Sloppy Joe Boats

I know, it’s not the same as when it’s slathered on a big fluffy roll but when you are trying to stick to a plan, sometimes you find ways to enjoy the good stuff without derailing your efforts. The beauty of this healthy version of a sloppy joe, is you can serve it however you like to fit your family – my kids enjoyed traditional sloppy joes while we had sloppy joe in some romaine lettuce boats to spare the carbs. Either way this is an easy to put together meal and makes plenty of it.


  • 2 1/2 lbs lean ground turkey (or grassfed beef)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large white onion, diced
  • 1 large green or red bell pepper, diced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar or honey
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp mustard powder (or dijon works too)
  • 1/2 tsp rep pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • Romaine leaves


  • Add oil to a dutch oven pot and heat on medium.
  • Add ground turkey or beef and cook until brown.
  • Drain liquid and return to heat.
  • Add onion, bell pepper and garlic, cooking for a few minutes until they soften up.
  • Add in ketchup, tomato paste, coconut sugar, mustard, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce and water.
  • Stir and combine all the ingredients together, season with salt and pepper if needed.
  • Simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes to let flavors marry.
  • Serve by spooning into romaine leaves and top with fresh pepper.  (For the kids, spoon on to buttered rolls and top with a slice of provolone.)

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