Sloppy Joes on Low-Carb Buns

Mmmm, Sloppy Joes! The warm richness of the tomato-y ground beef served over a pillowy hamburger bun — pure comfort food!

The standard Sloppy Joe recipe, however, contains a ton of sugar. For example, 3/4 of a cup of ketchup (i.e., tomato-flavored sugar), plus 3 teaspoons of brown sugar.

And that’s not even counting the sugar that’s probably in the bun. (Did you know that some French people say that North American bread tastes like cake?)

I set out to make a comparable version, minus the sugar. For the buns, I used a great low-carb recipe from Diet Doctor, one of my favourite sites. You can find it here: Classic Low-Carb Hamburgers

Sloppy Joes on Low-Carb Buns

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Hearty comfort food without the added sugar


  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil, olive oil, or other healthy fat
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper, any color (I used orange)
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (not garlic salt)
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons yellow prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small can tomato paste (6 oz. / 170 g.)
  • 1 cup water


  1. Make the buns using the excellent recipe on the Diet Doctor site. They take about 45 minutes to bake, so you’ll want to start them a bit early. The recipe uses a lot of almond flour — you can sub in coconut flour instead, but if you do, add about 1/2 a cup more water, because the coconut flour creates a drier texture.
  2. For the Sloppy Joes, heat the oil in a large saucepan  on medium-low and fry the chopped onion and pepper until they soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the ground beef and cook until it’s no longer pink.
  4. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, mustard, and salt and stir.
  5. Add the tomato paste and water and stir until blended. Add extra water if needed.
  6. Simmer, partially covered and stirring occasionally, for at least 20 minutes and up to an hour.
  7. Split the buns and spoon the meat mixture into them.
  8. Enjoy!


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