This healthy sloppy joes recipe is Gluten Free, Paleo, and totally kid-friendly! It's the perfect easy and healthy family dinner recipe.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the challenges faced by new moms.
Taking care of a tiny little human is hard enough, but I think it’s keeping up with all of the other demands of the world that really makes things challenging.
It seems like time should just stop when your whole world has changed. Like you should get a break from the mundane tasks of everyday life when you’re figuring out how to feed a newborn, how to read their cues, how to get them to SLEEP!
Obviously that isn’t the case though. You may have amazing friends who deliver meals to your doorstep in the first few weeks. Eventually though, you have to figure out a new normal. You have to find a way to get dinner on the table despite your new responsibilities.
As kids grow, the challenge becomes finding healthy family dinner recipes they will actually eat…preferably without complaining!
That’s why I love simple, vegetable-packed, quick meals like this healthy sloppy joes recipe.
Sloppy joes are a classic kid favorite, but most versions call for both brown sugar and ketchup (more sugar!) all loaded onto a white bun. Not the epitome of nutrition.
Our recipe is gluten-free and Paleo and has no added sugar, but it is just as delicious! It gets that classic tangy-sweet flavor from tomato paste. No one will miss the sugar.
Even if you have no kids, it’s still a super fun and nostalgic meal that makes you feel like a kid again, while packing in the veggies.
I hope you enjoy!
Sloppy Joes over Sweet Potatoes (Paleo, Gluten-Free)
- 4 small sweet potatoes
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 carrots
- 1 yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 green bell peppers
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 # grassfed ground beef
- ~15 oz diced tomatoes*
- 6 oz tomato paste*
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Wrap 4 small sweet potatoes in foil & bake ~1 hour until knife inserts easily.
- Finely dice the following: 2 stalks celery, 2 carrots, 1 onion, 3 garlic cloves, 2 green bell peppers
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over med-high. Add chopped vegetables (celery, carrot, onion & bell pepper), cook 5-7 mins until softened.
- Add 1# ground beef, breaking apart & combining w/ vegetables.
- Add the following: 3 cloves minced garlic, ~15oz diced tomatoes, 6oz tomato paste, 1T Dijon mustard, ½tsp paprika, 1tsp salt, ½tsp pepper
- Cook until the liquid evaporates, and all is combined.
- Season w/ S&P if necessary.
- Spoon sloppy joe mixture over sweet potatoes & enjoy!
What should I serve with this healthy sloppy joes recipe?
I like to serve this over sweet potatoes, but the recipe is so versatile! If your family isn’t into sweet potatoes, try serving on regular baked potatoes, or even on top of mashed potatoes.
You could, of course, serve on gluten free buns too to keep it classic!
How can I mix it up?
For a vegetarian option, try subbing cooked green lentils in place of the ground beef.
You could also change the chopped vegetables, using something like diced mushrooms in place of the bell peppers.
Add a little shredded kale or spinach if you want to up the nutrition profile even more!
Are these Paleo sloppy joes meal prep friendly?
Yes! You can totally meal prep these sloppy joes.
Chop and store your vegetables ahead of time and the meal will come together very quickly.
Alternatively, you can actually cook the whole thing ahead of time. It's one of those meals that tastes at least as good leftover.
Sloppy Joes actually work well as a freezer meal too for those nights when you need a healthy family dinner recipe with no prep. I know freezer meals saved me when we brought baby Ivan home last year!
What are the nutritional benefits of Paleo sloppy joes?
Bet you never thought you'd be reading about the stellar nutritional content of sloppy joes, huh? Well surprise! These are not just a healthier version of the classic, they are definitively heathy. Here's why!
- Grass-fed ground beef: All beef is of course packed with protein, but there are real nutritional differences between grain-fed and grass-fed beef. For instance, grass-fed beef actually has 5 times as much omega 3 fatty acids as its grain-fed counterpart! Moreover, grass-fed beef has more vitamin A and vitamin E. If you're looking for a high quality source of grass-fed beef, check out Butcher Box!
- Bell Peppers: Loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium, Folic Acid, and Fiber, bell peppers are a great addition to a healthy family dinner recipe. They also help lend sweetness to this healthy sloppy joes recipe without the added sugar!
- Carrots: Both budget and kid-friendly, carrots are full of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Potassium, and Vitamin B6. As a result, they're great for eye health, lowering cholesterol, and reducing cancer risk.
- Celery: Celery is known for being great for weight loss but in addition, it can aid in DNA repair!
- Onion: Did you know that the humble onion is actually packed with antioxidants? Even if your child doesn't like onions, when you dice them and add them to sloppy joes, they all but disappear. Certainly worth the prep time!
- Sweet Potatoes: Possibly the most nutrient dense affordable food, sweet potatoes have a special protein that may fight cancer. Furthermore, sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins including 400% of your daily vitamin A needs!
What are some other healthy family dinner recipes?
If you're interested in more thoughts and tips on family mealtime, make sure to check out my family mealtime video here!
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