These Keto Sloppy Joes in the form of a Skillet Dinner is a great low-carb meal that’s gluten-free and perfect for busy weeknights! Add this to your weekly meal plan, you won’t regret it!
Ready for a delicious keto and low carb recipe? Try our Keto Sloppy Joes in skillet form!
Where does the term “Sloppy Joe” come from?
Marilyn Brown, the Director of the Consumer Test Kitchen at H.J. Heinz says their research at the Carnegie Library suggests that the origin of the sloppy joe lies with the “loose meat” sandwiches sold in Sioux City, Iowa, in the 1930s and were the creation of a cook named Joe. [The American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson]
Food companies began producing packaged sloppy joe sauce, such as the now-famous Manwich, by the 1960s.
Your typical Manwich sauce contains tomato puree, tomato paste, high fructose corn syrup, distilled vinegar, corn syrup, salt, sugar, carrot fiber (WTF it carrot fiber?), dried green and red bell peppers, chili pepper, guar gum, spices, xanthan gum, dried garlic, natural flavors, and citric acid. No thank you. While not the WORST ingredient list I’ve ever seen I’d rather avoid toxic corn syrup and all of that sugar.
Making your own is easy, let us show you how.
What are the ingredients in this low-carb sloppy Joe recipe?
Since all sloppy joe mixes have loads of sugar we’re making our own. Don’t worry, it’s super simple and quick! You’ll need:
- butter – or a vegan alternative, we like Miyokos
- ground beef – or a vegan alternative such as Beyond Meat
- bell pepper
- onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, sea salt
- crushed tomatoes – you can also use unsweetened tomato sauce
- brown “sugar” – we use the sugar substitute Swerve
- Worcestershire sauce or even soy sauce or tamari
- yellow mustard
What’s the correct way to brown ground beef?
Yes, there is a correct way to brown ground beef whether it’s actual beef or a plant-based substitute such as Beyond Meat. Here’s what you’ll do:
- Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. You want the meat to fry not steam so make sure the pan is hot before moving on.
- Add the ground beef to the skillet and use a spatula or the back of a wooden spoon to break into large pieces then DO NOT TOUCH IT for at least 3-5 minutes. Then ensures that it will brown.
- After 3-5 minutes use your spatula or spoon to crumble it into smaller pieces. Keep cooking only stirring occasionally until fully browned and cooked through, this will take another 3-4 minutes.
That’s it! There’s nothing worse than steamed ground beef so if you follow this quick how-to you’ll have nice and browned ground beef every single time.
What is the nutritional information for this recipe?
As always, you can find the full nutritional breakdown including the carb count (total carbs and net carbs) for keto at the bottom of the recipe card as well as the servings at the top of the recipe card. You should always double-check your specific ingredients as different brand’s ingredients may have different values.
How do I serve this Keto Sloppy Joe Skillet?
- on top of mashed cauliflower
- tucked into a low-carb hamburger bun (see below for our recommendations)
- scooped up with celery sticks as an appetizer/dip
- tuck into low-carb tortillas
- spoon into lettuce cups
- by itself with a large green side salad on the side
- fill hollowed-out bell peppers, top with cheese and bake until bubbly
Low-carb bread/hamburger bun options to make sloppy joe sandwiches:
We love this recipe for low-carb buns and this packaged bun mix! A quick tip for egg whites, buy Organic Valley’s egg whites to save time in the kitchen, and save wasting those precious yolks. The only ingredients in Organic Valley’s egg whites are you guessed it, egg whites. No weird stuff here, just real food.
Keto Sloppy Joes (Skillet Style)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter see post for vegan options
- 1 lb ground beef see post for vegan options
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ green bell pepper minced
- ½ large yellow onion minced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ⅔ cup crushed tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons brown Swerve
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese dairy-free, if vegan
- Heat the butter in a 10” or larger cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add in the ground beef and cook without touching for 4 minutes. Add in the spices. Using the back of a spatula crumble the beef and continue to cook 2-3 minutes until browned. Remove beef to a plate but do not drain the oil from the skillet.
- Add the pepper and onion to the skillet and cook 3-4 minutes before adding in the garlic, cook another minute until fragrant.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the skillet and stir to combine. Add the beef back to the skillet, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes before serving. If using the cheddar sprinkle it over the top, cover and allow the cheese to melt, this will take an additional 3-4 minutes. Serve immediately.