy recipe that they can get in on the action. Let them stir, chop, etc so it feels like a meal they have made and are proud of! Luckily this meal can be made in 30 minutes or less so it is a good one to let the kids in the kitchen to experiment.


1 pound ground chicken (or any meat you prefer)

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 green pepper- diced finely

1 small yellow onion- diced finely

4 medium Japanese sweet potatoes (regular sweet potatoes work just fine!)

2 cloves garlic- minced

1 tsp paprika

1 1/2 tsp chili powder

1 Tbsp grainy mustard

1 Tbsp fish sauce

1 cup Cucina tomato basil sauce

1 Tbsp hot sauce- my favorite is Chalula


  1. Heat up your olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Add garlic, green peppers, and yellow onion to the pan and saute until they are tender- about 5 minutes.

  2. Once the veggies are tender, add your ground meat to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, mixing with the veggies.

  3. Once the meat and veggies are mixed together and beginning to get brown, add paprika, chili powder, grainy mustard, fish sauce, Cucina tomato basil sauce, and your favorite hot sauce to the mixture. Continue cooking until your meat is cooked through and the sauce thickens- 10-15 minutes.

  4. While your meat is cooking, wash and score your sweet potato. Microwave for 4 minutes. Check your potato and continue to microwave for two minutes until it is fork-tender. *for this step you can also cook your sweet potato however you prefer, I do it in the microwave because it is the quickest way.*

  5. When your potato is cooked through, cut it in half (be careful it will be hot) and add your sloppy joe filling on top and enjoy!!

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