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Real Food Sloppy Joes :: Compare To Manwich & Other Canned Sloppy Joe Sauces!

January 11, 2015

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.

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Real Food Sloppy Joes

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!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: copycat manwich recipe, homemade sloppy joes, sloppy joes recipe
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Renee -


  • 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!

 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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    • Reply Deb January 28, 2022 at 8:00 pm

      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

      • Reply Renee Kohley January 30, 2022 at 10:19 am

        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!

  • Reply Jessica January 11, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    They look so good! I will have to sprout some beans this week!

  • Reply Renee Kohley January 11, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    Let me know how the boys like them 🙂

  • Reply Jessica January 11, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Holy YUM! These sloppy joes sound amazing! I’ll be whipping these up soon. Thank for the great recipe!!!

  • Reply Emily @ Recipes to Nourish January 13, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    I love homemade sloppy joes … and I love how you sprout the beans to stretch the meat/budget. That’s such a great idea! Beautiful photos too!

  • Reply Megan Stevens January 13, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Mmm, the sprouted beans always make me so happy to see! Love that photo. Yummy ingredients!! Thanks for sharing this classic comfort food!

  • Reply Jessica @ConveyAwareness January 13, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    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. =)

    • Reply Renee Kohley January 13, 2015 at 7:54 pm

      Thank you Jessica! I hope you enjoy them – the beans are super easy -great science experiment for Blaise 🙂

  • Reply Libby January 13, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    5 stars
    These pics are making me salivate! Being grain free your lettuce bowl idea is perfect!

  • Reply Chloe @ How We Flourish January 14, 2015 at 11:23 am

    Love this! I can’t remember the last time I had sloppy joes.

  • Reply April G January 14, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    I’ve never eaten a prepared sloppy joe, but I love finding out how to make it better and last a little longer. I pinned for future reference.

  • Reply Kylie January 15, 2015 at 2:09 am

    Forget kid-pleasers, my husband would be ALL over these!

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  • Reply Amy July 17, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Where do you buy Sami’s bakery buns at?

    • Reply Renee Kohley July 18, 2015 at 6:27 pm

      Hi Amy! Our health food store here carries them – you live near me correct? Check the freezer section 🙂

      • Reply Amy July 19, 2015 at 9:46 am

        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!

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  • Reply Nicole Bolner March 2, 2020 at 8:28 pm

    Just made these for the second time… they are SO good!

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  • Reply Amanda July 14, 2020 at 9:45 am

    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?

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