Friday Foodspiration: Sophisticated Sloppy Joe


Anyone else love a good sloppy Joe?

I remember them being on the dinner menu frequently when I was growing up. I used to make them for my family too— a quick and easy weekend meal.

Then I started having my daughter check food labels at the grocery store. The rule is that we only buy foods that she knows and can pronounce all the ingredients (she’s 9). If that’s not the case, it likely contains a chemical that we don’t want in our bodies. It keeps me from having to say no all the time and empowers her to make her own healthy choices.

If you look at the can of the leading sloppy joe sauce the words aren’t actually too hard to pronounce . . . so we checked that box. But, high fructose corn syrup, added sugar, various “gums” and added “flavors” made me think twice about this option for my family.

It turns out that homemade sloppy joes aren’t that difficult to make and you can make several batches at a time to store in the freezer for a super busy day. In this version, I mixed up the spices a little for what I consider a “more sophisticated palate”. And I always love an excuse to use grass fed bison. Don’t be fooled though, the kids loved this too.


  • 1 lb Ground Bison (or ground beef)

  • 1 tbs Avocado Oil

  • 1 small Onion, diced

  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced

  • 1 tbs Fresh Rosemary, chopped

  • 2 tbs Tomato Paste

  • 1/2 cup Beef Bone Broth (substitute regular broth or stock)

  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt

  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper

  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds

  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika


  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute 2-3 minutes until translucent.

  2. Add the bison and cook until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Drain excess fat if necessary (if your meat is 90% lean or greater you can skip this).

  3. Add spices and stir to combine. Lastly, add to the skillet the broth and tomato paste. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes for flavors to combine and the sauce to thicken.

  4. Serve warm with thick bread or zoodles. We ate them open face on Flaxseed Focaccia Bread and shredded our favorite sharp cheddar over some for our dairy lovers. .

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I bet this was even more amazing with the cheddar cheese – 2 out of 4 in my house are cheese lovers and can tolerate dairy well. It was nice that there was the option to add the cheese or leave it off in this recipe