Whole30 Sloppy Joes
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Whole30 Sloppy Joes - Whole30, Paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free and kid-friendly!

These Whole30 Sloppy Joes is a Whole30 take on the classic sloppy joes and is always a hit in our house! Simple, comes together in less than 30 minutes, and is a kid-favorite!

They are kept Whole30 by using date paste to sweeten them. What is date paste? It’s just dates softened by soaking and then blended with water. And yes, I have checked with the CEO of Whole30, Melissa Urban, and it’s compatible to use in sauces ; ). 

Ways to Serve It

If you are just looking for a gluten-free option, you can serve these Whole30 Sloppy Joes on gluten-free buns. On Whole30? Use a potato slider, or any roasted/baked potatoes of choice, or even just a lettuce cup. I love butter lettuce for flexible lettuce cup wraps!

Another favorite way we love these sloppy joes is using my Paleo Waffles for the buns. They are so easy and affordable, with better ingredients than most GF buns. Plus, the grooves are perfect for holding in the sloppy joes!

Paleo Waffle Sloppy Joes - Easy, budget friendly and a kid favorite!


Other Fast Weeknight Meals

Need more 30-minute dinner options? Here are some of our favorites! They are all Whole30, but we love them both on or off a Whole30.


Here are the ingredients to these Whole30 Sloppy Joes. You can find them at most grocery stores. They are simple and keep this recipe budget-friendly!

  • Ground beef – Feel free to let good enough be good enough and use regular, non-grass fed if that is most accessible to you. You can also use ground turkey or chicken if that works better for you!
  • Ketchup – If you are on a Whole30, be sure to use compatible ketchup. My favorite brand is Primal Kitchen. Otherwise, whatever ketchup works for you will do!
  • Dried Minced Onion – The cheapest place for spices is Winco bulk bins or Walmart. Dried spices are a great way to keep things budget-friendly.
  • Lemon juice – You can use freshly-squeeze or bottled from the juice aisle. 
  • Date paste – See the recipe below or the details above on what Date Paste is.
  • Coconut Aminos – What are coconut aminos? It’s a great Whole30 substitute for soy sauce and can be found in the soy sauce aisle. Trader Joe’s has the cheapest if you have one close to you, or I get this one from Walmart. 
  • Vinegar – White distilled basic vinegar.
  • Mustard – Traditional yellow mustard, like French’s. 

Whole30 Sloppy Joes

5 from 14 votes


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 c. Ketchup my favorite Whole30 compliant brand is Primal Kitchen
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 T dried chopped onion
  • 1/4 t lemon juice
  • 1 T date paste can use coconut sugar if not on Whole30
  • 1/2 T coconut aminos
  • 1 t vinegar
  • 1/2 t mustard


  • Brown beef in large saucepan. Mix all remaining sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and add to beef once it’s browned.
  • Simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens.
  • Great served on potato sliders or in lettuce cups.


Don’t overthink this one. Take a few potatoes (sweet potato, white, whatever!) and slice into 1/4 inch discs. Toss with enough oil to get on each one. Lay flat on a baking sheet covered with parchment. Sprinkle with salt. Bake at 425, flipping halfway until light brown on each side (40ish minutes depending on the type of potatoes).

Date Paste

5 from 14 votes


  • 1 c. pitted dates packed
  • ½ c. very hot water


  • Combine dates and hot water in a bowl and let sit for 1 minute. I usually press them down into the water a bit to ensure they all are soaking. Place dates and all the liquid in a blender and process for 30 seconds or until completely smooth. Store in a closed container in the fridge for up to 3-4 weeks.


  1. 5 stars
    Made this for my first day of Whole 30 and it was amazing! I served my husband and toddler on a bun. I served mine with air fries sweet potato rounds and a pickle and the baby ate it plain abs loved it. I had extra time so I chopped up half an onion, 2 carrots and 2 celery stalks and sautéed in olive oil before adding the meat. It was great I think I’ll be making this weekly!

  2. 5 stars
    This was sooo good and satisfying. I used a spicy ketchup I purchased by accident and it was an amazing swap for regular ketchup! Highly recommend. The prep was so easy which was perfect because I was starving after not eating much all day at work. Thank you, Autumn, for creating a fast, easy and delicious meal.

    • We love this easy dinner solution – so glad to hear you enjoyed it as well! 😃

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious! Tasted even better than my old go-to canned sauce. Fun to have on Base Culture Bun, but the meat mixture was so good, I’d probably prefer it on its own!

    • I’ve definitely been guilty of eating this on its own and am right there with you that I grew up loving canned sauce but have abandoned it for this recipe. Thank you for the review!

  4. 5 stars
    Family hit! Followed recipe as is or as close as I could get (used yellow mustard and ACV and coconut sugar). Used half simple truth NSA ketchup and half Portland ketchup Co (on hand). Kids already asking for it again…excited momma!!! Thank you

    • Kids asking for it again make my mom heart SO HAPPY. Thrilled to hear that, thank you for letting me know!

  5. 5 stars
    One of my favorite Whole 30 approved recipes! My entire family loves and would never even know it was any different from the original recipe they’re use to. Plus its super easy!

  6. Where do you find date paste please? Can’t find it in my local stores anywhere, not even WF. Thank you!

    • Great question! I make it, it’s just dates + hot water. I share that on my Cauliflower Oatmeal recipe here https://wholefoodfor7.com/cauliflower-oatmeal/ but I will also add it here. Thanks for asking!

  7. 5 stars
    This recipes is on our weekly rotation of family favorites recipes, even my 2 toddlers will eat it!

    • Yay! I love that this is a family win and on the rotation, thank you!

  8. 5 stars
    Yum this was so good! Perfect for January whole 30!

  9. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! This is a go to when I am on Whole30

    • Hooray, I’m so happy this is a go-to for you!

  10. 5 stars
    Tastes better than my favorite childhood sloppy joes! This is so delicious and bonus it is a snap to make so I can have my girls be involved in making dinner with me! 🙂 We always try to make an extra for the freezer for when that craving strikes!

    • Aw yay! Sounds like a win all around – I’m so happy to hear this, thank you!

  11. My family LOVES these, and they are so easy to make! I greatly prefer them to non-paleo sloppy joes.

    • I’m so happy these have been a family favorite!

    • 5 stars
      I’ve tried a few different clean sloppy joe recipes and this one is the best. I used coconut sugar instead of date paste and it was delicious. We paired it with your sweet potato toast recipe.

      • I’m so happy this was the sloppy joe recipe worth keeping! Thank you!

  12. 5 stars
    When I first made these on Day 1 of my last Whole30, I think an actual tear came to my boyfriend’s eye. I don’t even remember the last time I had sloppy joes! These are SO GOOD and so much better than canned Manwich (what’s even in that stuff?). Highly recommend!

    • Lol, I totally ate Manwich growing up too! I love that this was a win for you and your boyfriend – hooray!

  13. 5 stars
    We always love a good sloppy joe recipe! And potato sliders rock!

  14. 5 stars
    This is a win in my house! I triple the recipe and freeze the leftovers. The only thing I’ve changed is not using as much water as the recipe calls for otherwise the sloppy joes are too runny for us. ☺️

  15. 5 stars
    This recipe is delicious! My fiancé is a junk foody and frequently requests “non paleo” dinners but I was able to fib a little about this one and he loved every bite!

    • I love that it was a win even with your non-paleo fiance. Wahoo!


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