These low-carb keto sloppy joes are a simple but delicious weeknight meal that comes together in under 30 minutes - hamburger bun and all!
These simple low-carb sloppy joes are made low-carb by using low-carb ketchup and a brown keto sweetener. But don't worry, no one will ever be able to tell the difference!
Here are the easy ingredients to make keto sloppy joes:
- green bell pepper
- tomato paste
- sugar-free ketchup
- chili powder
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- dried mustard
- Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- keto brown sweetener (optional)
Ketchup is surprisingly high in sugar and carbs, so to make this keto-friendly, you'll need to use low-carb, sugar-free ketchup.
I usually use Heinz No Sugar Added Ketchup because it only has 1 carb per Tablespoon.
Update: I no longer use Heinz No Sugar Added Ketchup because it's sweetened with Sucralose, which can spike blood sugar.
However, I also like Primal Kitchen Ketchup and Primal Kitchen Slightly Sweetened Ketchup, which each have 2 carbs per Tablespoon. They contain no artificial sweetener and are keto, paleo, and whole30-friendly.
Or if you're looking for a homemade sugar-free ketchup, this Keto Sugar-Free Ketchup from Wholesome Yum looks delicious!
If you've never had sloppy joes before, you might be surprised to know that they are meant to be slightly sweet, however, it's a matter of taste. Feel free to omit or use less sweetener if you prefer your meat more savory.
If you do choose to use a sweetener, I prefer to use Besti Brown Sweetener, but any low-carb brown sweetener will work!
For paleo, use coconut palm sugar.
Frequently asked questions
Traditionally, sloppy joes are not keto-friendly because are made with added sugar and then served over a high-carb bun. However, this sugar-free recipe is served on a gluten-free keto bun, coming in at only 6 net carbs (including the bun!) making it keto-friendly and gluten-free!
Yes, you can! You can substitute ground beef with ground pork or ground turkey.
Yes, if you prefer, add 1 to 2 tsp. of prepared yellow or Dijon mustard in place of the dried mustard.
Step 1: Brown the beef and cook a green bell pepper.
Add some oil or butter to a large skillet or Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat.
Once hot, add the beef and cook until brown, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Drain off the fat if desired.
Add the green pepper and cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
Step 2: Add in the remaining sloppy joe sauce ingredients.
This includes onion powder, garlic powder, sugar-free ketchup, chili powder, dry mustard, tomato paste, water, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and sweetener (if using).
Step 3: Simmer and serve.
Bring the meat mixture to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve over keto hamburger buns for a classic dinner.
These low-carb buns can not only be thrown together in less than 10 minutes, but they're sturdy, have a killer crumb, hold together well, and aren't eggy or crumbly!
Simply mix and put them in the oven. While they are baking you can whip up the low-carb sloppy joe filling.
And by the time the filling is done, the buns will be coming out of the oven. It's a quick and easy 30-minute meal - keto bun and all!
You can also add any of these easy keto sides for a complete meal:
Or serve with one of these pre-made salad bar ideas from This Vivacious Life!
Here are some simple substitutions that you can make:
- Replace the beef with turkey or even pork!
- Omit the sweetener.
- Use store-bought keto hamburger buns.
Here are some variations for different diets:
- For Paleo: Use Primal Kitchen Ketchup, Paleo Hamburger Buns, and coconut palm sugar for the sweetener.
- For Whole30: Omit the bun and sweetener and use Primal Kitchen Ketchup (or another sugar-free ketchup)
This is a great make-ahead meal! Here are the storage instructions:
- Store: Store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
- Freeze: Freeze in an airtight container for 2 to 3 months.
- Reheat: Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat until heated through. If frozen, thaw before reheating.
If you've tried these low-carb keto sloppy joes, please let me know what you think in the comment below!
Low-Carb Keto Sloppy Joes
- Keto Hamburger Buns - for serving
- 2 tablespoon Avocado Oil - butter, or oil of choice
- 2 Lbs. Ground Beef
- 1 Whole Green Bell Pepper
- 1 tsp. Onion Powder
- 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 ½ cups Low-Carb Ketchup - (this ketchup has the same number of carbs as the unsweetened variety)
- 2 tsp. Chili Powder
- 1 tsp. Dry Mustard
- 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
- 1 cup Water
- Worchestershire Sauce - optional, to taste (I usually drizzle in around 1 tsp.)
- 1 tsp. Sea Salt - or to taste
- ¼ tsp. Ground Black Pepper - to taste
- 2 Tbsp. Keto Brown Sweetener - optional
- Prepare the hamburger buns and set aside.
- Add the oil or butter to a large skillet or dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat.
- Once hot, add the beef and cook until brown, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Drain off the fat if desired.
- Add the green pepper and cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Then, add the onion powder, garlic powder, sugar-free ketchup, chili powder, dry mustard, tomato paste, water, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Taste and add the sweetener if desired.
- Bring the meat mixture to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the salt and seasonings as desired.
- Serve with prepared hamburger buns.
Add Your Own Notes
- See how easy this recipe is to make on my YouTube channel! Watch the full video here: Sloppy Joe YouTube Video
- Nutrition information uses Primal Kitchen Ketchup and does not include the hamburger buns or the optional sweetener.
- For Paleo, use Primal Kitchen Ketchup, Paleo Hamburger Buns, and coconut palm sugar for the sweetener.
- I used to recommend Heinz No Sugar Added Ketchup but recently noticed that it's sweetened with sucralose, which spikes blood sugar, so I no longer recommend this brand.
- Storage Instructions: The sloppy joe filling can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days or frozen for 2 to 3 months.
NET CARBS = Total Carbs - Fiber - Allulose - Xylitol
Nutritional information is approximate and may vary. Sugar alcohols, xylitol, and allulose are included in the total carbs and fiber.
Looking for more information on the keto diet? Check out my