Gluten Free Sloppy Joes are a kid friendly dinner recipe that is also top 8 allergen free along with dairy free. It is the perfect dinner for anytime of year form barbecues and summer parties to warming winter meals.
- Why We Like This Recipe
- The Ingredient Low Down
- Instructions/ Directions and Tips
- Variations /Adaptations
- How to Cook it in a Slow Cooker
- Storage and Reheating Instructions
- Top Tip
- What To Serve With
- Other Recipes You May Enjoy
- 📖 Recipe
- Food Safety
- Latest Posts
- 💬 Comments
Why We Like This Recipe
Our kids LOVE this Gluten Free Sloppy Joe recipe. They ask for it all the time, as they could eat it just about everyday. We obviously don't, if you have read our meal plans. It does get made all year round and is perfect for summer parties and for winter warming meals. There really is no wrong time to have this dish.
This is one of my favourites to make because it is so versatile when using leftovers. We make spaghetti, nachos, and sloppy joe filled potatoes with the meat mix. It could be why no one gets tired of this recipe in our house.
- Ground Beef
- Baking Soda
- Olive Oil
- Yellow Pepper
- Smoked Paprika
- Tomato Sauce
- Coconut Aminos
- Tomato Paste
- Gluten Free Hamburger Buns
See recipe card for quantities.
The Ingredient Low Down
Ground Beef - Any kind of ground meat can be used like chicken, turkey, pork, bison, or venison.
Baking Soda - Make sure this is gluten free. It is used to tenderise the meat for this dish.
Olive Oil - or any neutral oil with a high enough smoke point.
Yellow Pepper - red, orange or green peppers can be used, it is all up to preference. The green will be the least sweet.
Smoked Paprika - We prefer smoked paprika but sweet, or spicy will also work in this recipe.
Oregano - we use dried but you can use fresh, in crease it to 1.5 tsps and remove the leaves from the stem.
Turmeric - dried and ground over fresh works better in this recipe.
Tomato Sauce - not the kind you would put on spaghetti, the kind in a can. Usually we use the unseasoned kind, as we prefer it.
Coconut Aminos - Made from fermented coconut sap. It isn't suitable for coconut allergies. You can try a vegan fish sauce as long as it is soy and wheat free. We like the Naked Natural Foods or Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos as we find they have the best flavours.
Horseradish - To give a bit of tang to this recipe. If you can have mustard this can be replaced with mustard.
Gluten Free Hamburger Buns - We like the Little Northern Bakehouse ones as they are top 8 free and widely available. They can usually be found in the natural foods freezer sections.
Instructions/ Directions and Tips
Place the beef in a medium bowl. Sprinkle the baking soda on the ground beef and mix it in well with the meat with your hands. Set aside for 30 minutes.
With 10 minutes left on the meat tenderising start heating the pot. In a large pot or pan with deep sides add the olive oil and heat over medium heat.
Add in yellow pepper, onions, garlic, carrots, and celery to the oil and cook until they are soft and starting to be translucent. About 5-7 mins. Stir often.
Add in the Ground beef and saute the meat until fully browned through. About 10 mins. If there is a lot of fat, carefully drain it from the meat and veg mixture.
Stir in the smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, turmeric, salt and pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes while mixing the spices into the meat.
Pour in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, coconut aminos, and horseradish and mix well. Bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 30 minutes or until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
While the meat is simmering, toast the buns either in a gluten free toaster or under the broiler for 2 mins.
Serve the meat filling on the toasted buns.
Hint: We often do the chopping in a meal prep and freeze it with the meat in a separate bag from the veggies.
If being made on the weekend we will get it all together - veggies in one storage bag, meat weighed and portioned in another. Store those two bags in the fridge for cooking. Separate ramekins with lids for the baking soda in one and spices in the other. The horseradish in a third sealing ramekin with the tomato paste and the coconut aminos and stored in the fridge until used.
Then all we have to do the day of, is put the tenderiser on the meat, let it sit, and open the tomato sauce can before we can cook it up.
- For a Bun-less Substitution - Serve on a baked potato and top with a bit of dairy free cheese.
- Bun - Use burger or hot dog or bagels (all Gluten Free, of course) Little Northern Bakehouse has great top 8 free options.
- Vegan/Vegetarian - For a vegan version instead of adding meat saute the veggies then add the spices and cook for ½ minutes. Add in the rest of the ingredients (except meat). Use 1.5 cups of cooked quinoa and 1-20 oz can of black beans added in after the tomato sauce and simmer for 20 -30 minutes or until reduced.
- Spicy - add 1-2 sliced chillies to the mix when the tomato sauce is added.
- Pepper and Tomato-less- To omit the tomatoes and peppers add in pureed pumpkin or squash instead of the Tomato sauce and paste. Add ¼ cup of water if the puree is thicker than tomato sauce. Omit the pepper in the veggie.
- More Veggie Variation - adding in canned or frozen corn, small diced zucchini and eggplant will add extra veggies to the mix. To hide the veggies from the kids, cook them and blend them with the tomato sauce in a high powered blender then add them to the cooked meat. Add ¼-½ cup of water to thin the sauce out while it simmers so it will not burn while combining as it cooks.
