How to Make Healthy Sloppy Joes ~ Sugar Free

by Anjolie Flores | May 18, 2022 | Diet, Digestive Health, Food Sensitivities, Healthy Living, Recipes

Healthy Sloppy Joes

Here’s an easy 30 minute dinner recipe that your whole family will love! These healthy sloppy joes can be made as spicy or non-spicy as you want and will be delicious either way. Made with lean turkey and a low sugar sauce, this sloppy joe will go great on a gluten-free bun or even a large leaf of lettuce. You will want to use this recipe all year-round!

Spicy and Non-Spicy Variations

I know with picky eaters spice can be a big challenge, and I know some people just don’t like added heat. These healthy sloppy joes can be made not spicy by choosing a plain sugar-free ketchup and BBQ sauce while forgoing the cayenne pepper and jalapenos. You can also swap the pepper jack cheese for cheddar. If you are looking for just a little spice, try using one of the spicy sauce options below. Using the spicy ketchup with plain BBQ, or vice versa, is a great way to spice up this dish if you don’t have/want jalapenos. No matter how you make it, this recipe has enough customizations to make everyone at the table happy.

Healthy Turkey Sloppy Joes

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Healthy, low sugar
Servings: 4
Calories: 422kcal


  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 small White Onion diced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper finely diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 pound 94% Lean Ground Turkey (you can also use 99% lean ground turkey)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Low/Zero Sugar Ketchup (I use TesseMae's original or spicy ketchup)
  • 1/4 cup Low/Zero Sugar BBQ Sauce (I use G. Hughes Hickory or Sweet Heat sauce)
  • 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Yellow Mustard
  • 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper optional, but recommended!

For Serving

  • 4 Sprouted/Whole Grain/Gluten-Free Hamburger Buns
  • 1/2 cup Pepper Jack Cheese
  • Jalapeno Slices, Pickled Onion, Pickles optional


  • Add olive oil to a medium skillet and place over medium high heat. Add in the garlic, white onion and bell pepper; sauté for 5 minutes or until onion is translucent. Transfer ingredients to a small bowl.
  • Next add ground turkey to the skillet and season with salt and pepper; break up the meat as it cooks. 
  • Once turkey is cooked, add the onion/bell pepper mixture back in. Then add in ketchup, BBQ sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and mustard. If you like a little heat, add in cayenne pepper. 
  • Stir well to combine and bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes longer.
  • Next add cheese on top of meat mixture, cover with a lid and let the cheese melt for 2 minutes (or until melted). Transfer meat onto hamburger buns and (optional) top with any optional toppings you like.
  • Serve on hamburger buns and enjoy!


To make this in the slow cooker: simply brown the turkey, then throw all the ingredients into the slow cooker and cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 6 hours.
To make it gluten free: Make sure all ingredients you use are GF and also be sure to use gluten free buns.
To make it dairy free: Leave cheese off, or use a dairy free cheese option.
Original recipe:

I hope you love our healthy sloppy joes and let us know what you think by commenting or tagging us on social media. We always love to hear from you!

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