Real Food Sloppy Joes :: Compare to Manwich & Other Canned Sloppy Joe Sauces!
I know that so many of you may be on the new year kick of cleaning up your diet, maybe doing a fast or cleanse, maybe a 30 day program or something. Those are all great things to give you a kick start – but for those of you with kiddos in the house, that kinda stuff doesn’t fly with them!

And those kids deserve to have real food to eat too! You can still clean up the way your family is eating and keep the food something that children that maybe aren’t used to real food will eat.

Real Food Sloppy Joes :: Compare to Manwich & Other Canned Sloppy Joe Sauces!
Sloppy Joes were a staple in my home growing up and I know it is a kid favorite in many homes. The trouble with the stuff from the can lies in the high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, and some brands add color to make it brighter. That’s a pretty ugly combo for kids trying to focus on school work or having a good night of sleep!

Real Food Sloppy Joes :: Compare to Manwich & Other Canned Sloppy Joe Sauces!
We pack a nourishing punch in this sloppy joe dinner by using grassfed beef which far exceeds the nutritional profile of conventional beef.

I also use sprouted red beans in my mix. And there are 2 reasons for this. The first is to stretch my meat budget. While I think I get a pretty great price for grassfed beef where I live, with 3 bottomless pits to feed (make that 4 to include my husband!) it just makes good stewardship sense to stretch my budget where I can. We digest sprouted beans very well and you can’t tell the difference in the texture of the mixture. Sprouted beans also bump up the nutrient level as the sprouting makes more of their nutrients available to absorb (it also takes away the “gassy” in the beans!). If you don’t tolerate beans in your diet, you can just double up on the beef!

Real Food Sloppy Joes :: Compare with Manwich & other canned Sloppy Joe Sauces!
We use the Sami’s Bakery gluten free buns for these, but if you have a favorite bun or make your own, go for it! I would recommend staying away from the traditional buns you probably grew up on as they are just full of junk. Something sprouted would be great, or just homemade. If you are grain free you may have it in a big lettuce bowl, or pour it over a baked potato – it is SO good and we actually do it this way often.

Real Food Sloppy Joes :: Compare to Manwich & Other Canned Sloppy Joe Sauces!
This recipe makes a LOT. I do it this way so I can make a mess in a pot once and store away leftovers for quick pull out dinners on busy weeks. If you don’t want this much leftover, then simply half the recipe.

Real Food Sloppy Joes

Renee -
Super saucy and amazing, they taste like the can you might have grown up with! However, I chose healthy ingredients to make these homemade joes!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings


  • 2 lb grassfed ground beef
  • 6 cups <a href="" target="_blank" title="Sprouting Beans For Soups Stir Frys, Wraps, Dips, and Salads">sprouted/cooked red beans - this is about a pound of dry beans (OR an additional 2lbs pound of beef if you are leaving the beans out)
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 2 green peppers chopped (I actually just buzz up the onion and pepper in my processor quick!)
  • 1 head of garlic minced
  • 2 ½ cups organic ketchup watch ingredients – no HFCS
  • ¼ cup organic mustard again – watch ingredients!
  • 2 – 4 TB pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup bone broth or water
  • 1 TB chili powder
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes more if you want more kick
  • Sea salt/pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup arrowroot or tapioca flour mixed in a little water for thickening


  • In a big soup pot cook the onion and green pepper in a good ¼ cup or so of friendly fat (butter, coconut oil, or lard) for a 5ish minutes with a pinch of salt to bring out the juices and sweeten.
  • Add the garlic and cook for a minute.
  • Add the ground beef and brown through.
  • Add the cooked beans, ketchup, mustard, maple syrup, water, chili powder, and red pepper flakes and bring to a simmer. Simmer about 10ish minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the arrowroot/water mixture and heat through until thickened.
  • Serve on a bun of your choosing, or if you are grain free it is delicious in a big lettuce bowl, or over a baked potato!
Keyword copycat manwich recipe, homemade sloppy joes, sloppy joes recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

 For the real food potato chips you see in the photos above, check out THIS post!

Let me know how the kids like them!

This post was shared at Fat Tuesday & Real Food Wednesday!

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    1. I really wish to try this…..but I do not understand about the ground beef drippings do you drain it first? or is it okay to cook the ground beef with all its fat ?
      Any help would be appreciated -Thanks

      1. Hi Deb! I’m cooking with grassfed ground beef which is super lean and doesn’t lend a lot of grease – if you are using store bought (which is totally fine btw!), it might need to be drained!

  1. A fantastic nutrient dense alternative to the canned options for sure! I need to get a face-to-face demo on sprouting beans and how to store and prepare them (I don’t eat many but would be willing to try more if I knew how to do this). Next on the how-to list. Pinned and shared. =)

      1. Health Hutt? I have one in North Muskegon I go to, I’ll give it a shot! Having a hard time finding a bread my littlest can have. She is allergic to egg, peanut, wheat and corn (and a few other things). I try to make things homemade, but I haven’t made too many breads without wheat and most I am finding use some sort of nut or eggs or corn. I have a lot of experimenting to do!

  2. Hi there. There is a broken link in the actual recipe so I am not sure what the amount of beans should be. It looks like 6 cups?