- Spicy Pork Sausage Meat - Instead of using ground beef use Spicy Pork Sausage meat out of the casings. We have found that Johnsonville Mild Italian from their naturals line is safe for us, always check with the manufacturer before trying.
What To Make With Gluten Free Sloppy Joes Leftovers?
We mix about 2 cups of the meat and sauce in 1 jar of safe spaghetti and serve it on corn, rice, or lentil based pasta. You can even use it on a pasta bake.
It reheats really well and can be fried in a pan for 3-4 minutes with a couple tablespoons of water. We then sprinkle it on nachos with jalapenos, fresh diced tomatoes, onions, olives, and dairy free cheese. If a more taco-y flavour is desired, add more cumin and some chilli powder to the meat mix while it is re-heating.
Add a bit of chilli powder and a can of kidney beans that have been drained and rinced. Pour in drained canned sliced mushrooms and stir well. An additional ½ cup of water should be added to the mix. Reheat on the stove for 15 mins and serve with cut fresh onions, and dairy free cheese. This works really well if you used a loose spicy sausage meat to make your mix. For a spicy chilli add an allergen free hot sauce to the desired amount while cooking.
Bake a potato for about 45 mins and top it with reheated gluten free sloppy joes meat mix. Other toppings that would work with this leftovers idea are dairy free cheese sprinkled on top, a dollop of dairy free sour cream, onions, scallions or chives, black beans, jalapenos, and bacon bits.
A large pot or deep sided pan, like a wok, is the perfect equipment for cooking this recipe up. We often make it in our smaller soup pot as it has deep sides that will stop it from splattering and a large flat base for frying up the meat and veggies.
Stirring Utensils with a flat edge for scraping the meat off the bottom of the pot work the best for this Gluten Free Sloppy Joe recipe.
How to Cook it in a Slow Cooker
Fry up all the veggies, and meat and add it to the slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients and 1 C of water. Mix well. Cover the slow cooker with its lid. Turn the slow cooker on to low for 5-6 hours or high for 2.5 -3 hours to cook the gluten free sloppy joes.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
Store the Gluten Free Sloppy Joe filling separately from the GF buns. They do not store well together. Put the meat filling on a well sealing container for storing.
In the fridge the Gluten Free Sloppy Joe Filling will keep for up to three days.
In the freezer the well sealed meat filling will keep for up to 3 months. Freeze leftovers for a quick meal or when you cannot fathom cooking.
In a pan add the needed servings and ¼ C of water and heat over medium heat. Heat until the gluten free sloppy joes mix is warmed through and at a safe temperature of 165F.
In a microwave safe bowl heat 1-2 servings at a time for 45 seconds. Stir and heat for another 25 seconds. Check that the glutne free sloppy joes mix is heated fully and at a safe temperature.
Keep the gluten free sloppy joes warm in a crockpot on warm and serve as a burger or hot dog alternative at a barbecue or summer party.
What To Serve With
Serve this Gluten Free Sloppy Joes recipe with egg free potato salad, or gluten free macaroni salad. A cob of corn, steamed veggies or mashed potatoes also make excellent sides for a sloppy joe sandwich. At a barbecue grilled veggies work well, while in the winter air fryer carrots are an excellent choice.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
Root Beer Barbeque Ribs
- Deep Pot or Pan
- Stirring Utensil
- 2 lbs Ground Beef
- ¾ teaspoon Baking Soda
- 2 Tbsps Olive Oil
- 1 Yellow Pepper diced
- 1 Medium Onion finely diced
- 3 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 Carrot finely diced
- 2 ribs Celery diced
- 2 tsps Smoked Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- ¾ teaspoon Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric
- Tomato Sauce
- 1.5 Tbsps Coconut Aminos
- 2.5 Tbsps Tomato Paste
- 1 teaspoon Horseradish
- 6 Gluten Free Hamburger or Hot Dog Buns or Bagel
- Place the beef in a medium bowl. Sprinkle the baking soda on the ground beef and mix it in well with the meat with your hands. Set aside for 30 minutes.
- With 10 minutes left on the meat tenderising start heating the pot. In a large pot or pan with deep sides add the olive oil and heat over medium heat.
- Add in yellow pepper, onions, garlic, carrots, and celery to the oil and cook until they are soft and starting to be translucent. About 5-7 mins. Stir often.
- Add in the Ground beef and saute the meat until fully browned through. About 10 mins. If there is a lot of fat, carefully drain it from the meat and veg mixture.
- Stir in the smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, turmeric, salt and pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes while mixing the spices into the meat.
- Pour in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, coconut aminos, and horseradish and mix well. Bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 30 minutes or until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
- While the meat is simmering, toast the buns either in a gluten free toaster or under the broiler for 2 mins.
- Serve the meat filling on the toasted buns.
We sometimes take for granted that we have years (or decades) of cooking experience, that the average visitor may not. Add to, or remove from, the list below with health and safety tips.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Contact the manufacturer of products, regarding cross contact and ingredients, to ensure they are safe for you
- Always check ingredients for allergens
- Do not use the same utensils on allergen free food, that previously touched allergens
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove