Your family will love this moist, flavorful gluten free sloppy joes recipe! It is full of delicious flavor. It makes an incredible meal in under 30 minutes. It is great for busy weeknights, making ahead, and freezing!

A gluten free sloppy joe on a bun with a platter with fries and pickle.

Do you know what I love about this recipe? It helps to break away from the old stereotypical school cafeteria food. Did you grow up with that goopy meat on a hamburger bun at your school? Ick! This Sloppy Joe recipe is a FAR cry above that old cafeteria yuck!

If you love sloppy Joes, why not try this delicious kid-friendly Gluten Free Baked Ziti Casserole recipe too? Looking for the perfect sides to serve with Sloppy Joes? I have 31 incredible Sloppy Joe side dish ideas for you!

Thank you soooo much! I’m making it for the second time,(this time with ground turkey).
I’ll never use store-bought again! Homemade is so much better, and I can regulate the
amount and type of sugar. Love it!

Linda F., Blog comment

Allergen Information:

This homemade sloppy Joe meat is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, oat-free, and egg-free.

For this recipe, I usually use ground beef or ground turkey. You get the awesomeness of grandma’s sloppy joe sauce recipe…and it tastes amazing!

A pot filled with sloppy joe meat, onion, and pepper. A wooden spoon is sticking out of the pot.

You can see all of the good stuff inside this Sloppy Joe recipe in this picture. If you like vegetables, feel free to add more! These are the best homemade gluten free Sloppy Joes!

Use my homemade Gluten Free Hamburger Buns! They are so fluffy and easy to make. This sloppy joes recipe is perfect for freezing as a freezer meal.

Ingredient Notes:

For the full list of ingredients and amounts, please go to the recipe card below.

  • Ground Meat – See below for a list of ground meat types that work in this recipe.
  • Ketchup – You can read more to see Is Ketchup Gluten Free and to ensure you have a gluten free brand.
  • Vegetables like onion and bell pepper.
  • Worcestershire Sauce – Double-check the ingredient label to ensure your brand is gluten free. I use Lea & Perrins brand.
  • Brown Sugar or Coconut Sugar – Either works well to add that traditional sweetness to the sauce.

What Kind Of Meat Is Best For Sloppy Joes?

The beauty of this sloppy joe recipe is you can use many kinds of meats, or even vegetarian or vegan meat substitutes for this recipe! The secret is in the sauce! Which is your favorite? Use that one!

  • Ground Turkey
  • Ground Beef is unstuffed and super easy to make.
  • Ground Chicken
  • Ground Pork – Also, check out these delicious gluten free ground pork recipes.
  • Meatless Crumbles – I love using Impossible meat and other vegan meat crumbles in this recipe to cut back on our meat consumption.

Vegetable Mix-In Ideas:

  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Broccoli (yeah, I am weird, but it tastes good!)
  • Winter squash like butternut or acorn squash

Step-By-Step Photos and Directions:

Browning onion, ground beef, and peppers in a skillet.

Step 1: Add the light cooking oil, ground meat, onions, and diced bell pepper to a large frying pan or cast-iron skillet. Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until the meat is browned.

👀 Sandi Says: Drain the hot grease into a paper cup or container. Do not dump hamburger meat grease into the sink, as it can really clog pipes.

Step 2: Add the ketchup, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper to a small bowl. Whisk with a wire whisk to blend them together.

A photo of the sloppy joe meat in a skillet.

Step 3: When the meat is browned, add all of the sauce ingredients and mix well to coat all of the meat.

Step 4: Simmer for 10 minutes so the flavors seep into the meat. This gluten free sloppy joe meat gets even better the next day as the flavors seep into the meat overnight in the refrigerator!

You may also love this Gluten Free Cheeseburger Pasta recipe.

A wooden spoon putting sloppy joe meat onto a gluten free bun.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What gluten-free bread is best for sloppy Joe’s?

In this gluten free recipe, I used rolls made by Shar. There are a lot of fabulous gluten free hamburger bun brands out there now. Even Trader Joe’s has them! My family also likes Franz Bakery, Udi’s, and Canyon Bakehouse buns. I recommend softening them in the microwave oven before adding the sloppy Joe meat.

What do sloppy Joe’s taste like?

Sloppy Joe’s taste like meat with a slightly sweet tomato sauce. There are chunks of onion and pepper to add even more flavor.

How long will sloppy Joe’s keep fresh?

This sloppy Joe meat mixture will keep fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Store it in an airtight container.

Can you freeze this sloppy Joe’s meat?

You can definitely freeze this sloppy Joe’s meat mixture. Freeze in a zipper bag or freezer-safe container. To thaw, put in the refrigerator or thaw in the microwave if you need it quicker.

Is Manwich Gluten Free?

Although Manwich is not certified gluten free, the company states that they use no gluten ingredients in their sloppy joe sauce.

More Gluten Free Dinner Recipes to Try:

Love This Recipe?

If you made and enjoyed this recipe, I would be incredibly grateful if you could leave a comment below. This will help others know this recipe is delicious. Thank you!

A sloppy joe on a gluten free bun on a platter with fries.

The Best Gluten Free Sloppy Joes Recipe

Sandi Gaertner
An easy sloppy joe recipe that works with ground turkey or beef.
5 from 17 votes
an egg free allergen icon
gluten free allergy icon
nut free allergen icon
soy free allergy icon
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Gluten Free Dinner Recipes, Meal Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 306 kcal


  • 1 pound ground meat * see note
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups ketchup
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup yellow pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce * see note
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  • In a small bowl, add the sauce ingredients and whisk to blend them together.
  • In a pan, add oil, onion, and pepper. Cook over medium heat. Stir frequently.
  • When the onion becomes soft, add either ground turkey or ground beef to the pan.
  • Cook until the meat is browned.
  • Add sauce, lower heat to low and simmer with the sauce for 5 minutes.
  • Serve on a gluten free bun.



  1. You can use ground beef, pork, chicken, or turkey in this recipe. The ground chicken and turkey will make this dinner recipe lower fat and calories.
  2. This recipe is easy to make, double-check the label to ensure the Worcestershire sauce is gluten free.
  3. You can use coconut sugar or brown sugar, both work well to slightly sweeten the meat sauce.
  4. This meat dish will keep up to 4 days in an air-tight container, or up to 4 months in the freezer.


Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.


Serving: 1gCalories: 306kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 14gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 1019mgPotassium: 462mgFiber: 1gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 333IUVitamin C: 27mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 2mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @FearlessDining or tag #FearlessDining!

Nutrition Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.

This post was updated from an older 2018 post with new photos and better recipe directions.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Thank you soooo much! I’m making it for the second time,(this time with ground turkey). I’ll never use store-bought again! Homemade is so much better, and I can regulate the amount and type of sugar. Love it!

  2. 5 stars
    I love sloppy jose and this ground meat in this sounds so yum. Can’t believe this is gluten free… ! Saving for later. yum!

  3. 5 stars
    This is one of those recipes that sounds at first like it shouldn’t work, but everything about it ends in a tasty and moreish easy to make dish. Just perfect for a comfort food sofa meal on a cold winter night.

  4. 5 stars
    Every time I see a Sloppy Joe recipe on line I think ‘I must try those’ and never get round to it… They are something we didn’t grow up with in the UK and I am intrigued.

  5. 5 stars
    I love your idea of adding veggies into this or in my case, it would be “sneaking” them in. This looks tasty and so much better than cafeteria food!