Healthy Homemade Sloppy Joes

A healthy take on the classic sloppy joe. This Healthy Homemade Sloppy Joe recipe is complete with lean protein, veggies, and a zesty flavor. It’s gluten free, Whole30 approved, and paleo friendly. 

Healthy Homemade Sloppy Joe Recipe

Whether you call them sloppy joes, barbecues or taverns, there’s no denying this food is delicious. What’s a tavern? Yeah, I wondered the same thing when Jackson said he wanted taverns for dinner. Apparently, that’s what they call them in Iowa.

Sloppy joes are an elementary school staple, with a side of chips and pickle of course. If you didn’t eat these at least once a week growing up your school must have been something else. I didn’t really know what made up a sloppy joe, but it was good and that’s all that mattered at the time.

I’m a little pickier about what I put into my body now, which is why I’ve leaned on this healthier sloppy joe recipe to satisfy that nostalgic craving. It’s naturally sweetened with medjool dates and gets a little zip from apple cider vinegar and chili powder. We like to eat them over baked sweet potatoes or with sweet potato tortilla chips.

My favorite part? It’s packed with onions, celery, and green peppers for an added vegetable bonus. You won’t even know they’re there.

Healthy Sloppy Joes


Healthy Homemade Sloppy Joe Recipe


  • 2½ lbs ground turkey
  • ½ diced onion
  • 1½ cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 5 medjool dates (pitted)
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar 
  • 2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp chili powder


  1. Brown the turkey and onion in a pan over medium heat. When it’s about half cooked, add in the green peppers and celery.
  2. In a blender, blend the dates until they are in fine-sized pieces. Add the tomatoes and apple cider vinegar. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add the spices and continuing blending until mixed.
  4. Once the meat is cooked, drain any excessive liquid. Add the sauce to the pan and let simmer until the sauce thickens to your liking.
  5. Serve on a bun, over a sweet potato or scoop it with some chips.

Healthy Homemade Sloppy Joe Recipe