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Published on February 8th, 2013 | by Brendon O'Neill


Make Your Own Gluten-free Sloppy Joe’s

Keeping it simple…

There are a few ways you can go about making sure your sloppy joe’s stay gluten-free. It really just depends on your personal situation and resources available. I like eating these because they taste great, but they also remind me of when I was a kid and I could eat about 5 in a row without stopping. Luckily, I’m down to just one a meal these days.

This recipe came in handy on the day of the Super Bowl. I needed something to throw together easily because dinner was going to be more complicated. I wanted to keep it quick and simple, and didn’t have a jar of sloppy joe sauce handy. If you prefer to make your own tomato sauce, you can substitute the ketchup and BBQ sauce for a can of tomato sauce and some tomato paste. There are also brands of sloppy joe mix that are listed as gluten free, which I will list below the recipe.

If you don’t have a mix and just want to throw something hearty together this is the way to go. Also, if your fridge consists of nothing but a pound of ground beef, ketchup and BBQ sauce, you can pretty much make your own sloppy joe’s with a loaf of gluten-free bread or buns. Just make sure that any sauce you use is listed as gluten free. You can’t take chances with sauce – which is a rookie mistake that a lot of people probably make when they start cutting out gluten. It’s easy to forget about the details – the sauces, spices, and other places where the devil gluten can hide.

Here’s the recipe I used, but as usual, use this as your starting point and modify as you wish…

Gluten-free Sloppy Joe’s
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


You can still have a sloppy Joe night with this gluten-free recipe. You just need a few basics, or you can make your own sauce with just a couple extra easy steps.
Recipe type: entrée
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2-3

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ⅓ red pepper, small diced
  • 1 cup gluten-free ketchup
  • ¼ cup gluten-free spicy BBQ sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp mustard

  1. Cook the ground beef on medium heat. Dice the onion and pepper and add to the beef when it’s halfway done. Let cook until meat is done and veggies soft.
  2. Turn burner to medium-low heat and drain beef. Don’t worry about draining it too much if you use lean beef. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for as long as you can stand it.
  3. Toast the buns – and add cheese if you want.


Brands of gluten free sloppy joe sauce and mixes

If you’re at the store, rest assured, you can be as lazy as you want about this. Here are some safe options that you should be able to easily find at your local grocery store. If you know of more than these three, feel free to share your knowledge so we can make sure this important list is always current:


  • Heinz
  • Manwich
  • McCormick

Bread and Buns

I was always a sucker for Texas toast style bread with my sloppy Joe’s. Until they make a gluten free version I would recommend going with Udi’s hamburger buns. You’ll definitely want to toast the bread to soften it up. I recommend that with any gluten-free bread you choose.

There are also many other ways you can enjoy sloppy Joe’s. If you want to check out more ways to enjoy sloppy Joe’s without the gluten, visit our Pinterest page. And feel free to share your recipes with us there!

About the Author

Brendon O'Neill created Gluten-Free for Men to give guys a place where they can feel comfortable learning about living a gluten-free life. Through this site he highlights great products, hearty recipes, health information, and the gluten-free guys who make an impact in the community.

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