Ground Chicken Sloppy Joes will hit the spot when craving a saucy, meaty dinner! They're unbelievably tasty and come together in just 30 minutes in a single pot!
This isn't your grandma's sloppy joe recipe. You won't find greasy, ground beef, canned Manwich sauce, or soggy buns here.
Instead, you'll find an incredibly satisfying sloppy joe recipe with lean ground chicken, homemade sweet and savory sauce, and loads of hidden veggies!
What hasn't changed is the sloppy mess they make on your plate!
Make my One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta Skillet next!
Why you'll love this recipe
- One pot recipe: Sloppy Joe's might be a mess to eat, but they're not a mess to make! One pot means cleanup is a breeze.
- Easy: These simple Ground Chicken Sloppy Joes are a quick, easy weeknight dinner with only six recipe steps.
- Hidden veggies: Carrots, celery, and bell peppers are finely diced, making them nearly undetectable by even the pickiest eaters!
- Kid-friendly: My kids love this recipe; I know yours will too!
- Ground chicken: Opt for ground chicken for the best results, but you can use ground turkey as a substitute. Ground chicken adds protein to the dish and contributes to the heartiness and texture.
- Bell peppers: Use red, green, or orange bell peppers. Bell peppers add color and a little bit of crunch.
- Carrots: Add carrots to boost the veggie content in the recipe. Carrots also add a hint of sweetness.
- Onion and garlic add depth of flavor to the sauce thanks to their robust, savory taste.
- Ketchup and tomato sauce form the base of the sloppy joe sauce. Combined, they add rich tomato flavor with a hint of sweetness.
- Worcestershire sauce: A dash of Worcestershire adds umami to the sauce.
- Apple cider vinegar: Adds an acid to the sauce, brightens the flavor, and balances the sweetness with a little tang.
- Seasonings: Onion flakes, paprika, yellow mustard, kosher salt, and ground black pepper enhance the overall flavor of the dish.
- Burger buns: Serve a heaping pile of sloppy joe sauce over a hearty, toasted burger bun. Toast the inside of the buns for some added crispy texture!
- A large skillet with deep sides is best. I like to use my cast-iron Dutch oven or cast-iron casserole dish.
- Cutting board and chopping knife
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
How to make Ground Chicken Sloppy Joes
- Cook the chicken.
- Sauté the vegetables.
- Add the remaining sloppy joe sauce ingredients.
- Cook until hot, bubbly, and slightly thickened.
- Serve over toasted hamburger buns, and enjoy!
Make these simple ground chicken sloppy joes in just 6 easy steps!
Step 1: Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, non-stick skillet. Add the ground chicken, and cook until no pink remains.
Step 2: Push the chicken to the side of the pan, and add the chopped carrots, onion, and bell pepper. Sauté until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Step 3: Mix the seasonings into the ground chicken and veggies.
Step 4: Pour the tomato sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and apple cider vinegar into the pan.
Step 5: Mix well, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Step 6: Serve these healthy ground chicken sloppy joes warm over toasted brioche buns and enjoy!
- Add seasonings to taste. Add chili powder, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or hot sauce for a spicy kick! A pinch of brown sugar will do the trick if the sauce isn't quite sweet enough.
- Avoid soggy buns. If you're making the sauce ahead of time, store it separately from the buns to prevent the buns from becoming wet.
- Let the sauce simmer for at least five minutes so the flavors meld and intensify.
- Add fresh garnish. Serve your sloppy joes with fresh parsley, green onions, or grated parmesan cheese.
Substitutions and variations
- Substitute ground chicken with leftover Dutch Oven Pulled Chicken. You'll still have a chicken sloppy joe, but with a slightly different texture.
- Vegetable substitutions include mushrooms, celery, peas, and broccoli.
- Instead of serving sloppy joes on a bun, try serving sloppy joes on Hawaiian rolls as sliders, in taco shells, on pizza shells, over biscuits, or mixed with macaroni noodles.
How to store, freeze, and reheat
How to store: Let leftovers cool to room temperature, then transfer them to a glass, airtight container. Leftovers will stay fresh for up to 4 days.
How to freeze: Place leftover chicken sloppy joes in a plastic freezer bag or container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
How to reheat: Reheat leftover chicken sloppy joes on the stovetop or in the microwave. Reheat in a skillet over low heat, or in the microwave in 1-minute intervals, until heated through.
What to serve with sloppy joes
- To make the best Ground Chicken Sloppy Joes, serve them with crunchy sides! Balance out the soft, saucy main dish with a crisp, crunchy-textured side.
- Fresh garden salads, coleslaw, or a veggie platter would be perfect! You can't go wrong with my Marinated Vegetable Salad and Caesar Salad.
Frequently asked questions
Ground chicken is a healthier alternative to ground beef in sloppy joe sauce. Ground chicken has the same texture and appearance as ground beef and has a slightly different taste.
You make a sloppy Jane with ground turkey or ground chicken instead of ground beef. Sloppy Janes are usually lighter, with less fat and fewer calories than sloppy Joes.
If there is an excess amount of fat in the skillet after browning your ground beef, you should drain the fat. Carefully pour the fat out of the pan, or use a napkin to soak it up.
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