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Homemade Sloppy Joes

Honestly, what’s better than perfectly flavored ground hamburger, diced onions, ketchup, mustard, and other seasonings between warm, toasted buttery buns? If you love Sloppy Joes, this easy Gluten Free Sloppy Joes recipe was made with you in mind!

Growing up my mom worked long hours away from home. Homemade Sloppy Joes was one of her go-to dinner meals. And I couldn’t have been any more excited to see it served.

A white platter with 3 sloppy joes- a meat mixture in a bun with French fries on the side.

Why You'll Love This Recipe

  • This classic meal is ready in minutes making it an easy weeknight meal
  • It requires minimal ingredients
  • It is a one-skillet meal which is code for you won’t be spending hours in the kitchen prepping this meal

Ingredients + notes

Get more info on these homemade sloppy joe recipe ingredients in the recipe card at the bottom of the post - these are our notes and brand suggestions

  • oil - we like to use olive oil
  • onion
  • ground beef - you can trade this out for lean ground turkey or ground chicken if desired for your sloppy joe meat
  • Worcestershire sauce– we use the Lea & Perrins brand in the US, in Canada check out French’s Worcestershire sauce
  • brown sugar— spooned and packed brown sugar
  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • hamburger buns— we prefer Udi’s gluten-free buns that are also soy and nut free
  • hot dog buns— placing this meat mixture in a hot dog buns is the perfect food hack and cuts down on the messiness for little hands
  • gluten free French fried crispy onions— this is a great way to change up this meal. Add French fried crispy onions on top of the sloppy joe mix for extra added flavor and yummy crunch. Purchase gluten free fried onions here.
  • optional: diced green bell peppers. Green peppers give another flavor, crunch factor and bring another healthy aspect to your sloppy joe filling.
  • pro trip: for restaurant style buns toast them in the oven over broil. Only toast for a minute or two at the most and watch closely. The buns will easily burn. Remove from the oven and lightly spread melted dairy free butter over each bun…. y’all this definitely takes your homemade sloppy joe game up a level.
A white platter full of a meat mixture between hamburger buns with French fries.

How to make Gluten Free Sloppy Joes

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions.
  2. After the onions are translucent, add in lean ground beef and continue cooking. Add in green bell pepper now if using.
  3. When meat is browned, drain excess grease.
  4. Then add rest of ingredients and mix well. Allow to cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Serve warm.
  6. Optional: toast gluten-free hamburger buns in the oven over broil. Simply place buns open face on a baking sheet. Watch carefully so they don't burn. Then rub buns lightly with dairy free butter for restaurant-style buns.


Leftover sloppy joe filling can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days. Additionally, you can freeze leftovers in an airtight container that is freezer friendly for a few months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating and serving.

A white platter full of a meat mixture between hamburger buns with French fries.

Tips and Variations

  • Other ingredients you can add to your taste to the sauce ingredients are kosher salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper.
  • This family favorite recipe is simple to double to enjoy for a few meals.
  • If you want to ditch the brown sugar for something a little healthier, you can use maple syrup or honey to sweet the traditionally sloppy joe mixture.
  • Feel free to trade the green bell pepper (optional) out for red bell pepper.
  • Some families also like to add mustard powder with the Worcestershire sauce, do as you like to make a scrumptious homemade sloppy joe sauce.
  • Bring some heat to the filling by adding some crushed red pepper if your family likes it.

more delicious dinner ideas

  • taco tater tot skillet— the whole family loves this one skillet meal. Don’t have an oven safe skillet then use a 9 x 13 baking dish. This meal is full of flavor and so filling.
  • shepherd’s pie— this is the ultimate comfort food recipe for your family.
  • easy skillet lasagna— another 1 pan meal. You won’t need to boil lasagna noodles with this recipe, it’s so easy.
  • potato corn chowder— here’s one of our favorite soup recipes, and it can be enjoyed year round with tender potato chunks and sweet corn in a thick creamy chowder. Yum.

What to serve with Gluten Free Sloppy Joes

Our favorite way to serve this is with a side of baked potato wedges or french fries and steamed green beans.

Other times we like to serve it with sweet potatoes and asparagus.

If taking this easy meal on the go, we may serve with potato chips or other easy snacky sides.

Can You Make This Ahead of Time?

Not only can this dairy free sloppy joe recipe be prepared days ahead of time, it also creates the perfect leftovers.

And with the best gluten free recipe, we always have enough leftovers for a delicious lunch or dinner the next day, making it one of our favorite meals.

Since this travels well and leftovers are one of the best parts of this recipe, it is one that we often take when we travel. This easily reheats in a hotel or Airbnb microwave

Can I Freeze Sloppy Joes?

It’s also worth noting if you’re into freezer meals you’ll want to save this recipe now. Nothing is easier than doubling this recipe and freezing half for an easy freezer meal.

This is one of my favorite recipes to freeze. Prepare the sloppy joes according to the recipe card below and allow meat mixture to cool completely. Then place in an air-tight container and freeze up to 3 months.

Allow easy gluten-free sloppy joes to completely thaw then reheat and serve.

in closing

However you look at it you can’t go wrong with this Homemade Sloppy Joe recipe.

There’s nothing better than enjoying a filling & easy to fix gluten and dairy free meal. Not to mention this recipes only calls for 6 simple ingredients.

You’ll find it’s the perfect meal for large family gatherings, holidays, potlucks, busy weeknights, and when traveling.

We know you’ll love this classic recipe.

Homemade Sloppy Joe's

Keyword: Dairy Free, Gluten Free
Author: Eating Gluten and Dairy Free


  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • ½ onion diced
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • tablespoon gluten free Worcestershire sauce
  • c brown sugar
  • ½ c ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • optional: diced green bell peppers


  • In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add onions.
  • After onions are translucent, add in ground beef and continue cooking. Add in green bell peppers now if using.
  • When meat is browned, drain excess grease.
  • Then add rest of ingredients and mix well. Allow to cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Serve warm.
  • Optional: toast gluten free buns in the oven over broil. Simply place buns open face on a baking sheet. Watch carefully so they don't burn. Then rub buns lightly with dairy free butter for restaurant-style buns.


This homemade sloppy joe mix can easily be made 2-3 days ahead of time and reheated. And can be frozen up to 2 months, thaw and reheat when ready. 

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